Hospitality industry jobs are f’d. Big time. You care. You need us/them/we. We take care of each other.
If you have never worked in the service industry, then you might not know that a Monday or Tuesday night (it varies by geography) are called “Industry Night.” And in every town there is/are one or two establishments that stay open a bit later and focus on catering to other professionals in the service field. If you are “industry”, special pricing and special consideration is given. And thus you ALWAYS tip your compatriots 20% or more. It’s an unwritten rule we all follow.
If you have never worked in the service industry, the people, like I was and still am, who behind the scenes make everything work smoothly, then their health, safety, economics and future, might not resonate with you.
But if you have always been served, and never the server, give it another 12 months and you will seriously care. Because you won’t have a pub or restaurant to go to.
“Nationally, hotel occupancy is hovering at around 50%, according to the American Hotel and Lodging Association. In urban areas, business may be even slower — in the 20% to 40% range.”
“Virtually all business travel has halted. … Conventions have canceled for the year, or postponed. Pretty much all we are seeing in hotels are the leisure travelers,” said Ed Grose, executive director of the Greater Philadelphia Hotel Association.”
I am not suggesting opening everything up and a return to the wishful and fictional recidivist memories of what makes America “great”. And I don’t have all of the answers. That’s the point; none of us do.
I am posting this as a former busboy, waiter, fill-in bartender-of-last-resort in my youth. It’s how you partially pay for college. Or at least it was for many of us.
I am proud to have kept the (your) cutlery and dishes sanitary and well rinsed, the industrial ovens and grills on giant wheels cleaned with just the right amount of industrial strength cleaners. The kind that eat into your skin if you don’t wear elbow length gloves. And again rinsed and washed so customers didn’t get sick.
You do your “industry” job “right” because it’s the right thing to do. And hey, don’t forget, we also eat and drink where we work. And we bring in our family and friends.
The food and beverage “industry” is honorable work. I’m proud to have done it for years. And I’m not too prideful to return to working in the industry of restaurants, bars, and hotels if I needed to. I bet the 6 AM prepper is still is terrified of paper cuts (tomato juice is a killer) and I bet they still slice the prosciutto last (it’s greasy so you do it last before cleaning the blade.)
In conclusion, as painful as it is to write this, we must *not* fully open the service economy back up until we solve COVID. All that will do is endanger, and sometimes, literally kill my friends in the industry.
And to achieve that, in a time of international crisis, the people in industry should not be forgotten.
For your own research: https://www.bea.gov/data/gdp/gdp-industry