restaurant seating chart on tablet with caption 'Is this a sign of a recession or is this just working in a restaurant in January?' (l) restaurant employee with caption 'Is this a sign of a recession or is this just working in a restaurant in January?' (c) empty restaurant seating with caption 'Is this a sign of a recession or is this just working in a restaurant in January?' (r)

@kendranesbitt4/TikTok

‘100% a recession. McDonald’s is $15 a meal right now’: Server speculates whether empty restaurant in January is a sign of a recession

'Idk what's happening it's never been this bad.'

 

Alexandra Samuels

IRL

Posted on Feb 16, 2023

A restaurant server recently questioned whether their empty workplace was a sign of an impending recession.

In a video posted to TikTok, Kendra (@kendranesbitt4) asked viewers whether her barren workplace meant that the economy was in turmoil. “Or is it just working at a restaurant in January?” she questioned. As of Thursday morning, her video had 357,000 views. 

@kendranesbitt4 Either way double it and pass it to the next person #serverlife #dryjanuary #recessiontok #restauranttok ♬ Ac r7sheed – rhy 🎸🍃 🕸️

Kendra’s line of questioning makes sense, though the answer isn’t cut-and-dried. Living healthier, losing weight, and having financial goals—which are all common New Year’s resolutions—could impact the number of Americans opting to eat at restaurants versus at home. But the threat of a recession this year is very real, too, and experts predict that the restaurant industry could take the biggest hit.

The Daily Dot reached out to Kendra via TikTok comment. As of publication, it was unclear where she worked and/or how her employer’s earnings last month compared with the previous months. 

Her question, however, led several fellow servers to share their own experiences working while dining-out experiences continue to drop.

“Literally idk what’s happening, it’s never been this bad,” one viewer wrote. 

“It’s JUST starting to pick up for us,” a second user commented. 

Other service workers relayed similar complaints about a supposed drop in customers following the New Year. 

“Same with the beauty industry,” a third TikToker said. “Like, I know winter is slow, but … girl … it’s been SLOW.”

“Everywhere has been slow. Hair salons, too, [but] hopefully it’ll pick up,” another viewer wrote.

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*First Published: Feb 16, 2023, 8:04 am CST