Originally Posted by rndmchef
I was born and raised in IL where the minimum wage for servers is 3$ or so.... I worked in multiple bars/restaurants, servers might make less than the cooks per hour 2-3 times a month, at most. Unless the place is really slow always and the place is over-staffing FOH; but I've never seen that honestly.
Who expects a living wage working at a restaurant as a basic line cook 35-40 hours a week? Most line cooks don't even work 40 hours or certainly not much more. I agree one should be able to earn a living wage working 2 line cook jobs, 6 days a week 40 hours at each and showing more than basic skills. Showing up on time to work does not take any skill. None. Showing up with a good attitude and the desire to do a good job also does not take skill. Remembering 5 or 6 different tickets, temperatures, and presenting your food well while also using proper techniques, time management, sanitation standards and seasoning to put food on the plate that tastes good, looks good and in a reasonable amount of time ..... That takes some skill. It's FAR from rocket science, but it's something that should be paid for, unlike showing up to Buffalo Wild Wings on time everyday, dropping wings in a fryer and expecting $12 an hour.
Sorry, it's hard to have too much compassion when I see my 22 year old female friend working 2 line cook jobs, 7 days a week, starting at 3 am and ending at 10pm, with one day where she can sleep in a little bit, she's got as much cooking skill as any line cook I've seen. She's never once complained about her wages. And she certainly did not start out at 15$ or $20 an hour.
Putting worth on a human being based on their job is a slippery slope. I feel like you are venturing into that territory. Again, I say that anyone who works a full time job deserves, at minimum, a livable wage. That includes people at Buffalo Wild Wings and your fine dining line cook friend. I think that categorizing someone who works at BWW as "just dunking wings in the fryer" shows a total lack of respect. The food industry takes all kinds of people cooking in all different styles and levels, to be successful. Minimizing anyone for working at BWW or anyplace else smacks of elitism and is the exact opposite of the attitude we need (we meaning the food industry) to become more professional and start to fix some of the wage problems.
A badass short order cook working at a diner is a thing of beauty to watch. Maybe you see some 25 year old burnout who has a shitty job cause he/she couldn't get a better one. I see a person who is struggling to survive, any way they can. Why is there shame in working at a place like BWW? Sure, it's not Michelin starred....but why is someone doing an honest days work, making wings, making burgers, chopping onions, taking out trash, doing dishes, mopping floors, scrubbing counters..why is that something to sneer at? On ANY level? Why is that something to be ashamed of?
The minute you start thinking you are better than someone because you work at a fancy place rather than a diner or whatever, we lose for the whole industry.
I don't understand your "hard to have compassion" comment since your friend is someone who seems to be the perfect example of what I am talking about. She shouldn't have to work 7 days a week, 80 hours, etc in order to make ends meet. Are you trying to say that, since she has to work two jobs and is a skilled professional in her field, that everyone "below her" shouldn't make a livable wage? I don't understand that logic at all.
I mean, why doesn't your friend just quit her job, go to college, become a stock broker, and make millions? If she doesn't do that, she must be a lazy POS.
But again, I'll say it--anyone that works full time for a living should make, at minimum, a livable wage. I don't see how anyone can argue that point. I'm talking gardeners, janitors, car mechanics, nannies, cooks, anyone.
A living wage is something that comes with working at a level that is equal to supporting your life. Working at your local fancy restaurant 35-40 hours a week is not going to be enough to support a living unless your living in Alaska or somewhere where it's really cheap to live. One must actually possess real skills, experience and ability and then put in enough time every week in order to support their living. Again, showing up on time is not a skill, even if you live in NYC. People being paid 50k, 75k, 100k $ in other industries posses real skills.
The reason this industry doesn't have great wages to begin with is because this used to be an industry that was reserved for the lower class or less skilled people...
You lost me a bit here. You are right, working 35-40 hours a week at a fancy restaurant probably won't pay all your bills. That is what I am talking about--it SHOULD be enough to cover all your bills.
And I don't get this notion of "no skill" labor either. The fact is, America has a huge force of "unskilled" workers. In fact, the country NEEDS unskilled workers...they drive our cabs, pick up garbage, clean our homes and businesses, watch our kids, cook our food, do labor, etc. This country needs all those people. (just to clarify, if I need to, I'm not using unskilled in a negative way). Used to be, years ago, that all you needed to earn a nice middle class income was a high school degree and a job in a factory making airplane parts or cars or whatever. Does that take "skill?" To pull a lever so that a block of metal gets shaped into a door or whatever? You going to tell me that some guy bolting a door onto a Ford Tauras 1000x a day is "skilled?"
A whole generation of Americans made nice lives for themselves doing that kind of work. Most of those jobs are no longer there for the taking (they are in China, SE Asia, India, Bangladesh, etc) so "unskilled" people have been relegated to service industries (i.e. restaurants/bars/etc), retail, and the "menial" jobs that we still need people to do, yet somehow look down on people for doing it (trash collectors, taxi drivers, fast food workers).
Now the cry is "go to college," and the implication is that is you DON'T go to college you are somehow a loser or deserve to be poor. Even college students, now $50-100k in debt, can't find decent jobs to pay down their loans and buy houses, cars, etc. How many college grads work as servers in restaurants? My sister has a master's and still takes shifts on the side to make ends meet.
I hear a lot of talk about "lazy" millennials and how this (current) generation is the worst ever. And yes, some younger people ARE lazy, or entitled, or what have you, but MOST aren't (I know lots of lazy 30-50 year olds too). The problem with millennials isn't about work ethic, its about motivation and opportunity. The American dream is dead. No longer is hard work enough to get by. Used to be, but not anymore. Stagnant wages, rising college tuition (astronomical), inflation, no opportunity, and no hope for the future.
Somethings got to change. The industry could very well implode on itself.