Restaurant That Gives Second Chances To People In Recovery Gets Rave Reviews

Restaurant That Gives Second Chances To People In Recovery Gets Rave Reviews 1

DV8 Kitchen provides a supportive, flexible work environment to ensure employees are “meeting their goals and staying on a good path.”

One restaurant is not only giving people in recovery a second chance—they’re doing it incredibly well.

DV8 Kitchen, which was recently featured in The Fix, opened last September, but it’s already garnered rave reviews and five stars on Yelp.

All 25 employees at DV8 are in recovery from substance use disorder. Co-owner Rob Perez himself has 28 years of recovery. “I was a binge drinker. I didn’t have to drink everyday but when I did, I would frequently get out of control,” he told The Fix.

With his Lexington, Kentucky eatery, Perez has created a workplace that caters to recovery. “Our staff don’t leave programs or meetings or houses and come to a foreign environment 40 hours a week, they come to a place where we all speak the same language, have the same customs, and discussions, so it’s a 24/7 program,” said Perez.

The restaurant functions around the needs of the employees. For example, as Perez explained to the Dayton Daily News, DV8 does not open for dinner service so that employees may attend meetings, and tips are split evenly and added to paychecks instead of giving out cash.

Schedules are flexible and work to fit in mandatory appointments for court or treatment centers, and each Tuesday a guest speaker comes in, covering topics including health and wellness, financial responsibility, teamwork and mindfulness.

The restaurant works in partnership with treatment centers, where most new employees are hired from. “We work in tandem with the sober living houses to ensure the employee is meeting their goals and staying on a good path,” Perez told The Fix.

Perez is well aware that, whether they like it or not, DV8 has something to prove. It’s more than a restaurant, it’s a chance to show people that “second chance” doesn’t mean “second rate.”

See also  "Social Equity" Program To Help Those Impacted By Drug War In Massachusetts

Hoping to establish a higher standard for his restaurant, employees are paid 20% more than they would get at similar fast-casual restaurants, resulting in less turnover and better service, Perez told the Daily News.

“I think that the customers see a different face of recovery. It is about helping the folks that work here,” Perez told the Daily News. “But it’s also about helping the general public understand that the recovery community is worth a shot. The recovery community can perform good work.”

Perez believes that with hard work comes self-respect. “When you do a job with quality, you build self respect, self-esteem and pride in a craft you’re developing,” he told The Fix. “In recovery, we need a support system and an accountability system. And the camaraderie you get out of a job when you have common interests, backgrounds and circumstances, is pretty powerful.”

View the original article at

By The Fix

The Fix provides an extensive forum for debating relevant issues, allowing a large community the opportunity to express its experiences and opinions on all matters pertinent to addiction and recovery without bias or control from The Fix. Our stated editorial mission - and sole bias - is to destigmatize all forms of addiction and mental health matters, support recovery, and assist toward humane policies and resources.