COVID-19 & the Service Industry

The Coronavirus has rocked our industry to its core. Here’s our take on the current state of affairs.

We know. This sucks.

Everything we’re used to is upside down. Bars are closed and restaurants are only offering take out. We’re drinking with our friends on FaceTime and commiserating in Facebook groups dedicated to service industry workers (hooo boy have those gotten real weird, real quick).

Boarded up bars on 6th Street in Austin

We miss going out and seeing our friends sliding shots down the bar, ordering a few tallboys of PBR, and watching B-movies on the ancient tv in the corner while chatting up a stranger. We miss grabbing carne asada tacos at our local food truck or chowing down on fried chicken at our favorite spot on the north side of town. We miss the way a bar smells. That scent of dank wood perfectly mixed with a hint of cleaning products and spilled booze – perfection.

From us here at SIN, we just want y’all to know that our hearts ache for the service industry. After all, our business is supporting our people.

The Rise of the Service Industry

Right now, everyone’s wondering what the government is going to do to help service industry workers, a special subgroup of pirate badasses who earn their living on their tips and by their cunning will to survive, no matter how hungover they were at the start of the shift. We’re choosing to remain optimistic that both sides of the aisle will come together to spend that promised trillion dollars wisely, and a lot of that money goes to our people and our favorite places. If you feel concerned, you can always reach out to your representatives. Leave them voicemails, send them emails – make them feel your voice.

If there’s anything America has learned from all of this (aside from that people probably shouldn’t eat bats for lunch–yes, that’s how this whole thing started), it’s that the hourly worker is the backbone of this country. The folks delivering packages, stocking shelves, driving the trucks, keeping us fed and our medicines stocked are all hourly wage earners. And then there’s the nurses and EMTs standing at the frontlines. And guess what? They’re not salary, either. The folks might technically not be in our industry, but those are our people, too. It takes guts to serve others so hats off to all of these badasses.

No More Bad Days

Instead of dwelling on doom and gloom, we’re choosing to be optimistic. We’re going to get through this. We’ve seen bartenders five deep not lose their cool while being asked “can you make something fun?” over a dozen times on a busy Saturday night. We’ve also seen servers almost drop a tray of food only to pull a body-bending, dish-saving move that would make Simone Biles clap.

We’re choosing not to beat the drum of misery. You can turn on any news station and get scared. Instead, we’re choosing to double down on ways to make each other smile, laugh, and reminisce.

It’s time to remember that what we do is awesome. Let’s take this time to trade war stories and find ways to entertain each other through Facebook groups, memes, whatever. Most importantly, let’s have fun because that’s what we do best.

The service industry is about good times, strong drinks, killer food, and cutting up with friends. It’s about late nights and talking to that weird dude in the trench coat outside while you take a quick smoke break. It’s about this fantastic group of people who can take the literal worst situations and make it better, even if it takes a few shots.

Onward and Upward

People are going to come back. They’re cooped up in their houses and they’re going nuts. Summer is just around the corner. When these bans are lifted, they’re going to be back in the bars and in the restaurants. People are going to want to drink. They’re going to want greasy burgers and stacked sandwiches. We’re going to sling so many double shots that your arms are going to get tired and you’re going to love it. We might have seen the worst, but we’re about to see the best. I believe that people will find a new appreciation for us for what we do.

In tough times like these, people have been known to turn to their priest or church. Me? I’m not much of a praying man. But you know what I do have? A damn good bartender at my favorite watering hole down the street. And you better believe I’m looking forward to seeing him when this whole thing is over.

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