Students adjust to working during the pandemic

A+poster+on+the+front+door+of+Little+Rey+reads+that+the+guests+are+assuming+the+risks+of+Covid-19+by+entering+the+restaurant.

Katie Dwyer

A poster on the front door of Little Rey reads that the guests are assuming the risks of Covid-19 by entering the restaurant.

Katie Dwyer, Editor-in-Chief

Senior Lindsey Snyder started her training at Little Rey Chicken Al Carbon before the pandemic hit. However, her training came to a complete halt when COVID-19 cases in Georgia began to rise in March.

“Originally, I was training before the pandemic, but the restaurant closed down for a period of time during phase one,” Snyder said. “I eventually went back to work, but I ended up having to work more hours because some of our employees opted not to come back in fear of getting the virus.”

Restaurants are enforcing different precautions, including mask mandates, socially-distanced tables and temperature checks at the door.

“Now, we have all of our tables socially-distanced, and there are less tables in the dining room,” Snyder said. “A lot of people prefer sitting on the patio over the main dining room just because of air flow, and we have to be way more cautious about sanitizing. We don’t have anything that people could touch out to grab anymore, and we have to wear gloves and masks.”

Other restaurants have different protocols. Chick-fil-A has completely shut down the inside of its restaurant and has been functioning solely through its drive-thru. Freshman Hermela Beshah began working at Chick-fil-A at West Midtown in July, mid-pandemic, but ultimately believes that Chick-fil-A has stayed safe with the precautions taken.

“My work experience has been great,” Beshah said. “Chick-fil-A has a lot of sanitary stations and things like that regarding the pandemic, so it’s been a really clean environment to work in.” 

However, there have been many changes in the restaurant industry due to the pandemic. 

“The pandemic created a huge change for me and my coworkers,” said junior Teniyah Williams who also works at Chick-fil-A at West Midtown. “We had to adjust the way that we usually work and take extra safety precautions when preparing orders and having a  conversation with others. For example, we are required to wear face masks, take temperatures, social distance, and to not touch payments received from customers.”

Even with precautions, some students have even been exposed to COVID-19 while working. 

“I have known multiple people from work who have tested positive for COVID-19,” Snyder said. “There were points when we had to close the restaurant down because multiple people have had it. I’ve even had to get tested a couple of times just to make sure that I didn’t have it, so I could return to work.”

While working during the pandemic has been worrying for some students, they view it as something that will benefit them in the future.

“It is scary sometimes, I’m not going to lie, but overall it’s been a good experience,” Snyder said. “Most of the customers understand that we are trying our best to adapt to the situations. This is something that will go down in history, and I’m glad I get to be a part of it.”