Buffalo, NY—Facing a shortage of workers and unable to absorb the cost of raising wages, area restaurant owners are pledging to reduce shitty treatment of employees by twenty-five percent along with other incentives to lure workers back to their establishments.
Without wage and benefit inducements owners and their managers think the way forward is to not be the assholes they were before the pandemic. Female wait staff can expect fewer propositions and lewd comments about their asses. Kitchen staff can expect fewer remarks about their oddly shaped heads and lack of brainpower.
Big Joe Dumont of Big Joe’s House of Fish in Riverside said, “I been around a long time and in recent years its come to my attention that the waitresses I employ at a robust $8.35 per hour find my editorial remarks about their bodies—offensive. Back in the day you’d boost a girl’s confidence by complimenting their um . . . pectorals, but whatever, I can make the adjustment. What’s going to be really difficult is to keep my amorous advances in check. I’m what you call a lover, not a fighter and like our great 45th President, Donald J. Trump, sometimes I can’t help myself and just start kissing and then move on them like a bitch. That’s going to be the challenge. But if the success of the restaurant depends on it, I’ll make it happen.”
Eddie Alfonzo, of Alfonzo’s Sausage & Soup in Derby said, “We got this dishwasher named Joey, who’s been with me a long time—like fifteen years. I admit that I do point out he is a fucking moron, maybe twenty or twenty-five times a day, but the kid is like a son to me. I say it with love and I can tell you this, nobody would have kept that idiot around for as long as I have. But I’m going to make a concerted effort to reduce that to ten to fifteen times a day no matter how many glasses that fucking meathead breaks. And once a month I’m going to make that uppity waiter, Stephon clean the grease trap instead of Joe. That hairless fucker in his skinny jeans and his bullshit woke attitude walks around here like he’s so much better than all of us.
Others are taking a different approach. Some managers are offering an end of shift beer and other team building incentives. A bar manager from a busy Chippewa Street nightspot, who didn’t want to be identified, said not only is he going to give employees an end of shift beer but he plans on providing his peeps with a few bumps of crystal blue persuasion throughout the night. “Yeah,” I know this sophomore from one of the local high schools who cooks meth. He calls it crystal blue, but that’s more aspirational because it’s really this terrible cloudy white shit that sucks. But nothing pulls a team together and keeps them motivated like the boss giving them free drugs, even if they are shitty drugs. Word of this will get around and pretty soon there’ll be a line of desperate motherfuckers trying to work for me.”
Owners hope to see an uptick in applicants soon, but are increasingly becoming resigned to the fact they might have to start paying a living wage with benefits.