AUSTIN (KXAN) – The Texas Restaurant Association said Tuesday it will partner with a multinational healthcare company to make sure restaurant workers and their families have health care.

According to TRA, HealthiestYou by Teladoc Health is a bundle of physical and mental health services that every restaurant can provide to their employees and their families for $12 a month or $9 a month for TRA members.

Over 70% of restaurant workers report high levels of stress and burnout, and nearly one-third report symptoms of depression. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 34% of the leisure and hospitality workforce across the U.S. has access to healthcare benefits.

“Accessing health care has always been a challenge for our industry with a majority of operators being small business owners who seek a scalable solution in an environment built for large companies, oftentimes resulting in workers facing unaffordable premiums, or ineligibility due to part-time status,” Emily Williams Knight, TRA’s president and CEO, said in a statement to KXAN. “We do not have time to wait for change; we need to create change so we can protect and grow our industry’s most valuable asset—our people. Thanks to our Teladoc partnership, every Texas restaurant can afford a solution that delivers unlimited virtual physical and mental healthcare visits to their team members and their entire household.”

Pre-pandemic, TRA said about 41% of restaurant operators listed a workforce shortage as their number one problem. That number rose to 76% in 2022.

Restaurant and food service jobs made up about 10% of employment in our state in 2022, the TRA projected that number to grow by 16% by 2030.