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Taking Care of Hospitality Workers' Foot Health: How Sleepyhead Coffee Does It

Yu Kizawa


Long hours on foot put hospitality workers at risk of foot pain

Servers at restaurants, baristas at coffee shops - hospitality workers spend hours at a time on their feet, often on hard floors. According to Personnel Today, a survey found that almost 80% of hospitality and retail employees spend their shifts standing for up to 10 hours . About a third spend more than eight hours on their feet.

Those long hours on foot have a material impact on their health and wellbeing. About half of hospitality workers experience foot pain, and a quarter report that they’ve had to take time off work because of the physical impact of standing for long hours at work . About a third of them say the foot pain negatively impacted their mental health, too.

These are a critical piece of the labor puzzle for many restaurant and cafe operators, when the restaurant industry in many areas still experience labor shortages.

Taking care of baristas' foot health is good for business

Owners of small, local operations, like Brandon and Christian of Sleepyhead Coffee in Chattanooga, Tennessee, know what it’s like to keep working with tired feet, still with a smile for their customers - because they are often working alongside their employees.

Savvy employers like Brandon and Christian take care of employees’ wellbeing with PTO, health insurance, and other benefits. This approach has positive business impact:

  • Performance: Happier, healthier employees perform at their best

  • Staffing: They take less time off due to health problems related to their jobs

  • Turnover: Employees tend to stick around, forming high-performing teams

Taking care of employees’ wellbeing, especially in hospitality, includes taking care of employees’ hardworking feet - and it doesn’t have to cost the business a fortune. Here’s how Brandon and Christian provide relief to their baristas, providing Alleviate Arch Massagers in their back office for a quick foot massage on breaks.

[Video] How Sleepyhead Coffee uses Arch Massager

Brandon: Foot massager is like the greatest thing on earth - greatest thing since sliced bread!

I love a foot massage, and when I can do it myself for me, instead of asking my partner to do it, or paying for it? I mean, how much better can it get?

Brandon: Hey guys, I’m Brandon.

Christian: And I’m Christian.

Brandon: We own Sleepyhead Coffee.

Brandon: We’re here with the Alleviate Arch Massagers. They are incredible. We love them.

Christian: You may be wondering how a foot massager fits into a coffee shop. One thing that’s big for us is that we make sure that our employees are taken care of, whether that’s with PTO - we’re one of the only coffeeshops in Chattanooga that offer full-time employees benefits, whether that's insurance or paid time off.

Christian: Brandon and I started Sleepyhead Coffee back in 2019.

Brandon: It was with the intention of inviting in the community, whether you are an artist, a writer, a student, a friend, a mom, a dad, whatever you are, you could come into our space and exist, create, or just come into a nice serene space full of plants. That’s why we created Sleepyhead Coffee. Of course, there’s good coffee, and good house-made vegan pastries to enjoy while you are here.

Christian: Brandon had a pretty extensive coffee experience, and I brought the service experience at tables, so we combined forces and opened Sleepyhead to everyone.

Brandon: Obviously, we can’t have our employees barefoot behind the bar, or even in their socks behind the bar. So we have the Arch Massagers upstairs in our office at both our locations. After standing on your feet all day, when you need a break, you want to massage your feet.

Christian: We really value mental [and physical] health, and after standing on our feet 8, 9, 10 hours at a time, these foot massagers really help out.

Brandon: The best things about these Arch Massagers? First of all, they’re super-compact. You can close up the legs, you can drop it in your bag and you can take it to work. You can take it to the office. It’s really easy to use. It’s incredible.

Christian: Look how easy - bam, bam, and you’re right there to massage.

Take care of your team with the Arch Massager

Arch Massager was designed by our co-founder, Luke Ferdinands. A seasoned physical therapist who's treated thousands of patients - from ordinary people to elite athletes - and helped them recover from many forms of chronic pain, Luke invented the Arch Massager to give his patients a professional-grade tool to give themselves therapeutic foot massages at home.

To reduce soreness, release tension, and relieve pain after a long day on foot, use the two peaks and valley to target the sore areas on your foot. It takes just 2-3 minutes to feel the relief - quick enough during a scheduled break within a busy day.

If you are interested in supplying the Arch Massager to your employees, please contact us at We'd love to help your team!