Bartenders & Waitresses Having Shifts Cut As Customers Stay Home
By Kevin Wilkerson, PubClub.com Nightlife Blogger
The bartender poured drinks at a popular San Diego Gaslamp Quarter bar, glad to be at work.
“They’ve cut our shifts in half,” she said, “and then added “we have no barbacks and there’s fewer wait staff…
“I’m starting to panic.”
And with March Madness canceled, the NBA season on hold and every other sport paused if not done and St. Patrick’s Day just around the corner, it’s only going to get worse. And for those in California, there is another issue that will further cut the number of customers bartenders and waitresses can serve.
Gov. Gavin Newsom has imposed a limit of 250 people in any single place. That includes bars and nightclubs. The bartender’s bar, Barleymash, has a capacity of nearly 700. So even if barflies want to go out, they may not be able to get into a place, even tho it may be well below capacity.
The bartender was starting to panic because her salary and tips are going to be half of what they are in a normal month and she’s worried about paying rent and bills.
She’s not alone, either, as the bar and nightclub industry is feeling the coronavirus effects around the globe.
In Las Vegas, casinos are deserted as people are canceling trips and with March Madness not taking place the city’s bar and casino staff are about to take a big financial hit. Already, MGM Resorts – which earlier in the week closed its buffets – and Wynne have closed all their bars and nightclubs on their properties.
In Italy, all the nightclubs and bars are closed. Just this week, all nightclubs in Athens, Greece, announced they are closed until further notice.
“We are just trying not to dwell on things we can’t control, stay positive and make the best of a difficult situation,” said Greg Newman, operator of a very popular series of bars in Southern California, Sharkeez being among them. “Last week we were up in sales from the year before but the information and all the news this week has been a jar to people.
“Right now, we are taking it day by day and trying to be safe as possible, with employees wearing gloves, washing hands, disinfecting and a lot of elbow bumps!”