Cover The team behind MyBurgerlab has been working tirelessly from through the first MCO to now

Founder Chin Renyi said he had no choice but to take a break for the good of his team

Ever since the pandemic began, MyBurgerLab team has been working tirelessly through the rigours of various restrictions imposed by the different Movement Control Orders. Despite the challenges, they had remained positive and resilient.

But the uncertainties are starting to take its toll. This worried founder Chin Renyi who raised the Mental Health Awareness Red Flag and announced on July 15 that he would close all stores from July 26 - 30 to gives his team a much-needed break, with paid leave.

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“Honestly, we are mentally defeated. For the last 483 days since MCO1.0 started, we persevered and held on, but enough is enough. In the last five to six weeks, we observed cracks within our organisation. Even the toughest of us find it hard to hold our heads up on the best of days,” Chin says in a Facebook post.

This decision may surprise many, especially other restaurants who are struggling to make ends meet. But Chin says a break is necessary for the good of his business.

In his post, Chin relates how his team members have spent over 400 days working in an environment similar to a pressure cooker without a release valve. He details how each department, from central kitchen to finance, has been pushed beyond their limits, dealing with the extra work responsibility brought by the pandemic.

“Let's forget about profitability and hustle culture for a moment. What good is profit or breaking even if our team suffers long-term emotional damage from pushing too hard just to 'stay alive'?” Chin says.

“Some might say: 'Wow, you can afford to close when others want to open?' Here's my answer: 'It's not that we can afford to close. It's that we can't afford to lose our people.'"

See also: Mental Health In A Pandemic: 4 Things You Should Remember

Chin stresses that the five-day break is not meant to be a long-term solution, but it is the least he can do now. Apart from taking a breather from work routine, the break will also be spent reassessing how to move forward with his company.

He hopes that in the days leading up to what he calls their Mental Health Closure Week, customers will still support them through delivery. “Or rock up to our door, and place an order. It would mean a great deal to us. Take care, stay safe and get yourself vaccinated,” Chin concludes.

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