Working in a Restaurant Can Be Toxic for Mental Health

Customers in restaurants expect the people who work there to always have a smile on their face and be respectful to their needs. Yet, too often customers don’t give the same kindness and respect back. Chef Adam Hyndman-Smith, who owns Dispatch Restauraunt in St. Catharines with his wife Tamara Jens, says the food service industry has to change and start protecting their employees. Adam says those smiling faces are often covering mental health and physical stress that is rampant in the industry. It’s not just verbal abuse from unhappy diners. Women, who are the majority of front of house staff, often experience unacceptable touching, flirting and sexual abuse. Long hours on the job has also led to a culture of drinking and drug use to wind down at the end of the day.

These non-profits have mental health resources: