DENVER – Anyone who has worked in a restaurant knows the work can be nasty.
Chief Troy Guard, owner of Denver’s Guard and Grace, called it controlled chaos.
“Everybody comes in and they want to eat, they want to eat on time,” Garda said.
From rude customers to late hours to inconsistent schedules, servers and other staff 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,” Garda said.
Roja and a growing number of restaurant bosses are acknowledging the mental health needs of their employees. Colorado Restaurant Foundation President Laura Shunk said more employees began identifying mental health as a concern after the pandemic.
“We had a fund during the pandemic that was for people who were laid off or underemployed, and when we saw that mental health was becoming such a hot topic for this industry, we expanded that fund to cover health care mentally,” Shunk said.
The fund provides $1,000 per employee for inpatient or outpatient care. Shunk said more restaurants are also offering paid time off, health insurance and other benefits to workers.
The guard said he also encouraged employees to contact the young woman 988 mental health line. He wants staff to know that help is available and that it’s okay to take time for themselves.
“We call her Ohana,” said the Guard. “I’m from Hawaii, Ohana means family.”