Tag Archives: Kitchens

“Equity within the whole restaurant”: The problem with the tipped wage | Salon.com

“We’re the only industry where half of the workforce has to rely on a customer’s goodwill”

By Maggie Hennessy, Published September 18, 2022 5:30PM (EDT)

The staff at Lazy Betty at work (Andrew Thomas Lee)

Even though he came up in professional kitchens starting as a line cook, Ron Hsu didn’t internalize the implicit inequity and racism of the tipped wage system until he became a restaurant owner, in 2019. The Atlanta-based chef/owner of award-winning tasting menu restaurant Lazy Betty, along with Asian-Southern Juniper Cafe and the forthcoming chef-driven pizzeria Humble Pie decided instead to institute the federal minimum wage and a service-charge model at his restaurants. 

It’s come with pushback — not just from some customers but from waitstaff reluctant to embrace change or loath to face confrontation with skeptical consumers. But he’s determined to be part of the — oft-maddeningly slow — change in what he sees as a deeply problematic system. 

Source: https://www.salon.com/2022/09/18/equity-within-the-whole-restaurant-the-problem-with-the-tipped-wage/

Review: Amtrak reinvents ‘traditional’ dining car meals | trains

Ride with ‘Southwest Chief’ kitchen staff reveals upgraded quality and presentation

By Bob Johnston | July 26, 2021

First of two parts

Chef Frank Villasenor grills a flatiron steak. He has observed improving food quality and freshness with the new menu selections. (Bob Johnston)

ABOARD THE SOUTHWEST CHIEF — A month after Amtrak revamped dining-car menus on the five long-distance trains that serve the West Coast — replacing pre-packaged meals in a bowl with freshly-prepared breakfasts, lunches, and dinners — it’s clear the company is aiming for a higher standard than what it previously offered.

“I was really surprised,” observes Chef Frank Villasenor, who, with Food Specialist Brian Garrigues, is manning the Southwest Chief’s kitchen, on the lower level of the Superliner dining car, out of Chicago on July 22.

“This is a step above where I thought we would go, especially with the direction we were going.”

Source: Review: Amtrak reinvents ‘traditional’ dining car meals – Trains