by Carolyn Alburger
@CarolynAlburger Feb 28, 2020, 11:00am EST
From capped working hours to peer-to-peer counseling, restaurant owners and managers are working hard to help their staff feel safe and stable.
Twenty years ago, a restaurant owner at highly acclaimed Charleston, South Carolina, restaurant Peninsula Grill gave his manager, Steven Palmer, two options: go to rehab or quit. Palmer — a promising young restaurant professional — was struggling with an all-consuming addiction to cocaine and alcohol. After going out seven days a week until 4 or 5 a.m. for 10 years, Palmer started what he called a difficult journey through Alcoholic Anonymous 12-Step program. What he faced when he returned to restaurants was also daunting.
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“The general stigma at that time was that you absolutely cannot be sober in the hospitality industry,” Palmer says. “The sober life in a kitchen was very lonely back then.”