Servers, bartenders seek economic options after state executive order puts dine-in on hold

Local News

WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Local bartenders and servers are feeling the effects of Gov. Greg Abbott’s statewide restrictions on closing dine-in restaurants and bars.

Folks in the service industry are already making plans for self-sustenance for the coming weeks.

“This gonna be okay; we’re gonna be okay,” GypsyKit server Rheagan Ortega said. “We are a resilient crew.”

While small businesses and their owners will be taking a huge blow from this policy, the people who worked hard each day to help keep the doors open, servers like Ortega are definitely at risk.

“All of my jobs relate in the service industry in some way,” Ortega said. “It’s scary, this whole thing is so scary and it’s confusing.”

Woody’s bartender Kayle Parks said she and her roommate are both facing uncertainties with their jobs after the executive order closes dining until April 4.

“My roommate is a bartender, she works over at Player’s [Lounge], so we both technically lost our job for the next two weeks to a month,” Parks said. “We’re kind of both really scared, don’t really know what’s going to happen.”

Both ladies, however, said while they don’t know how long this will go on for, they have a game plan.

“I was going to see if I can just do babysitting, that’s what I did all throughout high school to make a little money, and people who are nurses or doctors and all those, they still have to go to work, and all the child care services are shut down,” Parks said.

“I teach yoga for The Hive downtown,” Ortega said. “We are going to start live streaming all our yoga classes, so we can bring people at home who are quarantined a little peace.”

Ortega will also be working with Gypsy Kit’s curbside service during this time as well. She said her hope is that folks will continue to be there for local businesses.

“All I want is for people to really rally around the local businesses and show them support in this time because it really is hard,” Ortega said. “This is going to be a really hard thing to go through.”

Parks, who stresses how much she loves her job, said when it is all said and done, a lesson can be learned from this all.

“We’re lucky to have a job,” Parks. “I can wake up and say ‘I get to go to work today,’ instead of h, I have to go to work today.'”

Both Parks and Ortega encouraged those in the service industry to stay strong and do what they can to stay afloat.

Click here for a virtual tip jar if you would like to support your servers and bartenders or if you are in the service industry want to add your name to the list.

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