HOUSTON – Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo ordered to shut down all bars, clubs, and in-dining restaurants Monday afternoon to reduce social gatherings that contributed to the spread of COVID-19. This has impacted many Houstonians who work in the restaurant and bar business, especially business owners.
We asked our followers on our KPRC Channel 2 Facebook page how they reacted towards the closures.
Server says family relies on tips for support
Fransisco Maldonado makes most of his income from tips. Maldonado who waits tables and is the assistant manager at the Brass Tap in Midtown says his family relies on him for support.
“It's scary because you know, bills don't stop piling up and kids keep growing, so they are always hungry so we have to always put food on the table,” Maldonado said.
Maldonado’s manager and restaurant owner are helping Maldonado and his family in more meaningful ways.
I work for some great people here, they try to help us out, they allow us to take some meals home. It’s tough it’s really tough,” Maldonado said.
Bartender feels the pinch
Facebook follower Beau Wilcox and his girlfriend immediately felt the pinch after the news.
“I’m a bartender and my girlfriend is a hair stylist. My establishment is following the order so I won’t be able to work and all of the clients at my girlfriends salon are canceling. We have no idea how we will pay bills at this point."
Couple living paycheck to paycheck doesn’t know what to do
Amber Lynn Williams cares for her 2 1/2-year-old son dependent on her and her husband’s income.
“My husband works as a server & bartender at a restaurant. He brings in over half our income as I work part-time, go-to school and care for our 2.5 yr old son who has lung issues. We live paycheck to paycheck and honestly are at a loss as to what we are going to do with him having to miss over two weeks of work now.”
Substitute teachers are also hurting
Even substitute teachers are feeling the pinch as well, such as Saima Arif Burney.
" I am a substitute teacher for CCISD and scheduled for upcoming weeks, they removed me from all assignments due to school closure. This means no payroll for us."
Lots of cancelations at this man’s Galveston restaurant
Terrace Puccetti, who works in Galveston, is feeling the effects of the closures even though Galveston County has not been impacted much by COVID-19.
“The virus already impacted my restaurant in Galveston. Tuesday and Wednesday were great. Then the news of the virus broke. A party of 10 cancelled on Thursday night, then a party of 40 cancelled on Saturday. Not to mention a 50 percent drop in sales Friday and Saturday, because most people didn’t want to go out. People are afraid.”
‘I’m completely busted and scared out of my mind’
Brent Nieves has been in the restaurant business for 29 years, and his training has been put on hold for now.
“I’m a restaurant lifer. Been in the industry for going on 29 years. I’m currently in training at a steakhouse in downtown. Set to finish this week but all that’s on hold now. I had enough funds to last through last month but now I’m completely busted and scared out of my mind.”