#34: How Restaurant Owners Can Support Employees to Reduce Stress in the Workplace

December 1, 2021 by David Scott Peters

The restaurant industry is known for being stressful and people who work in it tend to thrive in the fast-paced, adrenaline-fueled environment. It’s also known for being an industry where people turn to unhealthy coping mechanisms such as self-medication with alcohol, drugs, etc. It’s only grown worse since 2020 with the increased pressure on the industry to continue to serve in a global pandemic while most people were hunkered down in their homes.

In this episode of Restaurant Prosperity Formula, I’m talking with Azizi Marshall, Founder and CEO of the Center for Creative Arts Therapy. Azizi helps empower businesses and organizations to reduce turnover, increase employee satisfaction, engagement and retention, reduce stress, increase resilience and improve mental well-being so everyone can thrive. She's been featured in Oprah Magazine, on CNN, NBC News, Thrive Global, Bustle, Reader's Digest, The Huffington Post, Chicago Tribune and Glancer Magazine.

She developed “Workplace Wellness,” a two-hour workplace mental health training that I highly recommend for restaurant owners. During our conversation, we cover some very important topics, such as how to support employees’ mental health, the importance of creating a supportive work environment and how it all ties into retention. Plus, get tips for managing your own mental health that go beyond the popular “self-care” activities. While mental health as a topic tends to have a negative stigma, there is no denying that the restaurant industry could benefit from adopting healthier practices. As Azizi says, take care of yourself so you can take care of others.

Listen in on our conversation where we talk about:

  • The mental health challenges she sees in the restaurant industry
  • The contributing factors from the tight timelines to the stressed-out customers
  • How these challenges were present before the pandemic but have exploded since
  • The dangers of masking stress and anxiety with alcohol, drugs and other crutches
  • How people may be releasing their anxiety after months and months of trauma
  • How this is affecting the labor market for the restaurant industry
  • How you can recognize and support team members who may be struggling
  • The benefits of acknowledging and supporting mental health needs in your restaurant
  • Examples of common and not-so-common mental health challenges and behaviors

I was inspired to talk to Azizi for this episode because she is somebody who really could make a difference in the restaurant industry. Increasing your awareness of mental health challenges and solutions is an important responsibility as a restaurant owner and leader of your business. Not only does it have the potential to help you and the people who work for you, but it also helps your business. If you would like to learn more about Azizi’s two-hour online training program, you can find the details here.


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