Not 9 to 5 is a non-profit global leader in mental health advocacy for the foodservice sector. Through practical education and meaningful community-building, we are reimagining the industry by breaking stigmas and fuelling hope.
Our vision is a safe, supportive workplace for all in consideration of both physical and mental health.
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 emotions 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 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. From there until the pandemic hit in 2020, Hassel consulted and brought her extensive tactical large-scale event production experience to music festivals like Field Trip and conferences like Restaurant Canada's RC Show.
These days, Hassel's passion for the industry is seen through her work as the Executive Director of Not 9 to 5 and Principal Consultant heading all hospitality and culinary work at Reunion Inc., an Ovare Group-owned business transformation consultancy.