NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — People who live and work in Middle Tennessee can’t seem to catch a break when it comes to gas prices. 

One sector especially feeling the pinch is the service industry.  

Niki Walker is a manager at Germantown Café. High gas prices have impacted many aspects of her life all the way down to the vehicle she drives. 

“I noticed I was spending more on gas than I was on groceries for me and my three children,” Walker said. “So, I think the last four months I spent more on gas than I sold my car for and I ended up downsizing. I was in a Lincoln Navigator and I bought a Chevy Sonic just because of gas prices. “

The switch ended up saving Walker roughly $100 a week in gas, however, she like many still faces a lengthy commute.  

“I actually bought a house in 2020 and I bought in Murfreesboro because of how affordable it was. But it no longer matters,” Walker said.  

It’s a harsh reality she was reminded of on her way to work Tuesday morning.  

“I passed the gas station over here on the bridge and it was $4.79 a gallon and my heart literally dropped, you know, that could pay for a meal for my child, it could pay for school lunch for all three of them,” she said.  

She worries about what it will mean for her and her staff if gas prices continue to rise.  

“They’re very stressed being a server, depending on people driving out here using their gas to eat and then making tips from them to use for their gas,” Walker said. “It’s not really helping anyone here with the cost of living and it’s almost impossible for a lot of people to survive.” 

Normally, restaurants don’t offer the flexibility of working from home, however, Walker said her boss at Germantown Café allows her to work part-time at home on things like logistics.