- Sep 20, 2018
Food media needs to highlight the good work done by teams, and acknowledge the group, rather than laud the individual, writes food reporter and author Corey Mintz
Not many local places will be left after all this. It’s just a somewhat short opinion piece but touched on many issues within the food/restaurant industry.
The way we treat the people who produce food is atrocious. From field to table, the weakest link in the supply chain, after animals, has always been human workers. So at every opportunity we take advantage. Because we want food to be as cheap as possible, we import temporary farm workers, make them live in shacks andexpose them to pesticides before shipping them back home. We pay servers a sub-minimum wage that incentivizes them to accept abuse from customers in exchange for tips. And we devise schemes to commit wage theft against cooks, expecting them to perform at Olympic levels of perfection while being screamed at.
What’s happening to the hospitality industry is a tragedy, but it’ll be worse if we fail to learn anything from it, if a post-COVID-19 restaurant landscape looks like the one it replaced. We have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to redesign the DNA of restaurants. How do want that to look?
Good food is a given. I wouldn’t knowingly pay for bad food no matter how noble the cause. The issues that bother me are systemic and hard to change: wage theft and abuse of all kinds (physical, emotional, verbal, sexual, racial). They are exacerbated by the structure of chef-driven restaurants and the food media that perpetuates it.