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Ben's Friends

National Restaurant Consultants takes a look at alcoholism and recovery in the restaurant and hospitality industries

By Sarah Ann Noel - May 16, 2019

Our restaurant consultants in Denver and Phoenix have worked in the industry all around the world, including in New York, Los Angeles, and Denver establishments where food is a popular attraction and the nightlife is prime. Anyone familiar with the work of the late Anthony Bourdain knows of the darker side of the restaurant industry--the stress, the hours, and the substances restaurant workers may turn to to alleviate these hardships. 

Recently, our CEO Richard Weil stumbled upon a related article on Poached, about alchoholism and recovery in the restaurant industry. It sheds light on the use of alcohol among restaurant employees.

"After a long and busy shift, blowing off steam can be a necessity and for a long time, turning to alcohol has been an easy option. In some ways, it’s just natural in our industry since we’re always around it: we serve alcohol all day, we traditionally get a shift drink after every shift and we work odd hours where only a few establishments remain open by the time we clock out — most of which are bars," writes Ashley Lange.

It makes it easy to see the why and how behind restaurant employees' alcohol use; but the next question is, what can be done about it?

Thanksfully, Lange's Poached article offers up a great solution: a support group known as Ben's Friends. 

"Ben’s Friends participates in the conversation on alcohol and substance abuse in the Food and Beverage industry by creating a safe space for those in recovery and offering support through acceptance, dialog and community," says Lange. 

Her article goes on to encourage restaurant owners and managers to keep an eye on things.
"As a restaurant owner or manager, there are constructive ways to encourage a healthier lifestyle for your employees and it can all start by laying out expectations and not turning a blind eye when you notice an employee who is drinking on the job, clocking on intoxicated, or even frequently showing up hungover. In instances like this, Bakst believes having an open conversation is a great start to being supportive."

Please take time to read the full article here, and you can learn more about Ben's Friends here. Our restaurant consultants are experts in restaurant operations, a lot of which is reliant on dependable, healthy employees. Contact a restaurant consultant today to help make sure your staff is at its best.

Photo by Michael Discenza on Unsplash