Canadian Pizza Magazine

From the Editor: Banishing burnout

Colleen Cross   

Features Business and Operations Staffing

Photo: Iryna Adobe Stock

It’s time to talk about staff burnout in your pizzeria.

Lack of permanent, reliable staff is an acute and continuing problem that affects every aspect of a bakery’s operation.

A business can’t operate without staff. Yet somehow businesses do continue to operate – and maintain a high quality of product and customer service – but at what cost to the team that has stayed the course?

The cost to your business may be the very real risk of owner, manager and employee burnout. While job burnout is not a condition that is formally defined as a medical diagnosis, the American Psychiatric Association describes it as: 

  • emotional depletion – feeling frustrated, tired of going to work, finding it hard to deal with others at work
  • detachment or cynicism – being less empathetic with others, detached from work, seeing work or elements of work as a source of frustration
  • low personal achievement – experiencing work as unrewarding, feelings of “going through the motions”
  • depersonalization – thoughts and feelings seem unreal or not belonging to oneself

According to the Restaurants Canada Foodservice Facts Guide, 72 per cent of restaurants and food-service operations report having to increase hours worked by owners and managers to compensate for the lack of staff, as Andrew Hind writes in our cover story “Hour struggle.

“Because we can’t find anyone to give the keys to, we must work open to close. Reducing hours to give ourselves and our existing staff a break is the only solution. It’s a real problem,” says pizzeria owner Paul Mollica of Pie-zano’s Authentic Italian Pizza in Chatham, Ont., in the article.

Cory Medd of Two Guys and a Pizza Place in Lethbridge, Alta., took the step to close on Mondays and is resisting the urge to reopen post-COVID. He uses the time to get administration and planning done and doesn’t foresee re-opening on Mondays.

“Time off is very important,” said Martin Barnett in the Baking Association of Canada’s February Bulletin. “A new local bakery recently asked their followers on social media what their hours should be. This triggered me a little as to how important it is to find the balance between serving your customers and having a productive, sane and balanced work life. You cannot please everyone, and it is part of our service to stay in business. Cutting back on hours doesn’t mean reducing profitability. Scheduling will be easier and your staff will thank you too.” 

We recommend looking into a program such as Not Myself Today, which is a workplace mental health program spearheaded by the Canadian Mental Health Association as a practical resource for providing mental health support to employees. To learn more about this particular program, contact CMHA at 

 Another way to avoid burnout is to find community with others in the baking industry who share your struggle. This could take the form of having a regular cup of coffee or chat with a fellow operator in your neighbourhood or BIA or attending an industry event such as Pizza Expo or the Canadian Pizza Summit at Bakery Showcase.

The BAC’s Bakery Showcase featuring the Pizza Summit, Chef of the Year Competition and Great Pizza Box Fold-Off  May 14-15 in Vancouver is an ideal place to make connections and refresh your business. Have a look at this year’s speaker,  demo schedule and supporting industry suppliers. 

We look forward to seeing you there – and for those who cannot attend, we’ll report back in these pages on key takeaways from Karen’s and all sessions.

Until then, take care of yourselves.

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