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.
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.”
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 access to alcohol and we have 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
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. In addition, our industry has easy access to substances and normalizes high levels of consumption which are often adopted as coping mechanisms.
The founders of Not 9 to 5 are Hassel Aviles & Ariel Coplan. Hassel is an industry veteran that grew up working in foodservice until becoming a career entrepreneur. Ariel is an Executive Chef and restaurateur. Opening their own restaurants taught them each many valuable lessons, the most important, taking care of their mental health. Both were determined to create change and began to have thoughtful discussions focused around mental health which lead to their launch of Not 9 to 5 in April 2018.
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.