I don’t care about the airline industry right now. I know they employ thousands of people, but how come it’s okay for them to ask the federal government for a $50 billion bailout while my restaurant is struggling to stay open by offering takeout and delivery? If my boss shuts down and can’t pay his mortgage, can he ask the government for a few thousand dollars to get out of the hole? No, he can’t. The airlines are not the most important industry in our country.
United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz made over $10 million last year in salary and bonuses. In October 2019, the Chicago Tribune reported that cheaper jet fuel and slightly higher fares helped United Airlines boost third-quarter profit 23% to $1 billion. A billion dollars! Why is that we regular Americans are always told to have enough money in our savings account to get through few months in case we lose our jobs, but the fucking airline industry has one bad week and they suddenly need another goddamn bailout?
Every time I’m on Twitter or other social media, I’m seeing lots of pleas for signatures on petitions that ask the government for help with small businesses and the service industry. But why do we have to create all these petitions and then beg our friends to sign them just so the government might see them? Shouldn’t the restaurant industry be automatically part of the conversation? Every time our president is talking about how to help the country, he’s worried about big businesses, like airlines and cruises and banks, but when will he pull his head out of his orange ass and realize that there are little people suffering too? It seems to me that when the government starts considering bailouts for big companies, they should also be thinking about the small ones. Every restaurant worker I know is currently either out of work or has seen drastically reduced hours and they’re worried about how to pay their bills. Ironically, it’s the small business owners with the least amount of money to spare that seem to care the most about their employees. Huge companies like McDonald’s and Pizza Hut don’t give a rat’s ass about paid sick leave and they have way more money in their bank accounts than the owner of a small neighborhood restaurant.
Mayors and governors are like, “Hey, let’s shut down all the bars and restaurants to slow the spread of the coronavirus.” Yes, this is a great idea and I know it needs to happen. It would just be nice if one of them would also say, “we realize how many people this will hurt financially, so we will also be suspending student loans payments, forgoing late fees on credit cards and offer a rent abatement.” Or something.
I’m no financial expert. All I know is I’m sick and tired of hearing about how much the government will do to help out the fucking airline industry. If the airlines can make literally billions of dollars in a year, they should learn how to be better at saving some of it. If every restaurant owner in this country was making millions of dollars a year in profit, they would be saving it. They’re used to saving money because they know the service industry is a fickle business and if there are three weeks of bad weather, they need to be prepared for it. Maybe the CEO’s of the airline industry should try that for a change instead of asking for anther handout every time our economy tanks. Sure, lots of people fly in airplanes, but you know what? Way more people go out to eat at restaurants and when the coronavirus dust settles, you know what people are going to want to do? They’re going to want to be social again at bars and restaurants. I guarantee that after this nationwide lockdown is lifted, way more people are going to go out to eat than book a fucking vacation.
That being said, there is one petition I have decided to support. Some of the nation’s top chefs are behind it and they know that if we ever want to have an industry to go back to, we’re gonna need some help. I hope you’ll sign it.
Bottom line: Everyone is suffering, from airline pilots to bus boys to retail workers. I just wish that small businesses and restaurants seemed as important to the economy as the airline industry. We are all important and we all deserve help. And before anyone jumps on me for only stating the plight of the restaurant industry, please remember that this page is called “The Bitchy Waiter.” It’s what I do.