The COVID-19 pandemic has put a spotlight on how much the restaurant industry needs to change, chef Peter Hoffman writes in The New York Times.
Hoffman, the former of owner of multiple New York City restaurants, painted a harsh picture of the industry's culture, which he said shames underpaid employees "for taking care of themselves ... and shows little regard for work-life balance," especially in "high-end, prestigous restuarants." For example, before the coronavirus took hold, employees often came in when sick because restaurants are often understaffed, which could lead to flu outbreaks in the kitchen.
So, to make life more manageable for staff members, Hoffman suggested that restaurants could consider opening only five days a week rather than seven. That seems to go hand in hand with his acknowledgement that if restaurants want to pay higher wages and expand their staff, they'll also need to charge more, meaning that diners will likely start "treating a restaurant meal as a special occasion rather than a frequent convienence," Hoffman writes. Read Hoffman's full essay at The New York Times.