OPINION: A passive aggressive guide for going to restaurants during a pandemic

Drinking game: Take a shot every time a Karen yells at me


Magaly Muñoz

Graphic by Magaly Muñoz.

Magaly Muñoz, opinion editor

Being a manager at a restaurant means I already deal with my fair share of rude and picky people, so I’m not sure why I thought people were going to be smart and mindful during a worldwide health crisis. It seems that a lot of individuals in this country don’t have more than two working brain cells to rub together.

Read the room, America. 

This is not the time to be out and about at restaurants like there aren’t thousands of people dying from a highly contagious airborne virus.

As much as I want to yell at people to stay home and not eat out at restaurants, I’d be out of a job, so let me just give you some suggestions if you’re planning on dining out during the pandemic.


Not only is it required by Gov. Gavin Newsom, but really, it’s more for your safety than it is for mine.

I interact with strangers all day, every day, who might be interacting with twice as many people as me. Why would you want to risk getting sick because you couldn’t take the time or consideration to help keep your life and mine as safe as possible?

RELATED: OPINION: Don’t be ignorant — wear a damn mask in public

Aside from health conditions that are cleared by your doctor, if you aren’t going to wear a mask in public, just don’t go out. I refuse to get sick because little Timmy and his mom Karen can’t wear their masks properly (PSA: It goes OVER your nose, NOT under).

Tip the workers. 

We are under more pressure than you know to keep you all safe, before, during and after COVID-19. 

As a manager, I have to be vigilant of workers who are possibly showing early symptoms of COVID-19 and constantly remind them to wear their masks, even though I know working in over 100-degree heat is taking its toll on everyone.

Most of the time we’re understaffed, so everyone has had to take on roles they normally wouldn’t be doing were it not for the pandemic, causing overlap and stress where there wasn’t.

If a server is doing their best to make your experience as comfortable as they can under our current circumstances and restrictions, please don’t hesitate to show them that appreciation at the end of your visit. A little goes a long way for us.

Don’t yell or get angry at restaurant employees because you don’t like the COVID regulations we are required to follow.

I cannot make any exceptions on seating or serve you alcohol unless you purchase a full meal because not only will I get written up by my manager, my job could shut down, which will bring more people harm than you sitting outside in the heat for less than an hour.

Also, please refrain from calling me a “stupid communist” because I say that you can’t sit at our inside bar. Yes, that actually happened to me. No, I don’t think he knew what that word meant.

Don’t complain about how long the food is taking.

Instead of becoming one of those people that makes a big fuss over how long you’ve been waiting for your food, even though you were previously advised that it would take a while, I’d be more than happy to refer you to the local grocery store where you can buy the exact same products we have to make the meal yourself in the comfort of your own home.

Please be patient with us.

If a restaurant provides curbside, takeout or delivery, take advantage of those services.

I would much rather be driving around town to bring you your food or bagging up orders all day than have a ton of people — the majority of whom aren’t following social distancing policies or wearing masks — come into the restaurant and put others’ health at risk.

This pandemic is showing no signs of stopping any time soon, which means customer service workers are only going to continue being mistreated by those who could not care less about the people around them.

At the end of the day, I can’t force anyone to find it in their heart to be considerate and kind to essential workers. I can only hope that during these hard times people find it within themselves to treat everyone with the same respect they would want to be treated with.