Service Industry Workers Still Struggling Through COVID-19 Despite Latest Stimulus
The COVID-19 pandemic has been hard on many businesses, especially the service industry. Even though many states gradually opened their restaurants to full capacity, the employees are still struggling.
Specifically, bartenders and servers are struggling to make ends meet during this pandemic. The scavenger hunt for tips is brutal, and many are getting stiffed by their tables.
It’s as if the lockdown has made customers forget how to be kind, patient and understanding. While their worlds are getting back to normal, the world of bartending and serving continues to struggle during this time.
How Is The Service Industry Dealing With Cleanliness?
I figured I would skip straight to what you all care about most- the cleanliness of restaurants during COVID-19. Is the service industry implementing the appropriate precautions during this pandemic? Well, I can’t speak for every single restaurant out there. However, from personal experience, these restaurants aren’t completely germ-free. There’s too much room for user-error.
Now, I’m not saying restaurants are some pigsties playing ponzi scheme, but they aren’t perfect. Cooks and servers may or may not be wearing masks correctly, your food *might* have graced your servers finger, and your silverware might be a little dirty. It’s just how the biz goes.
So, if you think your take-out order is completely safe from COVID germs, you may want to think again and cook at home. While the restaurants aren’t dirty, there’s still a ton of room for user error.
I mean, did you really think your server who makes $2.13 an hour is handling your food like a sterilized surgeon?
How Are The Tips Looking?
Some of you may have guessed it- tips have kind of sucked lately. Sure, you’ll get the occasional phenomenal tipper, but I’m mostly seeing 15% tips in the service industry during post-pandemic.
Admittedly, I work at the bar, so I’m seeing a bit higher tips. I typically find that I’m making around 20%-25%. However, my server coworkers are getting stiffed left and right.
The glaringly obvious of this situation sucks because it highlights people’s mindsets when it comes to tipping. “I don’t really know you, so I can get away with this.” Whereas I see many regulars, and strangers, who feel that I’ve built a relationship with them as I’m able to stay in their vicinity for longer.
So let me be perfectly clear: your servers deserve your tips. If they have to deal with your hangry attitude, then you have to deal with paying their wages. I hate that the restaurant business is set up this way, but it is what it is.
And if you don’t like it, McDonalds is probably right around the corner.
Speaking of customer attitudes – they’ve gotten worse. I thought the pre-pandemic Karen’s were bad.
The lockdown made them angry, and the reopening made them feel entitled to their anger.
God forbid their drinks take 0.5 seconds longer than normal, or the kitchen messes up an order. I’ve even heard customers complain about their servers not appearing happy enough- as if they don’t have a giant piece of cloth covering their smiles.
Then you get the tried and true, “I can’t afford to tip.” This mindset has been an issue long before the pandemic started, and I would love to see it end soon. Kindly, if you can’t afford to tip, you shouldn’t eat somewhere that’s out of your price range. If we get rid of tipping in the U.S., the server’s hourly wages will then be factored into the total cost of your meal. There’s no escaping it, but sadly, there are many freeloaders who take advantage of this system.
And the pandemic only gives them one more excuse to attempt to justify their shitty actions.
If you’ve ever worked in the service industry, you’ll know that calling in sick is a no-go. Sure, you can do it, but you’ll probably find yourself without a job in the near future.
Sadly, this hasn’t changed much during the pandemic.
While restaurants want to put on a brave face and say with absolute certainty that none of their servers or bartenders currently have COVID, they can’t actually make that promise. Only some perform temperature tests on their employees before work, and many still will not accept COVID as an excuse to miss work.
They’ll say, “You need to go get a rapid COVID test, and then we’ll talk.” Which is fine, as long as you have insurance. And we all know how that goes in America.
Additionally, rapid COVID tests are not as effective as the real deal, and this can continue to put unsuspecting employees and customers at risk.
So, tip your bartenders and servers well. Understand that no restaurant has this down to a perfect science. Be kind to those around you.
We’re all struggling here, and patience and grace is always appreciated.