Our aim is to improve the quality of life of hospitality workers by reducing stress in their personal lives.
Restaurant After Hours is a 501c3 charitable organization based in NYC, aiming to provide accessible counseling services to hospitality workers by trained and licensed counseling professionals.
With stories involving mental health in the hospitality industry running rampant, our goal is to advocate for mental health awareness and provide support to the people who need it.
We can start the conversation. Schedule a mental health presentation at your restaurant or hotel and learn about what you can do to help your employees achieve their full potential.
In the past few years, mental health issues in the hospitality industry have come to light. For many, the high-stress, fast-paced environment fuels addictions to substance abuse.
Hospitality workers face immense pressure to satisfy customers, co-workers, and supervisors. Known to many as "occupational hazards", the hospitality industry lends itself to a culture of late-night binge drinking, harassment (verbal, physical, and sexual), substance abuse, eating disorders, poor living and working conditions which result in low self-esteem, poor relationships with loved ones, depression and anxiety symptoms, and even suicide.
With immense pressure comes low wages. For those looking to break the cycle and turn to professional help, many counseling services are out of reach. Restaurant After Hours established itself to fill this need.
In the last two years chefs and restauranteurs have begun to come forward with the mental health issues the industry faces. Talks about addiction, violence, stress, turnover, heavy workloads, and the #MeToo movement are becoming streamlined.
Restaurants across the country are beginning to change their entire business models to focus on their employees. These include limited hours, higher pay, offering health insurance, and better workplace conditions.
However, even with better benefits in place, it is not enough to fix someone's personal life. Industry standards prevent employees from bringing their personal lives into work. They are responsible for being physically and mentally present, focusing on a multitude of responsibilities in harsh working conditions, and ignoring their personal problems for 10-14 hours a day.
Restaurant After Hours was conceived to begin to fix the tangibles hospitality workers face outside of the restaurant business model. With a median salary of just $29,000 in New York City, most hospitality employees can not afford insurance, let alone counseling for themselves. We are here to provide valuable information to those employees who need it.
We are here to raise mental health awareness, create a safe community, and begin to help hospitality workers structure their personal lives.
We are here to support the industry that nourishes us.
Understanding mental health in the hospitality industry is listening to the stories of those who live it. Click below to go to our "Articles" section.
Just because we started talking about it, doesn't mean the problem has been solved.
These industry employees were brave enough to share their stories.
Help us help you! We have added a mental health survey for those working in the hospitality industry. Responses will remain completely anonymous. In the last few years many articles have been written about mental health issues in the hospitality industry, but not much statistical data has been put together to prove it. Please take 3 min out of your day to help us put that data together. Answers will help us create more accurate counseling services as well as give us access to more funding for our programs.
Please contact us anytime with any questions or feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org
Excerpt taken from an article by Kate Anticoli for the TenEleven Group:
Working In Hell's Kitchen
"Working in a restaurant is stressful. There's a lot of pressure to create and replicate dishes that meet the restaurant's standards. Flaring tempers are more common in this setting than in a traditional workplace. And working odd hours has more of an effect on a person's mental well-being than one might think. One chef noted when he gets home from work at 1am, it's lonely. His wife is asleep, as are most of his friends. But he's unable to immediately fall asleep as his mind is still racing after the fast pace of his restaurant shift.
Mental health and substance abuse often plague those in the restaurant world. Those eating in restaurants often forget that there is a person behind each meal that comes out of the kitchen. When that person inevitably makes a mistake, it can become exaggerated, especially when its shared with a lot of people on social media. These criticisms can have a negative effect on the mental health of those working in a restaurant. And when it's combined with working late hours and dealing with a harsher work environment, it affects their mental health even more.
To cope, restaurant workers often self-medicate. Substance abuse is extremely common in the restaurant world because partying is already a large part of their culture. There's easy access to alcohol and if the workers are looking for a place to unwind together after a shift, bars are the common option.
Self-medicating only gets them so far though. Eventually, many of those struggling with mental health and substance abuse problems turn to suicide as their ultimate solution. In 2016, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention listed chefs and food service workers as one of the top 20 professions with the highest suicide rates."
If you own a restaurant or small food business in NYC, let us come to you! We provide presentations on Mental Health First Aid for all staff members. Click below for more information or visit MHFA's site directly at mentalhealthfirstaid.org
Any questions? Email us at email@example.com
Use this tool as a starting point before speaking to a mental health professional. You can take the online screening at MentalHealthScreening.org
Remember to use these tools for educational purposes and not to replace counseling services. Please visit HealthyPlace.com
Remember to take our mental health survey by clicking here. All answers will remain anonymous and data collected will help us set up accurate services.