How Addiction Has Affected The Restaurant Industry
Those who work within the restaurant, and general hospitality industry, from maids to bartenders, cooks to wait staff, will all be only too familiar with the fact that their chosen profession entails delivering a high standard of professional service to customers at a relentless pace. What isn’t so well known however, is the fact that providing that service, day in and day out, can take its toll on the mental health of those working within the industry. It’s also not well known that due to that stress and undeniable strain on the mental health of the workers within the restaurant and entire hospitality industry, addiction is becoming more and more prevalent behind the scenes.
Alcohol Addiction In The Restaurant & Hotel Sector
Alcohol is perhaps the most prevalent issue within the restaurant and hotel sector, so much so that it’s considered an ‘open secret’. An addiction journal from 1994 even commented on the fact that those who worked within these sectors had a much higher consumption rate of alcohol, than those who didn’t. More recently in 2008, the George Washington University Medical Centre carried out research via government data which revealed a whopping 15% of hospitality employees suffered from ‘alcohol related problems’.
When you consider that in restaurants, alcohol can make up to 30% of the establishments sales, it’s clear to see that access would be extremely easy. Simply help yourself to take the edge off a long shift and keep yourself going on those tired feet.
Anthony Bourdain himself, an award winning chef, mentioned in his 2000 memoirs that kitchens were insular and chaotic, often feeling dangerous and distressing to work in and were also drenched in alcohol.
Stress In The Kitchen?
Is it any wonder that stress is felt so intensely within professional kitchens, given employees often spend more time there than they do their own homes? Whether it’s due to low wages or incredibly high living costs, those within the hospitality industry find themselves having to cover extra shifts or even volunteer for overtime in order to top up their wages, leading to a great deal of stress and anxiety. With alcohol already on the premises however, it’s all too easy for people to enjoy a tipple here and there in order to keep them going through the stress and strain.
With the nature of the work being what it is, there’s sadly no change on the horizon for those employees who then find themselves continually ‘supplementing’ their shifts with a little alcohol here and there. What was an initial ‘one-off pick me up’ becomes a constant habit.
While many would argue that employees should be addressing these issues with their employers, it’s sadly not that easy for most who have a string of people waiting to take their positions, many of whom are on zero contract hours, and can replace them within minutes. As a result, stressed employees simply put up with the high octane and often never-ending pace and simply continue to make themselves ‘feel better’ with alcohol.
Issues Being Addressed
Thankfully, restaurants, hotels and other hospitality facilities are now doing their best to address these issues as growing addiction forces change. Many are now recognising the combination of stress and easy access to alcohol as being one of the biggest downfalls within the industry. It’s also this acknowledgement that signs a huge desire from those in power within the industries for change.
One of the biggest steps being taken is by managers looking at workplace training to help them recognise not only the signs of alcoholism but also abuse and burnout. This isn’t simply to help change the culture but also help them provide a more supportive environment for their employees.
Infinity Addiction Solution is a widely known provider of workplace training, offering training for both management and employees. Their workplace training can help restaurants and other hospitality venues take active steps toward changing the quite often toxic culture, to a more supportive culture, removing the easy access to alcohol and providing staff with a less stressful and harmful environment.
They can do this via their Drug & Alcohol Misuse Training as well as their Drug & Alcohol Workplace Policies, Workplace Testing and even their Supporting Employees training services. By providing more guidance for both management and employees, the hospitality sector will be better armed to tackle the current effect that addiction has on its industry and turn this around once and for all.
Without the necessary training and active change in culture, this continued dependence on alcohol, for those working within the restaurant and hospitality industry will continue to worsen, affecting not only those working within it but the industry as a whole.
Contact Infinity Addiction Solution
If your restaurant or hospitality facility would like to introduce workplace training, on both a management or employee level, we recommend contacting Infinity Addiction Solutions today on 0800 334 5541. Their workplace training will ensure you can provide a supportive culture within your hospitality setting to help those who need it most and more importantly, avoid an addiction infused environment in the first place.
With treatment facilities and staff throughout London and Essex, Infinity Addiction Solution can provide you with in-house training throughout the South East and help you take steps towards the clean and supportive environment you strive for.