Covid Restrictions in the Restaurant Industry

By Ashley Vite

UNIVERSITY PARK — It has been nearly a year since Covid-19 has taken over the lives of many. Bars and restaurants are taking a large brunt of this natural disaster. With prolonged restrictions, many owners and employees in State College are facing many hardships in their work life.

People believe that the opening of restaurants during Covid-19 was a big result of the spreading of the virus.

“The nature of this insidious disease in not the fault of business owners,” Wolf said. “They should not have to weather this storm on their own.”

Bars must close at 11p.m. rather than 2a.m. which means shifts are being taken away and employees are getting less hours.

“Yeah I feel like it’s definitely impacted me. I have lost a lot of hours and um for a while restaurants were shut down which was a really hard time. I mean like right now I have lost about seven hours a week,” said Deny Younken, who is a server at Café 210 West.

Café 210 West

Many servers are experiencing lower tips and less tables.

“My tips have been crappy. It has been hard waitressing during this pandemic ya know I have been making a lot less than what I usually would,” Eleni Valavanis a server at Highway Pizza

With restaurants and bars losing service prices on food items and drinks are rising in order to keep afloat.

Other regulations that are impacting servers and their tips is having to buy food at the bars. This rule is causing less people especially the college students to want to go out and drink. When customers are forced to buy food at every bar they go to their tip percentages are lowering.

“It would be nice to have a higher minimum wage. I have been cut hours due to the pandemic, having a steady wage would be beneficial and help me feel more secure when paying bills,” said Leah Gitto a server at Texas Roadhouse.

Servers in Pennsylvania rely on their tips since their hourly wage $2.83 an hour.

“When people come in, some tip extra to help severs more, and others tip next to noting because of the economy. I’m serving to put myself through school but I’ve had to take out more loans this year compared to others,” said Valanavis.

But, not only have the servers taken a toll from Covid-19 so have the bouncers of bars. Bouncers have had to deal with loss in pay, hours, and irresponsibility from patrons.

“Working as a bouncer has gotten more difficult whilst earning less money for the job. Hours have been cut and since people cannot order from the actual bar, which is where I get tips from, the amount of money that I would take home at the end of the day has been lowered by a noticeable amount. On top of that people wo are going out now feel like they need to compensate for the time they lost due to the shutdown making them drink more and act more belligerent or just cause problems overall,” said Jordan Dell’Orto bouncer at Café 210 West.

Although, there has been many negative outcomes from Covid-19 some restaurants and bars are doing all they can to make sure their employees are getting the best considering the circumstances.

People mainly ordered at the bar before Covid-19 enforcing seating and service through service has increased the tips of some workers.

“On one hand, requiring table service has made sure that I make a ton more money than I made before. However, the constant exposure and increased stress of the job has taken a toll over the last few months,” said Kieler Hoffman server at Champs.

Other workers are extremely frustrated with the regulations feeling like their job is a lot different than before.

“Well I’ve basically gone from working security to being a babysitter that has to enforce Covid-19 regulations,” said Connor Dubuque bouncer at the Phryst.

Business owners and their employees are doing all they can while getting through these times.