Hospitality Workers Health & Lifestyle

Hospitality Workers Health & Lifestyle

I’m a food service employee. I’ve always been interested in the parting and nightlife lifestyle, which takes place long after the tongs, spatula’s, and mops are set down for the night. Hospitality Workers Health & Lifestyle choices are true concerns for the loved ones of those enthralled in the Service industry.

Hospitality Workers Health & Lifestyle Choices For The Outsider

Restaurant employees are closer to each other than just mere co-workers.  Kitchens forge bonds between friends under the strain and duress of the fast-paced, high volume, heated kitchen unlike any other.

The old cliché of the line chef and cocktail waitress dating, living, & partying together still rings true to this day.

Like a doctor dating a nurse.

It often makes me wonder.

I have seen many relationships, between the formerly mentioned pair, that would have never otherwise been spurred, were it not for the common interest of their food service industry employment.  Not just their employment, but also their wish and desire to attend the nightly ritual of slugging down massive amounts of alcohol together.

It is very hard to avoid the bar when a pocket full of cash from the nightly tip out is burning a hole in your pocket. Especially after a stressful busy night, believe me.

Many of the friends that I had in those days, (the days I partook in the afterlife of the kitchen scene,) were friends that I thought I would never lose.

Friends that had the same routines as I.

Friends that are nowhere today, (I’ve been clean since 2013.)

It is unfortunate, however true, that the food service and hospitality industries breed a lot of drug addicts and alcoholics. How does this happen?

  • Is it the long hours of intense stress that the industry brings?
  • Is it the easy access to alcohol and drugs, seemingly everywhere around?
  • How about the lifestyle of a second shift work life?
Hospitality Workers Health & Lifestyle
Image credit: Concord90

Yes. I believe the drinking and drugging has to do with all of these reasons and more.

Hospitality Workers Lifestyle Choices

Long hours during the weekends or “High volume” periods, coupled with the intense stress the kitchen environment brings, makes unwinding after work a real challenge. Because of this, the fact that alcohol and drugs are rampant in the restaurant industry should be no surprise. Alcohol is readily available and anyone in the industry knows who to ask about their drug of choice.

“If the fry cook has the day off just ask the bartender.”

Add in the working of the second shift day after day, and you have a recipe for the bar hopping, club dancing, fast-paced nightlife.

Getting out of work at 10, 11, or even 12 o’ clock at night is not an easy thing. Is someone expected to just go right home after their shift ends close to midnight, eat a meal, and go straight to bed? This would be similar to a 9-5er going to bed at 7 o’ clock at night. Everyone needs an unwinding period after their work shift, no matter what business or industry they work in. Unfortunately for the hospitality worker, the bars are OPEN and hopping at their departure hour.

Furthermore, Alcohol is a choice that is made time and time again by employees that are “Wound for sound,” or “Ready to go,” when most of the world is lounging around in their pajama’s.

To say that it is not entirely the employee’s fault is an understatement. Restaurants have alcohol everywhere. Bartenders are surrounded by bottles of liquor just as chefs are. Seems like most people have no idea how often alcohol is used in kitchen’s and many recipes include alcohol as the star ingredient.

Is This True For Every Restaurant Employee?

The reality is, a Hospitality Workers Health & Lifestyle choices are entirely their own.

No.  Not every hospitality worker is an active drinker/drug user.

It is possible to be a restaurant/hospitality employee, finish up a shift and head home to relax, (without drinking or drugging.) Some great tips to help unwind after a second shift work environment without mind or mood altering substances follow.

  • Eat healthy (3-5 meals a day)
  • Exercise (Everyday before a shift)
  • Get sleep (8 hours just like anyone else)
  • Stay hydrated (Water, Water, Water!)
  • Keep your routine (It helps!)
Keeping a routine down and a healthy body with plenty of sleep, nutrients, vitamins, and hydration is key.

I usually get home, have a bite to eat, take a shower and veg for a bit. If my shift ends at 9, I can usually be in bed by midnight. This is not the case for many of my current co-workers. Ultimately, the choice is the individuals.

This routine has worked for me for a few years now and helps keep me feeling healthy and energized.

How many of you have ideas for keeping healthy and staying away from booze and drugs after a second or third shift?

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