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Food Service Workers: Eater Wants to Know How the Coronavirus Pandemic Has Affected You

From line cooks to bartenders to grocery store cashiers, we want to hear how COVID-19 has impacted your job and where you work

A waiter carries on a brown tray of food against the background of the decorated table. Hot snacks on the tray. Shutterstock
Jaya Saxena is a Correspondent at, and the series editor of Best American Food Writing. She explores wide ranging topics like labor, identity, and food culture.

The COVID-19 pandemic has hit the restaurant industry like a hurricane. Millions of workers have lost their jobs, while many more have been asked to work in unsafe conditions, and the federal stimulus package falls miles short of what independent restaurants need to survive. The National Restaurant Association estimates a $225 billion loss for the industry.

Food service has always been a precarious industry, between the typical lack of health care, and the reality that many servers, line cooks, and bartenders work at multiple establishments, and live paycheck to paycheck. If you’re a food service worker who’s been affected by COVID-19, we want to hear your story. Are you getting the support you need from your employer? Have you been laid off? Is the food industry in your community fighting for protective legislation? Are you keeping up with your skills at home? Whatever you’re going through, we want to hear about it.