The Tampa Bay Beaches Chamber of Commerce has launched a campaign, “Practice Patience in Pinellas,” hoping to quell growing frustrations at restaurants, bars and hotels.

MADEIRA BEACH — The hospitality industry in Pinellas County, particularly along the Gulf beaches, has a message for the throngs that are finally doffing their masks and ditching the sweatpants for some sun, fun and sand:

Just chill out a bit, will ya?

The Tampa Bay Beaches Chamber of Commerce has launched a campaign, “Practice Patience in Pinellas,” hoping to quell growing frustration with long waits and crowded conditions at restaurants, bars and hotels. Posters and buttons up and down the beaches will remind patrons that short-staffed businesses are doing their best to keep up with booming demand.

“We heard from our business community, and they said, ‘Our consumers are coming in and they’re being really impatient, because we’re not seating all the tables, and we have an hour wait,’” said Robin Miller, president of the chamber.

The tendency, of course, is to take out that frustration on the nearest staffer. “The servers are really frustrated,” Miller said.

Under the banner “Please Practice Patience in Pinellas,” posters suggest visitors “Sip Back and Relax,” adding, “Your bartender is making your drink to perfection.”

“Dine and Be Kind,” is another piece of advice, as “Your food is being prepared as quickly as possible.” Sure, traffic is a mess, but “Travel With Understanding,” the posters urge. “Many people are traveling to this beautiful destination.”

Indeed, Visit St. Pete/Clearwater reports that tourist development tax revenue in March, typically the busiest month on the beach, hit $9.7 million, up from $5 million last March and in line with that month in 2019.

Two months ago, the county’s unemployment rate stood at 4.4%. That’s down from 13.9% in April 2020, which was the highest rate reported during the pandemic, but economists and hospitality executives fear that furloughed employees who earned government support during COVID-19 may be slow to return to low-wage service jobs.

While it remains to be seen whether posters and buttons can relieve some of the pressure, the campaign has been a hit with those who sling drinks, wait tables, prepare meals and welcome hotel guests.

“Staffers along the beaches love it,” Miller said. “They’ve told us, ‘Somebody cares enough to speak for us.’”