Ken Burgin

Health & Wellness Guide

Health and Wellness Guide for Restaurant & Cafe Staff – Sample

Our employees often lead high-stress lives: long hours, heat, tension and a lack of proper breaks or time to unwind. It’s the nature of hospitality, but we can’t ignore the negative effects on health and wellness if we are going to fix the problems of staff shortages and our failure to attract career-minded people.

The broader issues of health and wellness also underpin concerns about mental health – the old saying ‘a healthy body means a healthy mind’ still applies. We can’t insist on staff changing their eating, sleeping and socialising habits, but we can set expectations and offer support for living a happy, healthy and productive life.

Use this sample guide to create your own posters, checklists and training material – rewrite or edit as needed. Remember our staff are usually very visual, so use a design system like Canva to make it look fun and attractive. It can be a powerful part of your recruitment material, to attract the type of staff you really want – good people want to work in a business with high standards.

Some of this is ambitious, but when has positive change not come from some discomfort and extra effort?

Restaurant Health & Wellness Guide

  1. Drink plenty of water. Staying well-hydrated is essential for your productivity, energy levels and health. It helps you stay alert and promotes clear thinking. Water is always available – enjoy it regularly.
  2. Wash your hands often. We’re in the business of food & beverage, so hygiene is a top priority. People are anxious about Covid, and we need to set an example. Wash your hands after going to the toilet or sneezing and coughing. Also, after preparing food, or touching dirty cups, glasses and plates, or after cleaning.
  3. Cut out cigarettes and vapes. Everyone knows it’s bad for health, and hospitality workers smoke twice as much as people in other industries! About 2 in 5 in this industry, compared with less than 1 in 6 elsewhere. Talk to others who have quit and ask for help – we will support you! Vaping is just another way to keep you hooked on nicotine.
  4. Stay away from drugs of all types. Not only is it against the law and our staff rules, but it also destroys your mind and body – you have seen the damage it causes.
  5. Limit your alcohol intake. We sell rich food and alcohol – neither of them is good for you if too much is consumed. We tell customers they should be used in moderation – that applies to staff as well. Avoid late-night drinking – if you have a problem with drinking talk to your manager and we will help.
  6. Get help for gambling problems – it’s an expensive addiction that keeps many people poor, from online betting, poker and slot machines. If you want to kick the habit, there are plenty of services available.
  7. Stay away from people who are ill. We want you to be able to work at full strength – don’t let the team down by coming to work if you have caught illness from someone else. This particularly applies to Covid. Let your manager know in plenty of time to cover your shift, rest and get better.
  8. Eat well, and eat regularly – breakfast, lunch and dinner. We provide a staff meal – make sure to enjoy it. When it gets busy, good nutrition will help you work with more energy – it will be easier, and the time will pass more quickly.
  9. Cut down on sugar and fatty food. We sell great desserts, but again, keep it in moderation. Most people get most of their sugar hits from soft drinks and soda – limit these to one per day. Sugar gives you a short-term lift and then a big energy crash.
  10. Limit your coffee intake. Yes, we all love coffee, but remember to drink it and other caffeinated beverages in moderation. This includes a lot of energy drinks.
  11. Take breaks, and get some fresh air. This gives you a daily dose of vitamin D, and helps you recharge – a change of scenery is good for the mind, body and soul.
  12. Sleep well. That means a good night’s sleep to recharge your energy. If you’re working on a late shift, make sure you sleep in the next day, and get at least 6 hours of solid sleep. Naps are good for shift workers – if you’re on late, have an afternoon nap to get ready.
  13. Practise safe sex – condoms, contraception, sexually transmitted diseases and abortion are all part of modern life. Respect yourself and your partners.
  14. Walk more. Get off the bus a block before your destination and walk the last part of your journey. Or walk early morning or on the weekend – you will feel more energised, lose some weight and the oxygen will help you feel more positive. Everyone can walk!
  15. Ask for help if you need it. We can help you find professional help, and a lot is available via Medicare. These discussions with your manager are strictly confidential.

Give out a Health & Wellness Guide in your Welcome Pack for new staff and make each section a topic for regular reminders and explanation. Promote the positives as well as the ‘do not’ reminders.

See also >> Staff health and wellness means more speed and productivity.

🤚 Check the weekly discoveries on Hospo Reset – information & inspiration for restaurant, cafe & foodservice operators.

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