Alcohol Abuse in the Restaurant Industry? Surely You Jest.

 

In a link from the Restaurant News Resource yesterday, The Wichita Business Journal is reporting that according to a 2006 study, nearly 15% of restaurant and hospitality workers have difficulties with alcohol.

The study also notes:

  • More than 18 percent of workers between ages 18 and 25 have an alcohol problem.
  • Proximity to and availability of alcohol, coupled with workplace culture, make alcohol abuse more prevalent.

I can’t say I’m surprised by this study, except for how low the numbers seem to be, as I would have imagined them higher – perhaps closer to 30%. Hospitality is one of the most difficult industries out there. Restaurants workers, both front and back of the house, work long shifts that are mentally and physically demanding. After a while, they can become emotionally demanding, and a drink at the end of the night looks pretty good.

The survey mentions the effect of abuse on the business side of things, stating:

An average of 9 percent of U.S. employees drink enough to drive up absentee rates and health care costs, and hurt productivity.

Do you think the results are accurate? The survey suggests that it may be a result of less supervision. Would you agree or disagree?