Don’t take out your frustrations on servers

Regardless of how you feel about vaccines, its important to have respect in restaurants

This past week, while enjoying a meal at a local restaurant, I got into a lengthy conversation with a server who told me about all the problems they’ve been having enforcing the government’s vaccine passport mandate. In case you didn’t know by now, proof of both doses of the vaccine is now required to be able to enter any dine-in restaurant.

The stories I heard about how people are mistreating servers really made me sad, especially as someone who worked in the restaurant industry for years.

First of all, it’s very important to remember that however you feel about the vaccines, nothing is going to be solved by taking out your frustrations on the service industry. These people are trying to do their jobs by enforcing a rule that’s required by their employer and the government. If they don’t enforce this rule, they can risk losing their main source of income by either being fired, or causing the entire restaurant to get closed down.

I get it. This is a very polarizing topic that has entire communities divided. Regardless how you feel though, we all know the rules, and they aren’t going to change by screaming at a hard working server who’s doing their job and trying to earn a living.

Secondly, it isn’t your fundamental right eat at restaurants, it’s a privilege. In fact, if anything it’s within the right of any server to refuse service to anyone if they don’t feel safe in the workplace. When I was a bartender, I refused service to many people for all sorts of things. Sometimes, it was as simple as addressing me in a rude way. The customer would be asked to leave the establishment and service would be denied.

For example, a private business has a right to refuse service for having bad body odor if they wanted too. Pandemic or not.

It’s pretty simple, if you are fundamentally against getting a vaccine, no ones taking away your right to have physical and economic access at all times to adequate food or means for its procurement. There’s a reason why vaccine passports are not required at grocery at liquor stores; your perfectly capable of making food at home.

The rules of any private establishment should be respected, as should its workers, and like I said, even if they wanted to serve you this is a government rule and there’s nothing they can do anyways.

When I was bartending, vaccines weren’t even on anyone’s radar yet, it was all about mask-wearing.

When I encountered someone who didn’t want to follow our restaurant’s mask mandate, I simply reminded them of the no shirt, no shoes, no service rule that’s pretty standard in most eating establishments. If it’s against your fundamental beliefs to eat with a shirt on, then that’s 100 per cent your prerogative, but you can’t eat here.

I understand this piece is going to anger some people, and that’s okay. My grief is not with those who are against the vaccine mandate, as I think everyone has a right to believe and think however they want.

What I’m getting at is, no matter how you feel, it doesn’t excuse treating people with disrespect.

So If you’re against the vaccine passport, before barging into a restaurant screaming at staff demanding service, I ask that you take a moment to think about the human beings who are stressed and often frightened by having to deal with these inappropriate altercations while they’re just trying to do their job and make a living.

I ask you to think about the owner of the restaurant who’s probably worked for years to acquire that business, and is in fear of either being fined or having that business shut down for not following government rules.

I ask you to think about the family two tables over, who despite your beliefs, have their own beliefs as well, and might be uncomfortable being in close proximity someone who is not vaccinated for various reasons.

I simply ask you to have respect for those around you.

Have a story tip? Email:

Eddie Huband
Multimedia Reporter
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.