Bartenders and servers express financial challenges

Published: Nov. 29, 2020 at 6:48 PM CST
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - The lives of many have been altered by the COVID-19 pandemic and it’s restrictions, from business owners, down to the people that work inside those businesses.

“On a good night a couple of hundred dollars, you could have up like $200,” Server and host at Prairie St. Brewing Co. Kathryn Eckburg said.

With Tier 3 COVID-19 restrictions shutting doors to the region’s restaurants, bartenders, servers, and other staff that rely on tips start to see the impact of losing indoor dining.

“After the second shutdown people are scared they don’t know what to expect,” Server at Johnny Pamcakes Beth Gnacinski said. “Their money is dwindling down because of the job impact and the loss of their own jobs, when they came back to us, they pulled back.”

Gnacinski has worked at Johnny Pamcakes for 5 years. She says there are a good amount of people that tip above and beyond normal expectations, but the move to curbside has negatively impact tip totals.

“We’d get a $10 tip we’re now getting a $2 tip and that’s on the same size order that we would have gotten before,” Gnacinski said.

At Prairie St. Brewing Co. staff members say there is a drastic difference in tip totals outdoors and curbside, compared to when people sit inside. That deficit forces staff to look for new opportunities.

“I went from having three or four shifts to having just one this week and I don’t have one next week,” Eckburg said.

Whether it’s missing the money or missing the customers those in the service industry are hopeful COVID-19 metrics will go down, and dining rooms will open once again.

“Every day just waking up just wanting to hopefully touch somebody’s life today,” Gnacinski said. “Just bring a smile to their face or just be here just for a meal, that’s what gets you up and going every day.”

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