How The Bear's Third Season Reflects the Changing Landscape of the Hospitality Industry

The Bear is back with its third season, and viewers are already gripped by the frenzied energy of the chefs, fighting desperately for accolades for their newly opened restaurant. While there is debate on how realistic the level of chaos within the fictional kitchen is, it does get some things spot on – the passion and comradery of the brigade.

Ayo Edebiri and Olivia Colman both play female chefs with leadership positions, and the series alludes to the struggle and sacrifice made by the characters to achieve that status. Which also rings true, as the hospitality industry struggles to shake off its reputation as a career choice with long, unsociable hours and little flexibility.

However, things are changing – and not a moment too soon. Despite women making up 56% of the hospitality workforce, they still only hold around 26% of leadership positions[1]. As the industry continues to struggle with staff shortages, it has recognised a need to accommodate more flexible working patterns to allow for greater flexibility.

Operators know it’s no longer good enough to exclude a working mother who can’t make an evening shift, or a young person who is still studying and can only work three days a week. While making truly flexible working a reality can be challenging, there are rewards in terms of staff retention and a positive reputation waiting for those that great it right.

With almost 70% of hospitality workers considering leaving the sector due to poor work/life balance[2], it was great to see a brand like Caravan at Food & Drink Expo talking about its three female General Managers, all of whom work flexible hours while still driving success for the business.

Advancements in rota planning solutions are making it easier for operators to accommodate different working patterns, and treat team members as individuals. The Single Biggest Shift campaign, by Planday, emphasised just how important planning shifts in advance is to the health and happiness of workers within the sector.

It just goes to show, with the right tools in place change is possible. The hospitality industry is full of innovative, creative leaders who are keen to adopt a modern approach to shift planning that suits the changing workforce of today.