How Do Servers Feel About Restaurants Reopening? Terrified, Mostly.

Posted: Jul 03, 2020

When Zuma Miami resumed dine-in service on May 27, the restaurant staff was still learning new safety protocols. Servers are now required to wear gloves and masks while maneuvering between tables spaced six feet apart, and the wine list had been uploaded to a digital system to eliminate possible contamination from paper menus shared among guests.

“Doing wine service in masks and gloves feels like an exam situation where the [instructors] are giving you an unrealistic hurdle to work through,” says Jennifer Schmitt, Zuma’s head sommelier. “Handling a wet bottle in an ice bucket with rubber gloves is like trying to hold onto a baby in the bathtub. You need to pay attention.”

During the first weeks under the new protocols, one Zuma server, unaccustomed to wearing gloves, accidentally dropped a bottle of Hirsch West Ridge Pinot Noir, which sells for $225. It was a blow to the restaurant’s already-precarious profit margins.

“The last thing we need financially right now is breakage,” says Schmitt.

Welcome to restaurant service during the novel coronavirus pandemic. As governors encourage businesses to reopen, restaurateurs and staff are trying to find a common ground between financial solvency and personal safety.


One spirits director in Philadelphia, who asked to remain anonymous in order to speak openly, takes issue with U.S. restaurants reopening at all.

“The endangerment of hundreds of thousands of restaurant and bar workers across the country so that people can be served their food during a worldwide pandemic, is a level of privilege that I am having trouble processing,” he says. “We are looking at inevitably killing thousands of people and continuing the spread of Covid-19 so that people can be served and cleaned up after by laborers society feels are disposable.”

By Lauren Mowery July 3, 2020 Source and complete article:

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