Hospitality is all about putting the guest first. We are constantly trying to figure out new and better ways to exceed our customer’s expectations while also juggling a hundred other tasks. Working in bars and restaurants takes stamina. And working in the service industry has become even more challenging of late, due to COVID-19 and the ever-changing landscape of service during a pandemic. Hours are long, stress is high, and our minds and bodies are pushed to the limit. And a lot of time, past the limit. Whenever you feel such, you should visit Observer because they have the ingredient to help you cope up with this negativity.
In early 2020, Alex Jump and Lauren “LP” Paylor compared notes and saw something missing from the world of hospitality: work/life balance. For an industry that was so focused on taking care of their guests, it turns out we weren’t taking very good care of ourselves. By creating Focus on Health, (FOH, clever, right?) Alex and LP decided to take on hospitality grind culture and prove that there is a way to have both a long-lasting career and a life outside of the job.
Alex and LP have been working in bars, restaurants, and hotels for a combined seventeen years and have a personal understanding of what it means to be a hospitality professional. Originally from Chattanooga, Tennessee, Alex currently lives in Colorado where she is Head Bartender at Denver’s Death & Co. In Washington DC, LP has had an exciting career at award-winning venues such as The Dabney, and most recently at Silver Lyan, at the Riggs DC Hotel.
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Meet Our Founders! Alex Jump (@axljump) Alex Jump’s idea for FOH was formed through Bombay Sapphire’s Most Imaginative Bartender Competition and shaped from a life-long struggle with anxiety and depression. Sharing her struggle with mental health over the years had opened up a support system for her that she was not aware could exist and has allowed her to realize the importance and need for resources to be available to our industry. Alex is currently the Head Bartender at Death and Co. in Denver, Colorado, a Seedlip Brand Ambassador and is a dog mom to Julep. Lauren Paylor (@lpdrinksdc ) LP has also gone through her own journey of health and wellness. Turning to physical movement as a outlet from her day to day stresses she realized it impacted her overall wellness and allowed her to be intentional and mindful with her actions. Today, she spends her time creating diverse, inclusive and equitable spaces through her work with FOH and on her personal platform. She is currently the Seedlip Brand Ambassador in Washington, DC and a Safe Bars Trainer and is the dog mom to Dozer and Rufus. We are excited for you to learn about Focus on Health and the programs that we have created for each and every one of you. Follow along this week to learn more about what we offer and what we’re up to. Check out our website today! FOHEALTH.ORG #fohealth #wellness #health #foodandbeverage #bartenders #journey
The co-founders of FOH emphasize that balance cannot be achieved overnight. They are striving to supply tools and resources for our community and create systems that encourage healthy and sustainable habits. The process is not always easy. One of the first steps for Alex was “teaching myself how to have some separation from work in my life, which meant I had to overcome a lot of anxiety about my performance, how I was perceived as a coworker and an employee, or rather, how I thought I was being perceived.” Like most of us in hospitality, LP was surprised to see how inconsistent her priorities were before COVID-19. After about of pandemic depression, LP said, “I began doing P90x, eating a plant-based diet, gardening, playing music, and working on programming for FOH.” She found that making a plan that included measurable goals, a schedule and a mindset of authenticity and self-care aided in the creation of sustainable habits.
This fall, Focus on Health has teamed up with The Blend by Beam Suntory and produced six videos outlining a strategy and actionable steps to take toward health and wellness. Focus on Health is the first in a series of mentorship programming called Blends of the Virtual World on The Blend. In all six chapters, LP and Alex talk about their own struggles with mental and emotional well-being and invite you along with them on the journey to work/life balance. They call up experts in yoga and meditation to lend their expertise, lay out strategies for organization and routines, and explore mental health and therapy. Check out this series of important discussions from Focus on Health at TheBlend.world and at FOHealth.org
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