Francesca Hong is the owner of Morris Ramen on King Street. 

Bright Ideas are back! Leaders, innovators, entrepreneurs and people who are doing interesting things share their bright ideas for 2020 with the Cap Times. Find them posted here throughout the week and in print on Jan. 8.

I would love every restaurant, food and beverage shop in Madison to have a Service Industry Workers’ Day, where 5% of every bill goes to a health care fund.

Minneapolis has a nonprofit called Serving Those Serving. There are restaurants that put something on their bill: “This is an additional 4% that we use only for funding healthcare benefits for our employees.”

This would be a day where there would be a (notice) at every table that explains it’s a tip from you, the customer. Like, if you can give $2, this is something you can do today to serve those who are serving you.

My massive dream is a community care center where service industry people can go to find resources, whether it be joining group therapy or getting training in mental health or peer support. A lot of problems are common among industry members. It would be amazing if we had a center where people could go.

When it comes to mental health discourse in the service industry, it’s a diverse and complex array of problems. Not everything is going to be as simple as, “Here are some funds so you can go to the therapist today.” Whether it’s long-term care or addiction treatment, ongoing treatment for depression or anxiety, it’s so vast. Sometimes just knowing that there’s a little bit from someone else who cares can go a long way.

— as told to Lindsay Christians

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