Nov 24, 2020 - Economy

COVID-19 has adversely affected bartenders and banquet servers

Data: Indeed; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios
Data: Indeed; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The food service sector — which was dealt a massive blow during the pandemic — is coming back, but not all jobs are experiencing the same recovery.

The big picture: While restaurants are hiring almost as many cooks as they did last year, job openings for bartenders and banquet servers have plummeted, according to an analysis of job postings by Indeed economist AnnElizabeth Konkel.

  • "The differences between these three occupations are directly linked to the pandemic," Konkel writes.
  • "Many restaurants have reopened, even if only for takeout, and they need cooks. Bars have faced steeper challenges. It’s no longer safe to have imbibing crowds packed in enclosed spaces, and that’s taken a huge toll on demand for bartenders."
  • "Similarly, large events have all but halted, devastating banquet server job postings. Until mass gatherings can once again take place safely, those jobs have little chance of recovery."

The outlook for these workers is especially bleak because the sectors adjacent to food service — like hospitality and leisure — are also struggling, which gives furloughed or laid off people few options for pivoting, Konkel tells me.

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