Chef Shortage Has Manhattan Restaurants Starving for Cooks

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

New York has long been the place for chefs who want to make a name for themselves in the culinary world. 

But lately, restaurateurs have been struggling to find experienced cooks. In part, it’s because there is ever-greater competition in the city: At last count, in 2010, there were more than 6,000 restaurants in Manhattan, 19 percent more than there were five years earlier.

But it’s also because chefs no longer have to be in New York to cook in a great restaurant. Much more affordable cities like Columbus, Madison and Nashville all have vibrant restaurant scenes these days. Since cooks can typically make $10 to $12 an hour for starting jobs at restaurants in Manhattan, there's often little incentive to stay.


Charlie Herman


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Comments [6]

Answer: PAY MORE.

Jul. 13 2013 12:46 PM
RestAccountant from NYC

Reality check... 80% of people who live in manhattan cant afford it. If you can't afford dinning out now in New York just for restaurants to start paying people $15 an hour.

Jul. 01 2013 10:56 PM

I can't listen to ANY business owner complain if they don't pay their workers a LIVING WAGE. Ten to $12 per hour is pittance! Get out of business if you can't pay your workers $15 per hour. Those businesses who are paying less are depending on tax payers to cover the social welfare programs to help the working poor. Don't buy anything from businesses who don't pay a living wage.

Jun. 30 2013 05:35 PM
Katnath from Berkeley ca

Maybe you need to start paying your cooks a living wage, not make them work slave labour hours and provide some benefits. Then you might have some reason for cooks to stay with you.

Jun. 26 2013 03:04 PM

Step 1: Reduce overhead by replacing legal workers with Spanish speaking-only "undocumented immigrants".
Step 2: Select all managers and chefs according to their "kitchen talent" of bi-lingualism (specifically, English and Spanish).
Step 3: When "undocumented immigrants" either go back to their "own country" after they've saved enough money or get deported, or start their own restaurants, fall back on Step 4.
Step 4: Decide whether it makes sense to more to attract professional, legal chefs or PANIC.
Step 5: PANIC!

Jun. 26 2013 10:16 AM

I live in Columbus, one of the cities that chefs are supposedly flocking to, but I haven't witnessed this migration. If it were happening, the food here would be a lot better!

Jun. 26 2013 09:02 AM

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