As of yesterday I have been furloughed by my employer. Granted, I was working minimal hours as a host, but still… it does hurt the bottom line. Our governor announced basically all places of leisure are to close until March 27, including all restaurants, pubs, breweries, food halls/courts, in light of the current COVID-19 pandemic.
The situation is quite scary for people in food service right now. I can think of at least two restaurants that might not survive being closed down for this long, and that is contingent on the closure not being extended further into the future. In Nevada they’re set to close for 30 days, so that will make for an even harder experience for the industry in that state.
It will be a hard time for everyone. Let us help each other in the industry:
- Pickup food from your local food bank, and donate to it when the situation is better.
- Apply for unemployment benefits. Check with your employer beforehand as some employers are not being honest or forthcoming about employment status.
- Some grocery and big-box stores are hiring temporary help due to the crush of people. Of course, this risks community exposure to possible contagion, which you may or may not want.
- Look around for more resources. A good place to start is this Eater list.
- If you’re stuck at home, video call your service industry friends. Don’t text or call. A lot of people rely on the job to get their share of social interaction for the day and it helps your mental health to talk with other people in the same situation.
- Go outside. You don’t have to stay cooped up indoors. Just make sure to apply proper social distancing.
I’m sure everyone has seen plenty of articles about staying productive but remember. Not everything is about money. Do what you like to do and get into building better habits for yourself.
This will be hard for everyone but remember you’re not alone.
Edit 2020-03-18 06-31: Check out this r/KitchenConfidential COVID-19 megathread with a ton of links to resources and help!