HE/SHE was hired to do a job HE/SHE is doing. It is not up to employee's to secure a business' prosperity.
See, if an employee was stealing, it is up to the employer to terminate the employee.
Right. And if an employee is doing the job they were hired for it is up to the employer to see that the employee is compensated (although this implies a certain business ethic on the part of the employer regardless of the employee’s performance).
If a waiter/ess was not pushing drinks or desserts, or specials, and crabbed over tips and not paying off the busboy and bartender, it is in the best interests of the employer to terminate the dude/ette.
Waiter/ess, as you have pointed out, are compensated for what they do differently and for the topic of this thread I don’t feel they have relevance to this discussion specifically. So yeah, I’m ignoring it for now.
If the place is not meeting overhead and emplyees are asking for raises, then what? Haul out the ol' safety deposit box from under the mattress and pay them?
Yup! That’s one way to handle it (but by no means typical). Typically, a chef/cook is hired to perform a job, with a reasonable deviation in performance, and should still expect (yes, expect) a yearly increase in wage based on “cost of living” increases. For this they shouldn’t even have to ask, and it’s a shame to the industry that most do.
The O.P is writing from Nanaimo, B.C. True. it's on the island, but still in "my turf".
All restaurant owners in B.C. have faced a "double whammy" last year, and many are still reeeling. The first is the hated H.S.T. (harmonized sales tax) Which applies to everythig,including restaurant meals. Restaurant sales have gone down by around 15%. The second is the lowering of the legal alcohol content. As a result no one is drinking that much as last year, and places outside of city limits are realy feeling the pain.
Maybe ChefGord is fullofhimself and maybe not. Maybe you are fullofyourself and maybe not. And maybe I am. Point is, whether we are ethically outstanding members of the human race or not, times are tough. I am truly sorry you, myself, and so many others are experiencing these hard economic times that seem to only get worse when the politicians implement taxes and such in the guise of reparation. Who knows, maybe it’ll work in the long run but it certainly sucks to be us now. That said, your turf or not, situations like the HST should not affect in the slightest a chef/cooks expected yearly increase. What it might affect is any other increase, expected or not, they might have received. If I truly wanted my cook/chef to stay, I would say something like:
[Hypothetical converstation with someone like ChefGord in light of foodpump’s concerns.]
I can barely give you the cost-of-living increase this year. But, if you decide to stay, I will try to make up what you are asking when times are better.
[Now, a real-life scenario from LC40's mental archives.]
LibraryChef40 once worked in a newly opened fine dining establishment that began to suffer from lean times not unlike many of us are experiencing now. The Chef and crew (LC40 was a linecook) were tight, like brothers (but with a sister too). They loved work and the place and people they worked for. But all that didn’t matter ‘cause people were not coming into or spending much money at the restaurant. The Chef called all the cooks into a meeting one day. He said he would get them jobs outside their restaurant because he had to cut their hours. He did (both). Every single one of them went to work for another place while still working at their primary place. Every single one of them was offered more pay and a full time position at their surrogate places of employment. Every single one them respectfully declined their full time more pay offer. I guess there is a point to this story, I dunno. There are other ways of dealing with things in bad times. Much of it I suppose is situational.
And now? It's February. Other than V day, the cruelest month.
I feel your pain, hang in there Bro.
Cooks get paid crap because the customer doesn't give a rat's posterior what they earn. The waiter may get a percentage of the entire dining experience as a tip, but the cook gets a verbal compliment. It's custom, right?
Yes, it is custom. I would like to help change that, but not at the expense of the restaurant owner. Au contraire, mon frère. I think there is a way we all can benefit, will you help me think?
Cook, waiters, bakers, etc. get paid crap because there are no trade benchmarks or standards to set a pay scale to, unlike many other trades. And the hospitality Unions just smile and nod and garnishe paycheques and have no intention of starting to make any benchmarks.
I think you’re on to something here. I don’t know that a union is an answer, but chefs/cooks in the U.S. don’t really have one, save for hotels. I have searched ChefTalk extensively for discussions on unions and it seems there are as many opinions for them as against. That I graduated from a top culinary school somewhere in upstate N.Y. and never saw wages for line cooks (and THEY really ARE the restaurant) change in over 20 years is testament enough for me to advocate strict union/contract employment relationships. But all I can do is advocate because I am not really in the profession anymore. And you ask Why?
The Hospitality industry is nothing but fierce competition, every house shaving every avaliable dime, with the end result of an almost 75% failure rate in the fist 5 years.. And the customer? LOVES IT!!!! Big gossip on who's opening,and big gossip on who's closing and big gossip on who's lowering prices in order to get customers in seats. We want it cheap cheap cheep cheep cheep..
Understood. Your brief tirade and stats are relatively correct and I agree. Please don’t get discouraged though, this is the way it has always been, it’s up to us to change it. Not to sound Ghandi-like, but let’s be the change we want to see. Fair enough?
Former Chef, eh? Whate ever made you decide to quit? .
Yes, former chef. Was there a way I could have “penciled in” my response? If so, I would rather it say “Brother.”