A Toronto chef has gone viral after posting a reminder to those heading out to patios this weekend, to be considerate to staff after a seven-month hiatus.
Preparations for this weekend are full steam ahead as restaurants are getting their outdoor patios ready and staff are preparing to serve incoming guests.
Despite the excitement surrounding restaurants reopening, many servers are returning to their jobs after months of closure and having to pick up where they left off.
Eataly Chef Ash MacNeil posted a text post on Instagram giving a “gentle reminder” that staff may be a “little rusty” as they are adjusting to the work-life once again.
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“This is a gentle reminder… we know you’re excited to get out and enjoy some food and drinks on the patio. We know you haven’t been able to enjoy any type of public dining in over 7 months,” MacNeil said.
“Please remember – that means we haven’t been able to serve you in seven months. We haven’t been able to cook for you in seven months. We may be a little rusty; we are adjusting.”
The post has been reshared thousands of times across several social media platforms.
In a report issued back in February by the Financial Accountability Office of Ontario, it is estimated that over 110,000 jobs in accommodation and food services were lost during the pandemic in 2020.
Many restaurants and bars are now short-staffed and, as Ontario heads into Stage 1, several businesses in Toronto are looking to hire staff immediately.
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MacNeil also mentions that restaurant workers’ wages have also taken a hit and reminds those heading out this weekend to tip.
According to finance and technology company Square, customers in Toronto restaurants began tipping significantly more in the first few months of the pandemic.
And the average tip rate reached almost 20% throughout the summer months, but in 2021, it has now fallen closer to what it was before the pandemic.
“Please be kind to your servers, support staff and cooks. We have all had a rough time and we are all just doing our best,” MacNeil said.
“But please… be patient.”