Anyone who has spent any time working in the service industry knows what a taxing and soul crushing job it can be from time to time, being on your feet for several hours doing long shifts for very little money. If earning a minimum wage and having to live off tips wasn’t bad enough, the coronavirus pandemic has hit the industry hard with places either having to limit the amount of diners they can serve or having to close their businesses entirely.
Most establishments are going to great lengths to entice you back in with social distancing measures, sanitation stations and staff wearing face masks and gloves but it is also important to remember that the people serving you are putting themselves at risk while you tuck into your meal.
So, with restrictions in many states beginning to lift and businesses are opening back up, you might consider opening your purse or wallet a bit wider and show your hard working server a little more appreciation for their efforts in this trying time. Here are a few reasons why.
They have a lot more cleaning to do
Your server always had to clear your table and wipe it down after you have finished and left. However, now they don’t have to just wipe down the table with a sanitizing cleaning solution, they have to disinfect every single surface. Added to that, they have to constantly sanitize themselves as well. The mandated requirements that businesses have to adhere to because of the coronavirus only adds to an already hectic work schedule for your server.
They are exposed to people not taking the pandemic seriously
While businesses are taking every measure possible to minimize the spread of coronavirus the same cannot be said of some members of the public. A portion of society believes this whole thing has either been blown way out of proportion or that it is in fact a complete hoax. By refusing to wear face masks or observe social distancing rules they are not only putting themselves at risk but the people serving them. Just remember, your server does not have that luxury if they want to remain employed.
They have to walk more than before
Usually when a server begins their shift they are assigned a section in the restaurant to look after, but with the current restrictions they are only allowed to have outside seating. This means that every servers section is now outside the restaurant which means they will be doing a lot more running back and forth from the kitchen to your table. In addition to that, the outdoor seating doesn’t just appear by magic, they have to set all that up even before they have to run about serving customers.
They have to put up with a lot more abuse
There are some customers who if you served them their food on a gold plate resting on a silken cushion whilst being fanned by palm leaves they would still find something to complain about, such is the nature of the service industry. The sorts of people that have a tendency to complain have more fuel to throw on the proverbial fire with the restrictions being imposed because of the pandemic and they have a tendency to take out their frustration and anger out on the people serving them, people who are not responsible for making any decisions.
They don’t know if tomorrow they will even have a job
As stated before, the service and tourism industry has been hit particularly hard by the pandemic as not only have people been in lockdown for months but visitors to your city or town have been unable to travel. Many business owners are really starting to feel the pinch as revenue has plummeted causing many to lay off a lot of their staff or in some unfortunate cases, closes their doors for good. For those members of staff who have been let go, this is hardly the greatest time to be looking for a new job, especially if you are a low skilled worker.
They don’t get paid any extra
Unlike workers who, in normal circumstances, get what’s called ‘hazard’ or ‘danger’ pay due to the inherent dangers of the industry they work in, servers do not get any extra pay for their efforts. Remember that on a daily basis they are coming into close contact with any number of people, some who may be asymptomatic, already have the virus and are either unaware or don’t care about who they might be putting at risk by not self isolating. Servers make minimum wage and that is certainly not worth putting your health or your life at risk.
The general stress of the situation
People work to put food on their table for themselves and their loved ones, put clothes on their backs and pay their rent or mortgage. The service industry can be stressful at the best of times but the added stress of possibly contracting a deadly virus that might not only make you or your loved ones sick but has the potential to kill them as well is added pressure that no one wants. For those who spend their working day interacting with any number of strangers, the chances of contracting the virus goes up and up. So, spare a thought for those who are just trying to support themselves and their families in this most stressful of times.