Stress in the restaurant industry

Would the restaurant business be the most beautiful profession? Giving gustatory pleasure and attentive service is rejoicing. The recognition of our work invigorates us, transforms us. But our job has a dark side: stress. Two types of stress exist:

  • that due to the intensity of work
  • the one due to pressure from your colleagues or your superiors.

As Albert Jacquard said so well, our education is based on "competition" and not on self-confidence and love.


Thecontext of the restoration :

I have about 30 years of experience in the restaurant business and 2 years as a wine merchant in Paris.

I was a casual young man, a perfect little soldier in the service of my profession. I immersed myself heart and soul in my work. Throughout these years, I was exploited, stressed and often manipulated. Wages were rarely respected, schedules and humanism were exceeded. And yet, my job was done with passion. Life brings us stones on our way, these stones are essential for us to evolve our way of being. I don't regret anything, I had only pleasure. I have forgiven people and I have forgiven myself. I have always remained straight in my boots and respected my colleagues. As a manager in a restaurant on weekends in Paris, I realized that a certain rigor was mandatory. Dictatorship and dilettante work are not the solution. The smart way out is to play both sides of the fence: an iron fist in a velvet glove. After six months, with rigor, respect and change, I increased the turnover considerably. My employer recognized my work: it was the first time in 20 years. Then, at the same time, thanks to the sommelier in Paris, we went to the "assiette champenoise" in Reims. He was human and above all realistic. The smiling wait staff were paid by the percentage (which is why the people were radiant) and there were two kitchen teams (one for lunch and one for dinner). At that time, the restaurant had 2 stars in the red guide, now it has three. I am such an enthusiast that I could talk about the working conditions for pages and pages, but that is not my intention. But this interview is the proof that a revolution is taking place little by little with better working conditions. In fact, employers have realized that few people want to work in the restaurant business. The new generation does not want to make the same mistakes: working hard with too much rigor.


My trip to Norway was another trigger: "here it's the 3 eight hours: 8 hours to work, 8 hours to live and have fun, 8 hours to sleep". I, the little soldier of my trade, it transformed my life. 20 years ago, a French pastry chef yelled too much at an apprentice. The next day, the unions came and blocked his door. Since then, he is not allowed to take on Norwegian apprentices.

I only started to live thanks to Norway. People listen to me and come for my passion.

Methodsto de-stress:

The method of Tal Scharrer (holistic doctor):

When you see the increased reservations, the pressure rises. This is normal and your fear is coming into your body. Tal's method is to let your fear out by taking a deep breath, then shaking your whole body and screaming. Your body releases this fear.

If you are deeply a demanding and perfectionist worker like me, and when you see mistakes, violence enters you. In order to evacuate it, breathe in and claw like a tiger roaring, this practice is very effective.

Letting go: listening to your body and not your ego. Perfection doesn't exist...Taking a step back solves a lot of stress. We let go by meditating and taking a long breath. The ideal is to say to yourself: it is not serious, but we will find another solution. Don't stay optu and be open to any solution.



Our body cells need oxygen. Without this oxygen, stress will take over your body. It also needs rest accompanied by long inhalation and exhalation under soft music. This selfish moment is a primordial regeneration. Every human being has 7 chakras (invisible antennas) and an aura (invisible envelope around the body). With every emotional shock, your chakras close and the connection between the chakras and the aura, which is called attraction, will not be activated. Your life will be dull and you will know only toxic people. After an incident with a client, I decided to take charge of my life. You have to accept these mistakes, and say to yourself: how can I make sure they don't happen again? When you meditate, you relax thanks to the oxygen given to your cells. But you also clean your chakras and open them. Through this you get the connection with your aura in the form of vibration. At this moment you can ask for wishes such as protection, another job, another love etc... A change in your environment will take place, toxic people will disappear, other more positive people will enter your life. This is exactly what I experienced.

Working on oneself:

We are not machines. We have the solution in our hands, the work on ourselves is essential in order to progress. Our ego, which is our enemy, must be forgotten. Fear, emotional shocks, frustrations, betrayals, abandonments are on our way and we must absolutely manage them by recognizing them. Acceptance, letting go, acknowledging these mistakes, forgiving your emotional torturers and yourself are paramount in our lives. I remember a couple of owners who during the service were dog and cat. The chef had never forgiven his wife for not wanting to have a child together. It was the staff who were toasting.



A video of Ophélie Neiman(so thirsty) inspired this article. The journalist was very badly received by a committed and ill-tempered wine merchant. We, the committed people, having convictions, are hyper sensitive and we must work on ourselves in order not to provoke this kind of situation. A customer remains a customer, without him the money does not come in. The pressure, our convictions are a dangerous mix for our oversized ego, it can react very badly. I was also very badly received by natural wine restaurateurs in Marseille. Our profession is a conviviality, the exchanges between lovers of the profession are essential moments. With my friend, we suspected financial and personal problems. When we are in the arena of our passion, forgetting our problems is important. Our service profession is not easy, it is very hard physically and morally. I always say that we have our life in our hands, but we are the ones who decide, we are the ones who evolve. Maybe it is time to change our life? A solution is always possible, it is still necessary to have confidence in oneself and to look at its defects in a mirror.

There are two reasons for the violent words of an emotionally unbalanced person:

  • the fear of not being up to the task. The solution is to let go.
  • the non-healing of a childhood wound. The solution is acceptance, forgiveness of oneself and of the people who hurt us.

Author's notes: Some will point out that Mr. Tal Schaller is controversial. His convictions are his own. On the other hand, I have tried his anti-stress methods many times: they work.


Jean Charles Botte

"Life has been given to us, our duty is to respect this gift and to be aware that we have responsibilities: not to poison ourselves, not to poison others and to respect all living things. JCzen Living in Norway, trained as a sommelier and cook, my philosophy is to love life. I have been writing about wine for 20 years, about life, about wellness. I am very happy when I receive messages of thanks like this one "Your site helps me a lot". My site does not make me money but if it helps people: I am very happy. I can tell you that daily meditation has changed my life; why not you?

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