The life of a Dana Point restaurant server through the pandemic

(Harpoon Henry’s/Courtesy)

Yes, many of them have filed for unemployment, but this has also caused a huge decline in the amount of employees that desire to work for the restaurant during the shut down. Something to think about: if employees are getting paid unemployment to not come into work, what employees would want to come into work and get paid less? That is the problem that restaurants are dealing with as of right now.  

Restaurant server, bartender, and cocktail waitress, Natalie Simpson, describes her daily life as a server at Harpoon Henry’s Seafood restaurant.

“The staff is super limited. The manager is the one bartending and ringing in all the food. The servers working are more like expo/food runner positions so the whole job has kind of changed,” Simpson said. 

On the job Simpson said that the whole dynamic of her work environment has changed. With the servers being almost demoted due to the decline in sales, her job looks a lot different. The money coming in for the servers is also different.

“All the tips are split up so you’re definitely making less, it’s like a day shift. It’s a long phone process because we have to fill out a form for each phone call to-go order,” she said. 

Harpoon Henry’s had to adapt to the new normal during quarantine in order to continue running smoothly and ensure that the restaurant could stay open. Harpoons is participating in curbside pickup as an adaptation. 

“The servers working put takeout orders together and bring them out to cars in the boat parking lot. We also all have to wear masks at all times and wash our hands a lot more throughout the shift,” Simpson said. 

Server life has changed greatly since the shut down. Not only wages have changed, but the entire server dynamic has become simply takeout orders. The experience of a full service seafood restaurant by the sea has been taken away. This has greatly affected not only Harpoon Henry’s Seafood restaurant, but the entire server community.