You might think that the biggest story is the news of which restaurant made this year’s, “Best 50 Restaurants,” in the world, which was announced a mere 48 hours ago. Sure, your plans will change based on the list as you try to score a table for the privilege of dropping a minimum of $500 a couple to eat strange, cool, delicious stuff.
It’s all in good fun, and San Pellegrino, the event sponsor, must be pleased by all the media attention the event got. On that subject, do you think that paying $8 for a liter bottle of that water in a restaurant is worth it?
Speaking of money, if you want the story, follow the money.
The biggest story.
Just 24 house ago, a vote against the minimum wage took place in the U.S. Senate. With massive lobbying by the National Restaurant Association, the wage increase was voted down. In the service industry, this means that the prep guys, line cooks, delivery people, and front of house staff will continue to make low wages.
Look, these are people I know who live four to a 2BR apartment, are deep in debt, can’t afford co-pays, and certainly cannot save for the future.
From the world’s best 50 chefs? Not a word. And why should they say anything? Isn’t it smarter to talk about sustainability, seasonality, local, GMO, humane, etc. Doesn’t cost them a dime.
But why not do both? Why not think about food and appreciate what it is and does while at the same time making it possible for the people who prepare it to earn decent money?
Raising the minimum wage cuts into their profits, but job satisfaction among employees increases productivity and profitability.
The thing is: Most people in the restaurant industry don’t think ahead. The industry is so far behind the curve in terms of health that being behind the curve on payroll makes sense.