A Server’s Thoughts on the Coronavirus

Has there ever been a moment in the history of serving when every single waiter and waitress across the world was feeling exactly the same way? Maybe on Cinco de Mayo all the servers in Mexican restaurants do or servers in a sports bar all share an emotion on Super Bowl Sunday, but right now, thanks to the coronavirus, every single server in the world is scared.

Restaurants across the country have shut down or had their hours drastically reduced. Here in New York City, restaurants can stay open for takeout and delivery, but that could change at any second. My restaurant will be open, but only needs one person to take the orders and bag things up, so I acquiesced and offered that position to the bartender. I did that for two reasons: Jonathan works there full time and it’s his only source of income and he might need those hours more than I do. Also, I’m lazy.

Severs, bussers, bartenders, hosts, managers and back of house are all looking at unemployment and it’s a scary and unprecedented time. As someone who has spent the last decade blogging and creating server-related content, I am now struggling to figure out what this blog and my Facebook page should be doing. While I want to continue being the voice of servers and shining a humorous light on our job, I also want to be mindful of our situation. Sharing a “Karen” meme or making a video about an old lady who wants a hot tea just don’t seem right. over the last few days, I have been bombarded with requests to share petitions for a government restaurant bailout and GoFundMe pages and foundations, but I haven’t shared anything yet. This isn’t because I don’t care. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. I care so much that I desperately do not want to share bad information and it’s going to take time to figure out what course to take. And by the time something is figured out, the whole world has changed again.

In the mean time, I want to say this: our country will get through this. China has seen a leveling off of new cases, but they are several weeks ahead of us and they also took drastic measures that we in the United States are only just beginning to take, but we will eventually get through it. Until then, we are going to have to depend on one another to help. Just yesterday, my friend Kendall who works at bakery gave us loaves of bread that were not being sold. I met a friend on the street to give her a 500-piece jigsaw puzzle we had already put together once. Reach out to your friends and see what you can do for them to help. Ask your elderly neighbors if they need anything. Send a text to your friends who live alone and don’t have the luxury of being able to talk about what’s going on in the world. If you’re stuck at home, do some spring cleaning, start a blog or take those naps we never have time for. As for income, I just don’t know. None of us do. I worry about people having to choose between paying rent or their student loan and I hope that our government recognizes this dire situation and relaxes deadlines or maybe even forgives some debt.

Just know that I will still be here doing my best to entertain and inform while thinking of all of you who are struggling through this. The only comfort we can take is that we are not alone. Maybe after all of this is said and done, we will realize that our world is a lot smaller than we thought and we’ll be able to appreciate life in a different way. Once the world has the coronavirus under control, our restaurants and bars will roar back to life with a ferocity we have not known. Glasses will be clinking, tables will be turning and everyone will once again relish the opportunity to be social. Until then, be strong, love your friends and wash your hands.

11 thoughts on “A Server’s Thoughts on the Coronavirus

  1. Karina marx

    I work in a Mexican restaurant in macon ga we are one of the few that still doing dine in but probably soon my boss will close cause only few customers come to eat in most of them order to go

  2. demoncat_4

    i feel pain for all you in the food industry having to wonder how you will be able to cover the normal costs of life with this virus wrecking more havok on the country though one should also know that the country has wound with other things like this wound coming off stronger like a phoenix rising from the ashes. stay safe every one and my prayers that this thing soon passes and everything gets back to normal and if one is ordering take out be kind and maybe leave a little extra for the delivery person since they don’t know how long they may be working and having a paycheck

  3. Jennie

    Even though I LOVE to cook and bake and have been doing a lot of it over the last few days, my husband and I are also ordering BIG take-out meals from our local restaurants at least every other day to support them. This whole situation and how it’s hurting people like you breaks my heart.

  4. Frankie

    I am with you we are still sharing posts in our restaurants group page to keep us going we have over 45 staff nightly and my normal days off last few days last night first since changes it was walking into a ghost town and for a place we have a wait line from when we open til close I only had three tables and even then one tipped well knowing what might happen the other had best service they ever could (didn’t have any others party of 8 even did big birthday for them) and the mother paid the bill not even 10 percent on her company business card I cannot believe all had me in tears, first time it hit me how am I gonna be able to make it ( I am recently became a single mother, husband decided to go through a second teenage years) how am I gonna to make it with my kids because I still had to tip out bussers bartender expo

  5. Carol

    My daughter told me she felt if you order from a restaurant that you normally eat in at you should still tip. I agree with her you should hopefully this will pass quickly. God Bless and keep everyone safe.

    1. LakewoodOhioLady

      Kim, have you ever been a server? Because I cannot imagine any testaurant worker ever saying what you just said.

  6. Donna

    Thank you for all you do. I agree completely that now is the time for all to come together for the common good. We are all in the same boat.
    Have you filed for unemployment yet? If not, the government is expecting to see unemployment to rise to 20%. I actually think it will be higher. I think if everyone that has been laid off applies for unemployment, the government will see exactly how many of us are out there living week to week, sometimes tip to tip.
    There are a lot of other resources out there, look for them in your state, don’t be afraid to ask for help! This is our country and I have to believe that our government is going to help us through it. If not.
    Good Luck to you all and God Bless you and your families.

  7. Cheri Vedder

    I just started,following very recently and I think you are amazing. Thank you for bringing some support and smiles to everybody in this very tough time

  8. Kelly

    Hey everyone, yes this is the most craziest time I’ve ever experienced in my life. I’m a bartender I adore my restaurant and the staff the mostly awesome customers. It’s a catch 22 some of us desperately want and will work during this , others like myself rather stay at home and keep my son and self safe until this passes. What good is the schools closing down and the kids home if mom goes off to work and potentially brings germs back🤦‍♀️ you cant have half the states quarantined the other half business as usual, its gotta be all or nothing. Were prolonging this by ping ponging close down then open up, limit capacity.. how can we effectively do that especially when you mix alcohol with peoples mindsets right now. BAD IDEA. My boss is the type to keep the doors open No matter what, I’m scared to death to work with all this crap going around. Bottom line is we gotta stay alive what good is your business if you sacrifice anyone’s life ! Be there for each other threw this, what a nightmare !! Peace love and respect to all my fellows in our industry 👊🙏🙏❤


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