Fit Crews Need Good Food

How happy about the food on board?

  • 6.77 up from 6.34

The issue of catering onboard and the standards of cooks and ingredients saw rises in happiness levels this quarter. Which again, similar to other categories has not always been the case.

Happiness, in this regard, seems to constantly rest on three key issues – the skill of the cook, the budget allocated, and the quality of the food which comes onboard. Even the best cook cannot make good meals if the budget is low, or if there are only below par stores to deal with.

Time and time again, the issue of the cook was key. There were those who felt their cooks were fantastic and praised them enthusiastically. Where that is the case, then as may be expected, the happiness levels were very high. There is real respect from seafarers towards good cooks, and conversely, crews who feel their cooks are not good enough do not hold back on saying so.

Rather unusually this quarter, there were a number who praised the creativity of the catering crew. Respecting the fact that they have to try and make occasionally mundane ingredients into a feast to be enjoyed. There was also a suggestion that sometimes cooks sail too long, and they should be rotated more frequently so that different menus are available.

Spending and budgets figured highly in this category – with seafarers knowing where corners are cut, and the impact that has on the quality of their time onboard. Some were critical of the systems in place, and of how chandlers worked. There were accusations that some chandlers, who then deliver via sub-chandlers are charging fees at levels which leave the crew with insufficient food, and of a lower quality.

There was also condemnation of owners who do not invest sufficiently in healthy food, but who expect their crews to be fit. There is a seeming dichotomy here which requires attention as it is frustrating and annoying seafarers.

https://www.happyatsea.org/wp-content/uploads/SHI_Q3_2019.pdf

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