Wednesday, August 3, 2011

First Post

I have worked in restaurants for many years. I love it. There is a certain type of freedom that you get by being in this industry, a kind of living on the fringe of society type feel. Yes there are many good times to be had serving and cooking food. And why not? The prime goal of the business is to get your customers to pay you in exchange for good food and entertainment, and of course to try and turn a profit or make a living from it.
BUT as most people know there is a dark side to the restaurant industry. The whole industry is built from the foundations on the exploitation of its workers and other shady practices. There are a few exceptional small restaurants and restaurant groups to whom this may not apply, but I assure you if I dug deep enough into their closets that even these ideal businesses have some dirt.
I have researched it and found some groups trying to make things better for those who work in the industry but ultimately they are simply patching holes in a much bigger problem. For the restaurant industry to truly catch up with others that have made progress by leaps and bounds since the industrial revolution, the restaurant industry needs to undergo its own revolution.
I believe that the best way to fix the restaurant industry is to destroy the current system that rewards restaurant owners for treating cooks as slaves/indentured servants and paying servers $5 a hour with no benefits, sick days or vacation. And then it must be rebuilt from the ground up as a cooperative based industry, there are few other business types that rely so heavily on everyone working as a tight knit team. I think the teamwork based nature of how restaurants and bars operate predisposes them to be ideal candidates for cooperative style operations.
This blog will document my research and ideas for making this revolution a reality. It will also serve as a place for people to debate (POLITELY!) as to what is the best way to make the restaurant industry a fair and just one.
I'd also like to say here that I am not a hippie and by no means am I advocating some silly restaurant communes where everyone is equal bla bla bla. A restaurant cannot operate like that. Just as it is a team based system it also innately a hierarchical system and could not possibly function any other way in my opinion.

In my next post I will go into more detail as to exactly what is wrong with the industry. After all we must identify the problems before we can fix them.


  1. I am quite interested in discussing this with you Justin. Besides being able to cook and enjoying to do so--alongside not having endless piles of money--the current structure of the restaurant industry is part of the reason of why I almost never go out to eat.

  2. the bottom line:
    Restaurant workers should have a union.

  3. No time to get to detailed right now. But I am not in favor of a unionized restaurant work force. I will explain later.