DENVER – Anyone who has worked in a restaurant knows the job can be a grind.
Chef Troy Gard, owner of Denver’s Preserve and Grace, calls it controlled chaos.
“Everybody wants to come in and eat, they want to eat on time,” Gard said.
From rude customers to late hours to inconsistent schedules, servers and other employees can burn out faster than workers in other industries.
“You have to find that balance, or you’re going to burn out no matter what you do,” the guard said.
Patron and a growing number of restaurant bosses are recognizing the mental health needs of their employees. Colorado Restaurant Foundation President Laura Schunk said after the outbreak, more employees began identifying mental health as a concern.
“During the pandemic, we had a fund for people who were laid off or out of a job, and as we see mental health becoming a major topic in this industry, the funding covers mental health care,” Schunk said.
The fund provides $1,000 for inpatient or outpatient care for any employee. Schunk said more restaurants are offering employees paid leave, health insurance and other benefits.
The guard also said he encouraged the staff to reach for the new one. 988 mental health line. He wants employees to know that help is available, and that it’s okay to take time for themselves.
“We call it “Ohana,” said the guard, “I’m Hawaiian, “Ohana means family.”