Content warning: this episode contains discussions about addiction, substance abuse disorder, alcoholism, and drug use.
Today we’ve got an episode about addiction in the restaurant industry. While alcoholism affects people in every line of work, it’s particularly prevalent in the restaurant world, and the surging opioid crisis has also made its way into the kitchens and dining rooms of our industry.
We spoke to three people who each have a different experience with these issues, and we learned about the barriers restaurant workers face in getting treatment and living sober. We also got some perspectives on what restaurant owners and managers can do to create safer environments and help employees struggling with addiction.
Get to know our guests:
Carrie Neal Walden is a former server who has been sober since 2016 and now works for Ben’s Friends, a support group for restaurant workers who struggle with addiction. She’s also a sponsor to many newly-sober restaurant industry workers. She shares her story of recovery on her blog, A Life Filled with Pink.
Shaaren Pine is a former server, bartender, and manager who started the NGO Restaurant Recovery after watching her now ex-husband, a lifelong restaurant worker, struggle with alcoholism. Restaurant Recovery connects those in the industry who struggle with addiction with resources like support groups, family support, and help with the financial and insurance aspect of getting treatment.
Brandi Estrada is a social worker and restaurant and beverage industry lifer who started the NGO Bar Harm. Through Bar Harm, she teaches workshops on substance abuse and administering Narcan to restaurant staff and management, and provides many more community resources.
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Our theme song is Leopard, from Filmstro.
Renovating Restaurants [S2E10]
[Staff Series #1] Irene Li Constantly Trains Her Staff, and They Stick Around
[Staff Series #2] How Ciro Fodera is Breaking Down the Front- and Back-of-House Divide
[Staff Series #3] Erin Wade on Creating a Safe, Inclusive Restaurant Work Environment (S2E2 Rebroadcast)
[Staff Series #4] When Hiring, Steven Darwin Goes With His Gut
[Staff Series #5] How Leslie Ciccone Retains Staff at (swah-rey) with Constant Kindness
[Staff Series #6] Logan Hostettler Uses Cross-Training and Communication to Keep Staff Happy
[Staff Series #7] Ryan Egozi Hires for Team Culture First (S2E6 Rebroadcast)
TRAILER: The Garnish Staff Series
Eric Cacciatore of Restaurant Unstoppable [S2E9]
Joanne Chang, Charles Bililies, and Emiliana Puyana on Funding a Restaurant [S2E8]
Parenthood in Restaurants [S2E7]
Restaurant Architect Justin Alpert on Accessibility and Hospitality [S2E5]
Gratuity-Free Restaurants [S2E4]
Danny Meyer and the Value of Emotional Intelligence in Restaurants [S2E1]
Restaurant Trends from NYC [S1E12]
Eric Papachristos of Porto, Trade, & Saloniki [S1E11]
Michael Farid of Spyce on Robots in Restaurants [S1E10]
Tom Schlesinger-Guidelli of Alcove [S1E9]
Code and preview