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(NPR)   NYC's top restaurants are mystified as to why they can't find experienced cooks willing to prepare their $40 appetizers and $100 entrees for $10/hr -in a city where a decent studio apartment is $1700/mo   (npr.org) divider line 200
    More: Obvious, access, bupkis, Borough of Manhattan  
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12550 clicks; posted to Main » on 10 Jul 2013 at 11:07 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-07-10 09:45:36 AM  
Most of the people who work in the restaurants (especially line cooks) live in Queens, not-cool parts of BK, the Bronx or Staten Island.

You could get a three bedroom apartment in parts of Brooklyn for 1700. So, adjust accordingly.
 
2013-07-10 09:48:13 AM  
Derived demand input markets - how do they farking work?
 
2013-07-10 09:57:29 AM  
The want cooks with actual experience for basically Wal-Mart wages?  Jebus, I supposed that whole "locally grown"/"sustainability" hippie ethos for WHAT they cook doesn't extend to having the sllighest commitment to social justice regarding the folks DOING the cooking?

Seriously, even a line cook is hardly unskilled labor, and what possible incentive do these guys have to gain and develop those skills if they are making FAR less than the people whose only job is to smile a lot, refill water glasses and write down the diner's orders? (those folks at leasr get tips which are based on a percentage of the total bill)
 
2013-07-10 10:27:21 AM  
I love to cook but I have no idea why someone would go into that industry.
 
2013-07-10 10:29:23 AM  

brap: I love to cook but I have no idea why someone would go into that industry.


This..... I love to cook but working 3pm to midnight type shifts for 10/hr? No thanks......

it looks stressful as fark too
 
2013-07-10 10:44:58 AM  
Rent is probably cheaper in Albuquerque, and Amy is hiring
 
2013-07-10 10:52:17 AM  

fat boy: Rent is probably cheaper in Albuquerque, and Amy is hiring


Amy?
 
2013-07-10 10:59:30 AM  
Hell that is how it is in most restaurants. One of the things i always found funny. As a line cook I made barely above minimum wage ($5.85 an hour, and we were not tipped out) So when the servers were walking out with hundreds of dollars in tips each night while i made $40 total it kind of pissed me off. But that was the job you get paid jack so others can make much more. Also why I switched sides to the tipped positions.
 
2013-07-10 11:09:35 AM  

Tellingthem: Hell that is how it is in most restaurants. One of the things i always found funny. As a line cook I made barely above minimum wage ($5.85 an hour, and we were not tipped out) So when the servers were walking out with hundreds of dollars in tips each night while i made $40 total it kind of pissed me off. But that was the job you get paid jack so others can make much more. Also why I switched sides to the tipped positions.


Yeah but now you have to deal face to face with the customers. That was one thing I could never do.

Only "restaurant" experience I had was fast food. They paid more for the cashier positions but I didn't want to deal with the customers. I would rather stay in the back grilling burgers and frying than put up with that.
 
2013-07-10 11:09:44 AM  
I'm wondering WTF anybody would want to live in NYC.
 
2013-07-10 11:12:52 AM  
It'll balance itself out. It's essentially a labor shortage.

Offer cooks higher pay, and it'll even out.

jehovahs witness protection: I'm wondering WTF anybody would want to live in NYC.


Because it is awesome.
 
2013-07-10 11:13:25 AM  

jehovahs witness protection: I'm wondering WTF anybody would want to live in NYC.


I ask myself a similar question, finding myself living here in Tokyo. At this point I've figured out my exit strategery, but it will be a couple more years before I can leave this place.

In the meantime, we had 104°C today with 80% humidity. Why anyone would choose to live here, I'm still not quite sure myself.
 
2013-07-10 11:13:44 AM  

unlikely: fat boy: Rent is probably cheaper in Albuquerque, and Amy is hiring

Amy?


This Amy:
www.addictinginfo.org

/also probably seeking a new husband too, last I heard.
 
2013-07-10 11:14:11 AM  
I've worked nearly every position in the restaurant biz. Line cook, grill man, fry man, prep, server, host, manager.

Cooks get paid shiat wage. Servers do make more money, but they have to deal with a lot of crap from customers. They also don't get paid hourly because after you claim tips, your paycheck will be about $20 for two weeks.

Managers are babysitters that handle customer's food.
 
2013-07-10 11:15:16 AM  

fat boy: Rent is probably cheaper in Albuquerque, and Amy is hiring


Scottdale, AZ.
 
2013-07-10 11:15:29 AM  
NYC always reeks of urine and vomit in the summer.
 
2013-07-10 11:16:05 AM  

fat boy: Rent is probably cheaper in Albuquerque

Arizona, and Amy is hiring

Scottsdale to be exact.
 
2013-07-10 11:16:17 AM  

Jake Havechek: NYC always reeks of urine and vomit in the summer.


It's New Jersey, we swear.
 
2013-07-10 11:16:27 AM  

AverageAmericanGuy: we had 104°C today


wow... that's hot!
 
2013-07-10 11:16:44 AM  

People_are_Idiots: unlikely: fat boy: Rent is probably cheaper in Albuquerque, and Amy is hiring

Amy?

This Amy:
[www.addictinginfo.org image 850x481]

/also probably seeking a new husband too, last I heard.


I got your reference, but Amy's is not based in NM.
 
2013-07-10 11:16:45 AM  

NickelP: brap: I love to cook but I have no idea why someone would go into that industry.

This..... I love to cook but working 3pm to midnight type shifts for 10/hr? No thanks......

it looks stressful as fark too


yup. even on masterchef they're all frazzled to fark by the end of the series
 
2013-07-10 11:16:48 AM  

fat boy: Rent is probably cheaper in Albuquerque, and Amy is hiring


Amy is in Scottsdale fool
 
2013-07-10 11:16:51 AM  

People_are_Idiots: unlikely: fat boy: Rent is probably cheaper in Albuquerque, and Amy is hiring

Amy?

This Amy:
[www.addictinginfo.org image 850x481]

/also probably seeking a new husband too, last I heard.


but whom is seeking amy?
 
2013-07-10 11:16:53 AM  

Magorn: Seriously, even a line cook is hardly unskilled labor, and what possible incentive do these guys have to gain and develop those skills if they are making FAR less than the people whose only job is to smile a lot, refill water glasses and write down the diner's orders? (those folks at leasr get tips which are based on a percentage of the total bill)


A lot of chefs have their own dreams of opening high-end Manhattan restaurants and paying their own chefs minimum wage.
 
2013-07-10 11:17:24 AM  
$100 entrees? Depends on how you look at it. Most "top" restaurants top out at $30-$50 an entree, with some notable exceptions (Masa, Per Se come to mind). Now the tasting menus, on the other hand, can be hundreds of dollars with wine pairing and not a whole lot cheaper without. If I go to Stone Barns and drop $600 on a wine-paired tasting menu for 2 and have 8 courses with multiple amuse bouches, palate cleansers and the like, it's kinda worth it, and you are very full after.
 
2013-07-10 11:17:52 AM  

fuhfuhfuh: AverageAmericanGuy: we had 104°C today

wow... that's hot!


But it's a dry heat. A wetter heat would be limited to 100℃.
 
2013-07-10 11:18:06 AM  

Jake Havechek: NYC always reeks of urine and vomit in the summer.


Only on the streets. The subway smells like that year round.
 
2013-07-10 11:18:11 AM  
"It's hard to get good help these days -- for what we're willing to pay for it."
 
2013-07-10 11:19:20 AM  
Well the trend is that fancy dining is moving out of the cities and into smaller locations because of the whole from field to table movement thing.

The Chef's don't make nearly as much, but they make a much better margin on the food and the line cooks get paid much better.
 
2013-07-10 11:19:31 AM  

NickelP: brap: I love to cook but I have no idea why someone would go into that industry.

This..... I love to cook but working 3pm to midnight type shifts for 10/hr? No thanks......

it looks stressful as fark too


Sex, drugs, alcohol, camaraderie.
 
2013-07-10 11:20:13 AM  

AverageAmericanGuy: fuhfuhfuh: AverageAmericanGuy: we had 104°C today

wow... that's hot!

But it's a dry heat. A wetter heat would be limited to 100℃.


212 Fahrenheit is a b*tch!
 
2013-07-10 11:20:31 AM  
SkeletorUpInHere


I've worked nearly every position in the restaurant biz. Line cook, grill man, fry man, prep, server, host, manager.

Sounds like a good resume for a Travel Channel show.
 
2013-07-10 11:20:36 AM  

Mangoose: Most of the people who work in the restaurants (especially line cooks) live in Queens, not-cool parts of BK, the Bronx or Staten Island.

You could get a three bedroom apartment in parts of Brooklyn for 1700. So, adjust accordingly.


And the article mentioned the costs in dollars and time (time is money) for all that extra transportation.
 
2013-07-10 11:21:01 AM  

fat boy: Rent is probably cheaper in Albuquerque, and Amy is hiring


Albequeykey is where you make the left tuyn.
 
2013-07-10 11:21:14 AM  

brap: I love to cook but I have no idea why someone would go into that industry.


I hear it from my family sometimes. "Oh, you like cooking, you should become a chef!" They really have no clue. Same thing with people who's dream is to save money and open a restaurant - 95% of them have no idea what they'd be getting into.
 
2013-07-10 11:21:26 AM  

AverageAmericanGuy: jehovahs witness protection: I'm wondering WTF anybody would want to live in NYC.

I ask myself a similar question, finding myself living here in Tokyo. At this point I've figured out my exit strategery, but it will be a couple more years before I can leave this place.

In the meantime, we had 104°C today with 80% humidity. Why anyone would choose to live here, I'm still not quite sure myself.


Tokyo is in the 90F's this week.  104C would boil water.
 
2013-07-10 11:21:29 AM  

Mouser: "It's hard to get good help these days -- for what we're willing to pay for it."


Yup, if they were to pay, say $15 an hour, they might get some resumes.
 
2013-07-10 11:21:35 AM  

PC LOAD LETTER: $100 entrees? Depends on how you look at it. Most "top" restaurants top out at $30-$50 an entree, with some notable exceptions (Masa, Per Se come to mind). Now the tasting menus, on the other hand, can be hundreds of dollars with wine pairing and not a whole lot cheaper without. If I go to Stone Barns and drop $600 on a wine-paired tasting menu for 2 and have 8 courses with multiple amuse bouches, palate cleansers and the like, it's kinda worth it, and you are very full after.


Wow...that's like almost a perfect description of the medieval Church's definition of "gluttony".
 
2013-07-10 11:21:49 AM  

AverageAmericanGuy: But it's a dry heat. A wetter heat would be limited to 100℃.


It's an honest mistake.  He's probably just under a lot of pressure.
 
2013-07-10 11:22:24 AM  
Shocker. Restaurant owners are the cheapest SOB's on the planet.

The food you're eating and paying for likely was cooked by some drug addled felon, pirate, or border jumping amigo that is willing to work for peanuts to just have a job while the chef and owner bloviate over the "local impact" and "heritage" and "sustainability" of their food, all the while passing the cost of the FOH employees to you in the way of the tipping system.

/"retired" chef
//currently a bartender
///fox that guards the henhouse
 
2013-07-10 11:23:08 AM  
So when faced with a shortage of cooks, the classic economic solution is to pay more, as the price increases more of the commodity, (cooks), becomes available until equilibrium is reached at what the market should pay for this job, (hint: it's higher than $10/hour).

Or the restaurant owners could do like the IT firms and claim they can't find enough qualified, (willing to do a $40-$50/hour job for $20 or less), workers and have a special H1-B visa program to bring in enough qualified, (willing to work for $10/hour and not biatch about OT, days off, or how many people share your bed and apartment), cooks.

Then as they realize they've laid off all the employees who may actually be able to afford to buy software, autos, or eat out, they will ask the government for bailouts as they are too big to fail.
 
2013-07-10 11:25:21 AM  

dkimball: Tokyo is in the 90F's this week.


Depends where you are. The street level outside my office building today was measured at 40C at noon.
 
2013-07-10 11:25:42 AM  

AverageAmericanGuy: fuhfuhfuh: AverageAmericanGuy: we had 104°C today

wow... that's hot!

But it's a dry heat. A wetter heat would be limited to 100℃.


Outer Banks NC in summer:  experienced 105F temps with RAIN...while camping on the beach.
 
2013-07-10 11:26:26 AM  

Drunken_Irish_Joker: Shocker. Restaurant owners are the cheapest SOB's on the planet.

The food you're eating and paying for likely was cooked by some drug addled felon, pirate, or border jumping amigo that is willing to work for peanuts to just have a job while the chef and owner bloviate over the "local impact" and "heritage" and "sustainability" of their food, all the while passing the cost of the FOH employees to you in the way of the tipping system.

/"retired" chef
//currently a bartender
///fox that guards the henhouse


What he said.
/"retired" Chef
//currently in IT
 
2013-07-10 11:27:30 AM  

Random Anonymous Blackmail: SkeletorUpInHere


I've worked nearly every position in the restaurant biz. Line cook, grill man, fry man, prep, server, host, manager.

Sounds like a good resume for a Travel Channel show.


Well, i've worked in restaurants for about 5 years. As a server, you'll never get 40 hours in a week, so you learn to get hours in other ways. Prep is ~ $12/hr depending on where you are.

/so glad I got out.
//In the mortgage business now.
///Is anyone else hiring?
 
2013-07-10 11:28:12 AM  
Food service is broken.
 
2013-07-10 11:28:55 AM  
Why don't they do what the Great Chefs of  Europe do and buy all their entrees frozen for $4 from a factory outside of Paris?

(Well, a third of the pricier French "restaurants" do. The French dirigistes are furious and trying to put in place truth-in-advertising laws restricting the word "restaurant" to préparation maison or whatever they call cooking from scratch to differentiate it from industrial fabrication. However voluntary regulation isn't working.

Microwave operators can be had for $3 an hour and deported back to Guatmala when not needed. Just don't call it haute cuisine. It's only reheating. I think they should simply oblige the restaurants which do ths to conspicuously advertise rechauffée. Now that's a good French word.
 
2013-07-10 11:30:39 AM  
Having done my time on both sides of the line, I have incredible respect for those who continue to work in foodservice.  I got out years ago.

But $10/hr won't even get you decent prep/line cooks, let alone a 'chef' here in the whitest of white bread midwest, land of really reasonable rent and easy transportation.  Fark that noise, NYC.
 
2013-07-10 11:34:01 AM  
Reason #82,437 why New York is a mismanaged shiathole...
 
2013-07-10 11:34:44 AM  
They should cook the food in China and import it back.
 
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