A highlight from Corby Kummer: Business as Usual? Not for the Restaurant Industry


The tough treatment schools intrusion science and policy i corby and a new specialist on toy. So we're here. We'll find out so. Keep you in suspense on the toilet training thing for a couple of minutes. Because there's this great piece in near at times about we've talked for ages about the labor shortage in restaurants and it does seem corby by reading this piece that you pay people more you give them health benefits. Don't make them work eighty hours a week. You have them actually give vacations and guess what you can hire more people to work in restaurants is. That's the bottom line here So first of all. Let's plug jane black. The former longtime food editor boston magazine. A wonderful writer and did this piece in the new york times about building back better when it comes to restaurant jobs and she stole my idea which i'm going to rework in my aspen program but did of many good insights in this one of them is just as you said marcher. If you pay people more money you can get them to apply So when you know there's been enormous pushback on the idea. There's a job. There's a worker shortage. There's a worker shortage but more than that. There's a wage shortage if you offer people more money. They will apply for jobs. What's the main problem with that. For restaurant owners they already operate on extremely thin margins and as one incredibly inspirational woman named amanda cohen in new york city dirt candy. Her vegetarian celebrated restaurant what i had to run a better business. After the pandemic so her tasting menu went from ten to three to four choruses. He had to learn how to operate much more. Lean Because she had fewer employees but by doing that she was able to continue paying the high wages. She was already committed to. She was one of the first people to incorporate hips into her wages. And after other places like the unions for our hospitality group but gannon and then ended it after worker rebellion. She kept it going but she had a one percent barely profit margin and she says that now that she is just improved her business model. She's up to five percents. So i think the insights are pay people more gave them paid time off. Try to give them health insurance all the stuff. That's very expensive very expensive. Means you have to have a better business plan. That sounds easy but it actually has been a huge challenge or restaurant owners before and after the pandemic by the way since you mentioned somebody in york we should also mention someone in our catchment area. That's quoted jane block story The owners of rubies west end a cafe in portland maine which is doing the same kind of thing out of respect for workers and to to draw them back. But you know there's a there's a car lowery story Corby kummer about how customers are coming back to fast food joints but the workers are not despite increase wages and as a result a lot of these fast food places are some of them are actually only doing drive-thru did you. You probably knew this. Korea didn't fifty percent of the business of fast food joints is drive through business which i found to be amazing and then we all read the other day in boston dunkin. I think we're not supposed to go at dunkin. Donuts anymore opened. Its first digital cafe where you either offer on your phone and advance or you order at some kiosk in the store so despite these improvements we talked about this almost every week that you're on terms of wages benefits whatever the restaurants are doing. hell of a hard time fast. Food or not luring people back no matter what they do with some exceptions right one one of the things. You say is improvements sco. The improvements can be minimum wage. Mcdonalds has been a very famous for certain of its franchisees paying like twenty five dollars sometimes minimum wage or minimum fifteen. It's up to the franchisees to berry's by region But when you say improvements. I think one of the questions is if it improvement in general work quality and people want these jobs so when we were just talking about the kind of restaurants jane blackened the new york times was saying have better incentives and therefore getting more applicants. I don't know how far fast food places can go to make the working conditions better. It's an open question as to whether people are going to want to go back to work for them or not. It's so much more temporary if labor that has always been the working conditions of mcdonald's but mcdonald's announced in may ways the hourly rate to eleven seven eleven to seventy dollars for entry level workers fifteen to twenty for managers japodlay. Fifteen dollars per hour. These are i would say we could agree long overdue commitments who raising the minimum wage. And i also. Jim was stunned by the idea. That half of the businesses cry for you know you reminded me of even though there's nothing to do with the pandemic or i meant i think i mentioned this. The mario off the air the other day Working conditions in restaurants made me think of kitchen confidential which is obviously the book that made anthony bourdain famous. Have either of you seen. I'm late coming to it. Road runner which is the documentary about board. Jan's life i let me just re it is. One of the most is very depressing. I should say because everybody knows how it ends. And the film goes into. Wyatt ended the y the way it ended in a hotel in france for anthony bourdain it is really a spectacular movie about an exceptional human being.

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