Camilla Perry, a two-time owner in Hollywood and Sherman Oaks, tried to be proactive in notifying her patrons ahead of time about the city’s mandate, which requires people to show proof of vaccination before entering establishments.
A month ago she posted a reminder about the rules on social media. A few days later, he displayed a sign requiring patrons to show their vaccination cards.
But some of its customers were still puzzled when they were asked to provide vaccine validation in early November. The very night the mandate went into effect, a group of patrons became so upset that they started shouting at his staff.
“They were arguing with us,” she said. “They were getting (angry).”
Since the mandate took effect on November 8, Perry, like many other business owners, struggles to escalate as his employees are left to enforce new government rules in response to the government and deal with shouting, tantrums patrons. Given – or worse – mandates in response to the government.
Over the past 20 months, the restaurant industry has been on a roller-coaster, battling to accommodate lockdowns, mandates, vaccination requirements and regulations. This has had an emotional impact on the restaurant staff.
A recent report by restaurant analytics firm Black Box Intelligence states that nearly 60% of restaurant employees said they have experienced emotional abuse from customers. About 78% of workers reported having a negative impact on their mental health in the past year.
Workers at other retail businesses have also been hit:
-A Target security guard in Van Nuys was left with a broken arm last year after a fight with two customers who refused to wear a mask.
This month a man was taken to a hospital in Vance, Santa Monica, after a fight over wearing a mask.
In Huntington Beach, a masked customer sprayed cleaning spray on an employee and demanded that they show proof of vaccination.
According to a survey of 1,700 workers by One Fair Wage, nearly 80% of food and service workers said they have experienced or witnessed hostile behavior from customers in response to implementing a COVID-related mandate. According to the same survey, nearly 60% said they experienced hospitality on a weekly basis.
Most workers said they had experienced a significant drop in tips since the pandemic began, especially when trying to implement COVID-19 safety protocols.
Some businesses are pushing back against government regulations.
In media reports, burger chain In-N-Out’s chief legal and business officer Ernie Weinsinger described the vaccination order as “intrusive, unfair and invasive”, by requiring its employees to check on customers’ vaccination status. By denying Health officials temporarily closed several locations in Northern California after the company refused to check proof of vaccinations from customers.
An owner of Basilico’s Pasta e Vino restaurant in Huntington Beach displayed a sign in a window that read, “Proof without vaccination is required.”
The rules customers face vary – proof of vaccination rules vary from county to county.
Both Los Angeles County and the city require residents to present proof of vaccination in order to dine inside certain businesses. County rules, however, LA . City regulations apply to fewer types of establishments than
Under the city’s mandate, restaurants, bars, coffee shops, breweries, wineries, food courts, dance studios, hotel gyms, shopping malls, moving theatres, nail and hair salons, piercing shops and outdoor events with 5,000-9,999 attendees will be held. will be required. Evidence of vaccination.
Elsewhere in Southern California, officials haven’t put additional vaccine-proof rules on retail businesses, but residents are subject to the state’s vaccine rules when attending large events. In Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties, patrons are required to show proof of vaccination or a negative test result for outdoor events with more than 1,000 guests and more than 10,000 people.
Previously, Orange and Inland counties refused to follow Los Angeles County’s lead in requiring vaccination cards for patrons at bars, wineries and nightclubs.
‘Taking care of a lot of babies’
At Perry’s The Oaks Tavern bar in Sherman Oaks, in addition to mixing cocktails and pouring drinks, her bartenders are now employed to keep an eye on guests and immediately ask them to pull off their masks or go outside if they are not vaccinated. Is.
“There’s a lot of babysitting that they’ve had to do over the past months,” she said.
A customer recently started arguing with an employee because he was asked to show an ID along with his vaccination card.
“People who haven’t been vaccinated are being pushed back,” she said.
Sometimes her employees walk on eggshells, Perry said, while trying to “well-enforce” government mandates.
“No one wanted to lose money,” she said. “All these people are the people who are tipping them.”
She added that “some people say: ‘I can’t believe you’re enforcing this’ and just walk away.”
“We’ve got people yelling and yelling and they’re suing us, they get right into my girls’ faces,” said Cecilia Bracamontes, owner of Retro Reload vintage clothing store in Lomita, “but my girls are nice and They keep calm.”
She said: “It’s a really ugly climate. We provide disposable masks, and you can tell who forgot their mask and who’s about to go crazy. And they just start screaming. It’s so hard, I don’t know what else to do. This season is so crazy right now. People are so aggressive right now.”
But tantrums by customers are hardly a new phenomenon. Employees have been dealing with months of pushback since the mask mandate went into effect last year.
“All the little things that we have to implement,” Perry said. “People are looking at us like we’re crazy.”
Stuart Waldman, president of the Valley Industry Commerce Association, said it was going to be a “bumpy few weeks” as patrons adjust to the new mandate.
“You’ll have people who want to fight workers and people who argue about their safety and argue about their freedom,” he said. “But you’ll also have people who are going to feel safe coming into an establishment.”
Waldman said there are customers who are not going to get vaccinated, but until the COVID-19 numbers go down, “that’s how we have to survive.”
Although the rule went into effect earlier this month, the city will not enforce it until November 29, allowing businesses to make necessary changes.
Establishments that do not comply with the rule will be fined from $1,000 to $5,000.
Richard Carpiano, a professor of public policy at UC Riverside, said cases of customers attacking restaurant and store employees are rare as are most of the people behind the need for vaccines.
“We should applaud businesses,” he said, noting that customers’ businesses receive vaccination proofs that show they are concerned about the safety of their employees and patrons.
People gather indoors during holidays and chilly weather, he said, and “keeping customers safe is good for the economy. It’s good for business.”
For those who cause problems because they refuse vaccination, he said, “You were given a choice. No one took away your freedom. You had a choice whether to get vaccinated or not. But there were no alternatives.” There are consequences. In this case, we have to think about our behaviors and the effects of our actions on other people.”
Lorena Sanchez, owner of Bobs Big Boy in Northridge, said the mandate makes it logistically difficult to vaccinate many people and figure out who needs to stay or leave.
“People sometimes go crazy for very simple things,” she said. “If we have a party of six and one person does not have proof of vaccination. what are we supposed to do?”
Sanchez pointed out that it was unfair to ask workers to be on the front lines to check people’s vaccination cards, while businesses are facing labor shortages and a retention crisis.
“People get upset very easily,” she said. “They are hungry and have no patience. It’s going to create more problems for us.”
Staff writer Christie Hutchings contributed to this report