Little leadership, thin masks, no social distance: This is life as a restaurant manager right now

As restaurants reopen across the country at varyingly diminished capacities, it might not come as a surprise that workers are getting the short shrift from both owners and customers. In an interview with New York magazine’s Grub Street, a restaurant manager in Arkansas details the unrelenting challenges of running a restaurant during a pandemic: Little leadership, thin masks, customers who refuse to socially distance. In a sentence that darkly encapsulates the quandary faced by workers not just in the food industry across the country, the manager notes: “It’s not safe for me to be here — but I can’t afford to leave.” The one silver lining in his testimony is the promise of a $1.50 per hour bonus, announced by his boss in April. Problem is, five months later, it’s still not showing up in anyone’s pay. Check, please?

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