Restaurant Workers in Petoskey Plead for Indoor Dining to Reopen

Dozens of restaurant workers rallied on Saturday in downtown Petoskey.

Waitstaff from Vernales Restaurant in Harbor Springs are now pleading to go back to work.

“We’re being decimated. Our industry is fighting for its survival,” says Vernales bartender, Sara LaDuke. “Margins in restaurants are so small. You know, we have waste, we have food that goes bad and without employment it’s hard to survive on $3.62 max.”

LaDuke says many of their staff members are having to defer their mortgages and car payments.

“We took this big pay cut right before the holidays, no date on when we’re going to reopen and now we’ve just been extended longer and I just don’t know. There are so many places that won’t survive,” says LaDuke.

Rebecca Kilgore says her husband only workers seasonally, and they depend on the money she brings in to provide for their family.12 19 20 Petoskey Service Workers

Kilgore says, ”Everybody is essential to somebody and that is my message today. You can’t tell people that they’re not essential. I have three kids and a husband. I am essential.”

Now, she’s standing up for her co-workers that are in the same position.

“Just to raise awareness that there’s actual human beings and families and kids that depend on these restaurants for their income and are really not doing well,” said Kilgore.

Governor Whitmer’s latest Executive Order says indoor dining services will continue to stay closed until January 15th.