2022 – Here’s an Answer to the Restaurant Employment Crisis: Take the Single Waiting Shift to Eat Out | Food and Beverage Industry

aAt a certain point, anecdotes—whether true or false—look like solid statements. A friend told me that the chef near where he lives cut his roof in half to keep working. A colleague says something about a restaurant group that he recently heard has as many as 24 chefs in four locations. When booking a table at a favorite the other morning, I found out from their website that they will be closed two extra days a week for most of July. That evening, when a waiter introduced me to a craving (only small), I gently tested him about it. Yes, he says, shaking his head: lack of crew. The restaurant contacts up to 70 potential new chefs every day, and they still lack the people they need. seventy? Did I hear you right? Laugh. Yes, he says. In fact, it could be more than that.

Doesn’t look like an editor caterer magazine, but what are you going to do about employment issues in hospitality whose seriousness is now evident to anyone with a sight to see?

According to my reporter, it’s carnage out there thanks to Brexit and the pandemic, chefs leaving mid-shift because they got a better deal elsewhere, and students dropping out of catering colleges before they graduate. It’s also hard to get porters in the kitchen, waiters, and bar staff, he adds, though I’ve noticed; At the theater last month, only one waitress made her way through the drinks line during intermission. She was fast, but it was clear she wouldn’t make serious headway before the bell rang. If this situation is repeated every night – and why not? It’s not hard to imagine the implications for much-needed art revenue.

There must be much that the government can do if it has the will or even the slightest measure of competence. I also know that from an industry point of view there is a need to avoid bureaucracy; Even if employees showed up overnight, there would still be training, paperwork, health and safety, all of it. But with that, I’ve been fantasizing lately that I’m going back to work as a waitress. “We ate to help.” Maybe we need help now, uh. Can’t large numbers of middle-aged people who have long paid their way from school and university to work in bars and restaurants make a shift or two? If we were amateurs side by side with professionals, we would also be logical, hardworking and happy to hang out with cute and funky guys. We can do this for a free dinner, say once a month – although staff dinners are what they are these days, I’d be very happy with one of those. Not long ago, Jackson Boxer, chef and patron of Orasai and Brunswick House, posted a photo of the day’s staff tea on social media. The sausages were with sriracha mayonnaise and curry sauce and, to be honest, looked amazing. (“No clutter,” he said.)

I know from experience that working in hospitality is often difficult, but it can also be incredibly rewarding, as the lovely waitress at Jo Allen in Covent Garden told me in a long, honest speech that day. The industry has also improved beyond recognition since my time – and I’m probably better suited to that now. Middle age brings a new serenity and toughness in women that can be useful when dealing with an audience.

When I worked in a pub restaurant in Sheffield, my least favorite thing was driving home late at night; Walking in the parking lot after my seizures really scared me. But those days are over for me. I’m rarely afraid of anything, or not in such a visceral physical way. I’m not sure how much I’d like to look in 2022 with a black turtleneck, long white apron and hoop earrings – my fancy waitress wardrobe – but I’ve mastered handling multiple plates and dealing with the crosspatch type – man, he’d rather not admit he doesn’t really know his way around The wine list.

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