Throughout COVID restaurants have either lost significant amounts of money and/or had to close down. According to www.restaurants.org 100,000 restaurants had to permanently close down just six months into the pandemic, and there are still nearly 3 million unemployed restaurant workers looking for jobs.
Now that restaurants are able to reopen their indoor dining, more hours are available on the schedule for their employees and more possibilities for jobs are available. Jordan Goodman, manager at O + O Pizza, said the increased business leads to more jobs for everyone employed at the restaurant (cooks, dishwashers, servers, bussers, etc.).
“I feel great about the reopening of indoor seating. In my opinion, restaurants are some of the safest places you can be when done right and all the proper precautions are taken,” Goodman said.
O + O Pizza is only open for 25% dining which brings in more guests so employees are getting closer to being able to support their living costs that unemployment was not covering.
On the other hand, there are still worries that arise regarding eating in restaurants, or being in public places in general. Graduated senior, Sophie Delay is immunocompromised and hasn’t eaten in a restaurant since before COVID arose in the U.S.
“I need to be more careful about being in public, especially in the food industry where there is an increased risk of transmission. I’m not saying all restaurants are extremely risky because most follow the procedures, but it just makes me uncomfortable being around people without their masks right now,” Delay said.
Of course there is reason for concern being in public in general during this pandemic, especially coming into close quarters with strangers.
“It is good to support local businesses of course but at this point in the virus I just don’t feel comfortable eating in restaurants yet, but I’d encourage people to order take out to support these businesses,” Delay said.
Though eating in restaurants can be a nerve wracking experience for some people, for others, like Junior Remi Wagner, there is comfort in the fact that all procedures are taking place behind the scenes.
“So many people get their jobs back now that restaurants are reopening. I got mine back at The Frisco and I believe that it is a super safe place to be. I have asthma and I feel very comfortable eating and working in restaurants due to the mandatory rules everyone has to partake in,” Wagner said.
This is news and opinion editor Elise Wilke-Grimm’s second year on ECHO staff. She is excited to continue working on the ECHO and get lots of chances to write.
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