The Most Vulnerable Workers : Planet Money Because of social distancing, the U.S. restaurant industry has entirely disintegrated with unimaginable speed, leaving its workers to face an uncertain future.
NPR logo

The Most Vulnerable Workers

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/820426836/820433643" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
The Most Vulnerable Workers

The Most Vulnerable Workers

The Most Vulnerable Workers

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/820426836/820433643" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Maja Hitij/Getty Images
BERLIN, GERMANY - MARCH 23: Chairs and tables are placed next to a closed restaurant on March 23, 2020 in Berlin, Germany.
Maja Hitij/Getty Images

The restaurant industry makes up a large portion of the U.S. economy: 1 in 20 workers can be found in the food prep and serving industry. Because of mandated social distancing due to the coronavirus pandemic, restaurants have shuttered their doors across the country, leaving their workers not only jobless, but with no way of knowing when they'll be able to work again.

Food and drink servers already receive notoriously low pay and very few benefits, and they now face a terribly uncertain future.

Music by Drop Electric. Find us: Twitter / Facebook / Newsletter.

Subscribe to our show on Apple Podcasts, PocketCasts and NPR One.