The Great Hall
New to this field and needing advices The Great Hall: New to this field and needing advices
By Victoriatuan (Victoriatuan) on Tuesday, April 30, 2002 - 02:41 am: Edit

My sister is the one who works at a NYC restaurant, and I'm in Tokyo. We talk on the phone at least twice a week, and the environment at the restaurant does not sound very good: 12 to 16 hours a day, six days a week, $8.50 an hour, and no benefit at all. I'm writing this, because I doubt if she has energy or time to do it. I might sound ignorant, because I'm not familiar with the restaurant business, but I really want to help her to find out if her situation is "normal". Please bear with me.
What is the average hourly wage for an entry level pastry assistant ( she finished the Peter Krump's pastry course) at a restaurant in NYC? Is the 40 hour rule not applicable here (no over time?)? Is there some kind of association or union for restaurant workers that provide some medical insurance plan (of course I understand that she has to pay the premium herself, but I think it might be cheaper with a group of people)? Is it customary for the most junior staff to wash the pots and pans for the other staff even if they are holding the same positions? Any reply would be greatly appreciated!

By Thebaker (Thebaker) on Tuesday, April 30, 2002 - 04:31 pm: Edit


$8.50 pr hour is not bad right out of school.
Pretty much what you wrote is how it is, some places are worse and some are better.
My first job out of scool ( 3 yrs ago)
I worked in the pastry department of a caterer that had a retail store and since I had retail experience besides my pastry work I had to keep an eye on the store and help the customers,
I made deliverys, Helped out on the savory side of the kitchen when needed, painted the kitchen and did anything that was needed,

And in the end when the owner found out I was not gay i was fired but them thats a whole other story....

By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Tuesday, April 30, 2002 - 05:37 pm: Edit

8.50 - 10.00 per hour. sometimes, 12.00
she getting less cause shes a girl, I'll bet.
Overtime?, have her check with the city and state, I would think there are rules, laws that address this. UNLESS, she has signed on for some kind of internship.
Junior staff, beginners, wash the pots, sweep the floors, mop the floors, ect. Now in Hotels, you don't have to do this, because they have clean-up crew. You may have to sweep a little, but you don't have to clean the shop. Except tables, and tools, and machines, there are other cleaning duties but we don't have to get into those.
Insurance ? Not unless it's in house.
Same with the unions, which are useless.
She would be better off, looking for another job.
Hotels have insurance, and pay overtime, and are more sensitive in the area of "everyone is the same, no matter what sex, race, ect., ect.
You did not mention the rest. ? Why ?
There are a lot of places that would love to have her work for them. She just has to keep looking.
Tell her to make sure she gets stuff in writting too. Then everyone is on the same page.
Hope this helps.
Gee,...I thought the Baker was gay.LOL

By Thebaker (Thebaker) on Tuesday, April 30, 2002 - 06:09 pm: Edit

Very Nice....

By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Tuesday, April 30, 2002 - 10:17 pm: Edit

Hey Baker............

It's not enogh we have to work the long hours for the low pay, working for people who can't tie their own shoe strings,and with people who couldn't hold up their end without a post.

"And in the end when the owner found out I was not gay i was fired, but then, thats a whole other story...."

See what happens when ya don't put out, ya get fired. LOL.
Thats funny Baker...thats funny

By Victoriatuan (Victoriatuan) on Wednesday, May 01, 2002 - 01:08 am: Edit

Thanks for the replies, Baker and Chefspike. One more question, do you all get paid in CASH? My sister does, and she wonders if it is because there are a lot of illegal immigrants working for the restaurant? She also worries that she has nothing to prove to IRS what her eanings are( she doubts if she will ever get the year end statement from her employer).

By Chefgbs (Chefgbs) on Wednesday, May 01, 2002 - 01:59 am: Edit

Most people are not paid in cash. Reputable businesses do not pay all of their employees in cash. Employers pay cash to their employees only so they don't have to pay taxes and to hide the fact they are using undocumented employees. Unless the place is very famous and is going to look good on her resume, she should leave or ask to be put on the books. However, there is nothing stopping her from filing an income tax return and declaring the money she made. This would cover her backside and quite possibly get the place in trouble.

Ciao for now

By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Wednesday, May 01, 2002 - 02:10 am: Edit

she gets paid in cash, so the rest. does not have to pay any money to the state. For things like unemployment, disability, ect. Which means if she gets hurt on the job, shes up the creek....
(but there's more to it than just this)
It also means that if they fire her, shes not paying into unemployment insurance, for herself.
Is your sister legally in the states??
If so, she should pay her taxes so she doesn't
get in trouble. I'm sure I'm missing some other stuff. Anyone else have anything to say?
Tell your sister to get another job. Jobs like the one she's working are a dime a dozen...and in the long run do more harm than good for anyone who is serious about becoming a good chef.
I'm suprised the school she went to does not have a job program, and maybe she should go talk to her chef/instuctor, and get some guidence.
This is just my 0.02

By Victoriatuan (Victoriatuan) on Wednesday, May 01, 2002 - 11:17 pm: Edit

My sister is a permanent resident (Green Card holder), so she is legal. She was told by many people, including the person in charge of the career center, that changing jobs frequently is not good for her career. What do you think? She has had two jobs for the last two months. She left the first one because the restaurant went under, and the current one's working environment is not very good. Is it common in a restaurant where the executive chef does not know the pastry chef until they both work at the same place, and even now they work seperately? All these are, of course, hearsay because my sister is new to the pastry department, but she knows some people in the other (food) department from the first restaurant.

By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Thursday, May 02, 2002 - 02:17 am: Edit

So she's legal.
Tell her to cover her behind, with the taxes.
It does not make any difference if the pastry chef and Ex. chef know each other.
It does make a difference weather the pastry chef is teaching her anything.
Tell her to visit other pastry shops in other
rest's and Hotels. Get to know some other pastry people.
If one place went out of biz, that's not exactly jumping around. Sounds to me with just the money thing she has ample reason to find another job
But remember, this and other people opinions are just that, she has to decide if she's going to stay or leave. Some of the worst people I worked for and with, were the ones that taught me the most. It's all up to her and what she feels she can put up with.

By Chefferd (Chefferd) on Thursday, May 09, 2002 - 12:30 am: Edit

The 40 hour per week thing is a ferderal law, stating that anybody that is not on salary that works over 40 hours per week is to be paid at 1 and 1/2 times their wage. As far as getting paid in cash, this is the owners attempt to hide money (i.e.federal withholding, social security and others) from the IRS and the government.
If you check your social security account I'll bet your not getting money added for your retirement.
As far as washing pots and pans and doning grunt work, I think we all started out that way.

By Thebaker (Thebaker) on Thursday, May 09, 2002 - 11:48 am: Edit

TO add to that Chefferd

People that get paid so called "salaries". US labor laws states that unless these people are activly engaged in the management/supervision of others they to MUST be paid over time for any hours over 40.

for years this part of the law was not strictly enforced but there have been a few cases.

But sometimes its not worth the trouble complaining ( you know what I mean)

By Victoriatuan (Victoriatuan) on Friday, May 10, 2002 - 01:12 am: Edit

Thanks for all of your help. My sister decided to quit, and she is actively looking for a new job. Anyone knows any opening at bakeries or restaurants or hotels in New York City?
We all knew the labor law requring over time pay, but it's so common that restaurant owners do not care what the law says. Now I'm beginning to feel uncomfotable dining at restaurants, because I feel that I'm helping owners exploit workers. By the way, can anyone get on line to check his or her social security account? My sister needs to find out if her employers actually withheld taxes. Again, thanks!

By Thebaker (Thebaker) on Monday, May 13, 2002 - 04:57 pm: Edit

Hey Victoriatuan
Check out
there ads are updated every morning (tues-fri)
and check out

these are great for finding jobs

By Victoriatuan (Victoriatuan) on Monday, May 13, 2002 - 11:57 pm: Edit

I would like to tell you all a joke, and it is called "Capitalism".¡¨.
There is a young boy in China. One day, the boy returned home from school, and asked his dad a question.
¡§Daddy, what is capitalism?¡¨ His father replied ¡§ Oh, it is quite difficult to explain. Let me use our family as an example. I am the Capitalist, because I¡¦m responsible for making money. Your mom controls our spendings, so she is the Government. Your nanny works for us, so she is the Worker. You are the People, and your younger brother is the Future.¡¨ The little boy was still confused.
The night came, and everyone went to bed. In the middle of the night, the boy¡¦s younger brother poopooed, and cried. The young boy got up, and went to his parents¡¦ room. His mother was asleep, and his father was nowhere to be found. He, then went to his nanny¡¦s room, knocked on the door,and no one answered, so he opened the door and saw his father and nanny in bed. He went back to his room, and soon felt asleep.
Next morning, the boy told his father that he now fully understands the meaning of Capitalism. His father was very happy and asked him to explain it. ¡§ The capitalist screws the worker while the government is asleep. The people are ignored and the future is in deep ••••¡¨ the boy said.
How true it is in the restaurant industry that the labor laws ( and tax laws) are violated by the management and the workers cannot do much about it.

By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Tuesday, May 14, 2002 - 09:46 pm: Edit

What? Japan is not a capitalist country?
Last time I checked it was.
And yes Virginia, they can do something about it.
They can report it.
To the City, The State, The Fed's.
Anyone, at anytime can report abuse, fraud, wether they are a citizen or not.
Even the Nanny.

By Chefferd (Chefferd) on Friday, May 17, 2002 - 11:33 pm: Edit

As two bumper stickers I recently saw state. " Don't let you Karma run over your Dogma" and "That was Zen this is Tao."

By Victoriatuan (Victoriatuan) on Thursday, May 23, 2002 - 12:41 am: Edit

A quick note to tell all of you that my sister accepted an offer from a restaurant which she gets paid overtime, and they even offer some kind of benefits. Thanks for all of your help, we really appreciate it. Will continue to come to this board and hopefully contribute something, too.

Add a Message

This is a private posting area. A valid username and password combination is required to post messages to this discussion.