Servers struggling to find work during pandemic

Posted at 5:07 PM, Dec 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-12 17:07:33-05

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — The restaurant industry has been one of the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

For people who have made a career in the restaurant industry, it's been a trying time. Ian Sethi moved to Lexington in February and had only just gotten a new server job when restaurants were forced to shut down, leaving him jobless and unable to apply for unemployment.

"The very first question on the online application was where did you work in Kentucky in 2019 and I didn't," said Sethi.

Sethi has scrambled to find any employment he can since then, working seven different jobs this year, but the instability has taken a toll on his mental health.

"It makes you feel like you are always being fired and it makes you feel like you aren't good enough," he said.

Most recently he was working as a server at Graze in Lexington. He was notified however that even if they return to having indoor dining this week, they won't have a position available for him, because capacity will be reduced.

"They aren't bringing me back and they didn't say it was because they didn't want me back. They said it's because it is such a small staff. I like to think by the time they can hire me back, I'll have moved on to something better anyway," Sethi said.

So now after about six years working in the restaurant industry, Sethi is looking to start a different career, because he believes it's no longer a lucrative option.