How the Pandemic Has Affected Restaurant Workers

The Covid-19 pandemic has changed life for everyone in many different ways. People lost loved ones, their homes, and their jobs. It has been hard to adjust to a new reality when no one knows what will happen. After the lockdown, when the world first tried to go back to normal, restaurant employees were some of the first to go back out there. They began experiencing the new reality at an extremely fast pace. Not many realize how the pandemic has affected restaurant workers.


The reality


When restaurants closed their doors and transitioned only to delivery or pickup, many employees lost their jobs. Some of them applied for unemployment and survived on that paycheck. But others chose to change careers and applied for jobs in different industries. Not everyone wanted to go back to serving, cooking, hosting, and bartending as the world opened back up. They realized there was a different life they wanted to be living. The pandemic changed their perspective.


According to News 4 Jax, there were several reasons why this happened. Among those, they listed money, benefits, better jobs, and customers. They interviewed employees who had changed career paths, and many of them said they would not go back to the restaurant industry. The truth is they were realizing the injustices this type of job carries and were now free to change the way things were going for them before the pandemic.


One of them said, “The workplace is not what it used to be because of the shortage of employees due to the pandemic. The employees that are working are making the same little pay and taking on tons of extra work. That’s what is driving a lot of workers out. And even with the small pay increase, it still doesn’t compensate for the amount of work that you will have to do now.”


My reality


Those of us who went back to the restaurant business could immediately tell things would not be the same. Even now, after a year of reopening and dealing with different variants of the disease, things have not entirely gone back to “normal” or what we were used to. Many restaurants still struggle to hire new employees, while others have many workers but not enough customers.


For me, going back to the restaurant I work for was a challenge. I did not know what to expect and rapidly realized every day was going to be different. You can no longer tell which days will be busy and which ones will be slow. You cannot expect to predict how much money you might make that night or month. It is a constant hit or miss.


I understand why some chose to completely change their careers and stay at jobs that promise a more stable paycheck. I also understand why some of them do not want to deal with customers anymore. Sadly, this pandemic has brought out the worst in some people. Those working in customer service have had to deal with it the most. When they sit at our tables, some people forget we are going through the exact same thing, and the pandemic has affected us just as much. Where is the compassion everyone always talks about?


Effects of the pandemic

Covid-19 has caused chaos among everyone in every aspect of our lives. The sad reality is that most individuals have forgotten about this and believe they are the only ones affected by what is happening around us. But we are all going through this. Some of us experience the effects of the pandemic daily by working jobs that put us in front of the public, dealing with situations we were not prepared for, and trying to give answers we do not have. It is important to remember how the pandemic has affected restaurant workers, how it has affected all of us.

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