What Happens to Restaurant Employees During Times of Distress? A Focus on Separation Strategies, Emotional Outcomes, and Drinking Behaviors


Alcohol use; Job insecurity; Life satisfaction; Loneliness; Restaurant employees; Separation strategies


This study examined the duration (in months) of an employee's separated work status (furloughed; laid off) and its impact on wellness and drinking behaviors. Structural Equation Modeling was used to analyze an individual's perceptions of loneliness, job insecurity, self-efficacy, and life satisfaction regarding their drinking behaviors after separating from their employer. Survey data from 671 responses revealed that perceptions of loneliness and job insecurity were significantly greater among furloughed employees than their laid-off counterparts. Also, both loneliness and job insecurity were found to increase drinking behaviors. Mediation analysis was also conducted of employees' perceptions of loneliness, job insecurity, and self-efficacy on the relationship between work status and drinking behavior. The current research extends our understanding of how separated work status influences employee wellness, life satisfaction, and drinking behaviors among hospitality employees and suggests thoughtful strategies to assist with feelings of loneliness and job insecurity during times of distress.

Publication Date


Original Citation

Hight, S. K., Kitterlin-Lynch, M., Cain, L., & Park, J.-Y. (2024). What happens to restaurant employees during times of distress? A focus on separation strategies, emotional outcomes, and drinking behaviors. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 117, N.PAG. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijhm.2023.103632.

Document Type




Source Title

International Journal of Hospitality Management




Rosen College of Hospitality Management


Rosen College of Hospitality Management

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