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Restaurants Prioritize Employee Emotional Wellness

A reporter at an alternative newsmagazine has been noticing a particular trend in the Portland, Oregon food scene. Many boutique restaurants, pop-ups, and food truck proprietors are intermittently closing their establishments to take needed times of rest.

According to reporter Jason Cohen, the pandemic has reset expectations in way that created space for such prioritizations of health and wellness. And unlike conventional wisdom, the customer isn’t always right. Cohen found several examples of owners making frank, impromptu social media posts or even posting physical signage explaining the need for sudden, unforeseen closings.

“CLOSED TODAY FOR CATERING. WE ARE NOT SORRY, WE GOTS TO GET THIS WORK WHEN WE CAN,” read a sign at Kim Jong Grillin. The food cart Poppyside said something similar last summer, “Closed August 3 to 6 to recharge and enjoy time with the people I love.”

Restaurant owner Maggie Irwin said, “I feel like post-pandemic, there’s been a much broader conversation around mental health in the workplace. We have so many repeat customers, and a lot of them that came in [after a closure] were like, ‘Hey, we saw your posts and like we’re so happy you guys did that. Like, it means a lot to us that you guys take care of yourself so you keep being in this neighborhood.’”

The article concluded with pensive note of positivity. “In the endless seesaw of work-life balance, consider this a win for life.”

Possible Preaching Angle:

Part of being diligent in our discipleship is taking time to rest our bodies, souls, and minds. As John Ortberg says, sometimes the most spiritual thing you can do is take a nap.

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