The COVID-19 pandemic has had immense impacts on the hospitality and restaurant industries worldwide, with metropolitan regions like New York City, in which the restaurant industry comprises one of the largest workforces in the world, experiencing inimitable and unique challenges. Occupational stress is defined as the results of dysfunctional working conditions, with every occupation having its own set of idiosyncratic stressors. Prior to the pandemic, root stressors in the restaurant industry included characteristics such as job security, social support, pay, work schedule and work hazards; however, in a post-pandemic reality, these stressors have evolved. Thus, the existing literature on occupational stress and the relevant stressors on restaurant employees must be revisited and reconsidered. This research identifies the evolved pandemic-related stressors, including dangerous working conditions, low wages, job uncertainty and burnout. Agreeing with studies conducted prior to the pandemic, social support is a strong recommendation to help combat occupational stress; however, it is not a one-size-fits-all solution in a post-pandemic scenario. This study stresses the regional variance of occupational stress, which is dependent on local social and cultural factors as well as agendas of regional decision makers.