Kick Starting Wellness in Restaurants

Starting a new wellness program or initiative can be a challenging thing to do in any workplace, and even more challenging whenHR-Wellness-Programs you work in a restaurant. With employees working across multiple shifts, and having inconsistent schedules, it can be difficult to get everyone on the same page. Here are some basic tips for getting your restaurant’s wellness program off the ground.

Tips for Getting Started

  1. Survey Employees. The most successful programs are built around the interests of those who will be participating.
  2. Create a Budget. Wellness programs can require a financial investment by the employer, but there are often resources that are available either as a complimentary service, or for relatively low cost, by community organizations and health insurance companies to help you keep your costs down
  3. Find a Focus. If available, talk to your health plan carrier about information or reporting you may be able to receive regarding the high-risk conditions that are affecting your specific population.
  4. Design a Plan. Decide what you want to accomplish with your program (healthy eating, getting more exercise, managing stress). Once you have a goal set you can build a program around it.
  • Contests & Challenges
  • Newsletters
  • In-house Trainings such as Lunch & Learn Sessions
  • Message Boards
  • Biometric Screenings
  • Smoking Cessation Programs
  • Flu Vaccinations

What are Other Restaurants Doing?

  1. Taking a more casual approach to wellness. Restaurants that have not yet set a formal wellness program in place encourages and incentivizes employees to participate in healthy activities like local races, fitness memberships, and active team building exercises.
  2. Focusing their wellness programs around healthy mental state and positive thinking, healthy eating, fitness, and education about the company’s medical plan.
  3. Offering financial incentives to encourage healthy living. They use annual biometric screenings for glucose and cholesterol levels, encourage smoking cessation, and provide discounts on insurance premiums to employees and families that participate.
  4. Incentivizing biometric screenings to employees, but also giving their locations the freedom to choose how to explore wellness in a way that suits those employees.
  5. Providing financial incentives every six months of participation, which must be used on wellness purchases such as gym membership, running shoes, entering a local race, etc.

Wellness programs are a great way to improve company morale and show employees that their health is important to their employer. Keep an open line of communication with your team to make sure you continue moving forward in a way that will make employees excited to engage.


Dr. John E. Aoki, M.D. CHCQM, FABQAURP Chief Medical Officer

Dr. John E. Aoki, M.D. CHCQM, FABQAURP
Chief Medical Officer

Brought to you by HMAA, where we’re passionate about your health. To find out more about the HMAA health plan, visit or contact our Customer Service Department. For information on our menu of wellness services, please contact Naomi Azama at (808) 791 -7607 or


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