Not 9 to 5 is a non-profit global leader in mental health advocacy for the foodservice and hospitality sector. Through practical education and meaningful community-building, we are reimagining the industry by breaking stigmas and fuelling hope.
Our vision is a braver and more supportive workplace for all offering both physical and psychological safety.
Having worked in a variety of restaurants, bars, hotels plus other food and beverage businesses, our team recognizes that there are vast and necessary changes needed. Not 9 to 5 was created and developed by the industry for the industry to shift the workplace culture and increase psychological safety in kitchens, bars, restaurants and beyond. For too long workers have been told to "check their shit at the door" and this intolerance of vulnerability has created an environment of emotional suppression. The hospitality industry has easy access to substances and normalizes high levels of consumption which are often adopted as coping mechanisms.
Unlearning of archaic principles and reimagining of an equitable future safe for everyone that includes accountability. We must examine how our industry is built using systems of oppression to deplete and exploit people. All of us must work to eradicate racism, white supremacy, misogyny, transphobia, homophobia, discrimination, prejudice and binary thinking. Our industry must learn to work with an approach that is intersectional, anti-oppressive and focused on harm reduction treating everyone with dignity and respect.
There are challenges that are unique and extreme to the hospitality service industry including:
People who live with mental health and addiction challenges are drawn to our line of work and our industry has epidemic levels of both
Many jobs in restaurants and overall food and beverage service perpetuate unconventional hours, low pay, high-stress pressure, reliance on tips and a lack of healthcare benefits
There is easy direct access to alcohol and our industry has high rates of illicit substance use
The culture in our industry has traditionally been shaped around masochism where workers repress and suppress mental and emotional experiences
We chose Not 9 to 5 as our name to reflect the untraditional hours of our industry and the all-consuming nature of mental health and substance use challenges. Neither are confined to the hours of “9 to 5.”
Photo by Stacey Newman
Hassel Aviles - Executive Director
With over 20 years of experience in marketing and leadership in the food and beverage industry, Hassel Aviles has grown a fiery passion for restaurants, events and entrepreneurship. She created the Toronto Underground Market (TUM), a large-scale culinary festival designed as an incubator for food entrepreneurs, chefs and home cooks in 2011. Hassel successfully remained as founder and managing director for three years and led an executive committee as well as hundreds of volunteers. Since then, Hassel consulted and brought her extensive tactical large-scale event production experience to food festivals and conferences like Restaurant Canada's RC Show.
In 2018 after decades of struggling with anxiety, depression, trauma and grief, Hassel was inspired to co-found Not 9 to 5, a non-profit that empowers foodservice service workers like herself. As Not 9 to 5’s Executive Director, this industry vanguard has made it her mission to provide mental health and substance use support by mobilizing educational resources and advocate for psychological safety.
Hassel’s strategic planning abilities helped grow Not 9 to 5 from a series of workshops, panels and webinars into a global vehicle for change. Now, with CNECTing —Not 9 to 5’s online educational platform— Hassel aspires to start a world-wide hospitality revolution to create work environments that are inclusive and proactive, rather than top-down and reactive.