This whole ordeal has fucked us far worse than anything I’ve seen in nearly three decades in the industry. So what are we going to do? We’re going to bounce back from and this is how we’re going to do it.
We needed to clean house
Like it or not, the industry has been going downhill for years and this thing is the final nail in the coffin. Too much ego, not enough heart. I’m not just talking the Kitchen crews, I’m talking about the customers, the owners and the overall attitude with even the customers. We needed this.
Yes, I feel bad for those who are in it for the right reasons, for a true unwavering love of Food. A lot of really good people are getting fucked and losing everything without warning and trust me, I can fucking relate after what I’ve personally been through over the past 6 weeks. I know what it’s like to feel like you’re on top of the world only to have it all taken away from you through no fault of your own.
Thousands of places are being shut down and I can’t even imagine how many of my brothers and sisters are out of work and don’t know what’s next. This was never supposed to happen. I knew from day one that, while I was never going to make a lot of money in this game, I’d always be able to find a Kitchen and cover my basics. It’s the only real sense of stability a lot of us have known.
Out of the ashes
I’ve been lucky enough to have cooked in the National Parks for a few seasons and one thing you see is wildfire damage. Most people see the damage and destruction, the ashes of what once was. What the fail to see is that its really the juxtaposition of life and death and, when you look closely, you see a new world being born.
This is what’s about to happen in the restaurant industry once this bullshit is over. It’s hard to see this while the fire is still raging and trust me, I’m still losing sleep over my ex. But it’s going to get better.
People still need to eat
And landlords need rent. There are going to be a lot of empty spots available to people who would have never been able to afford them otherwise. There will be new faces on the block that are driven by the love of Food more than the profit margins and latest trends.
The game is going to change
I don’t know exactly how, that’s for you to figure out and implement, but I know big changes are ahead in regards to pay, health care and overall relations between owners and employees. Talent is going to gravitate to the places that not only pay well but provide a better sense of security.
With any luck, we’ll see less corporate chains and more co-op, employee owned business models. Hint hint folks, nows your fucking chance.
Make the most of your time
I’m saying this to myself as well, don’t dwell in what was and what you lost. It’s not easy but we need to put our time and effort into what’s next. We know what’s wrong so how are we, the industry, both staff and owners going to fix this and make it better?
Listen, I wouldn’t wish the shit I’ve been through over the past few weeks on anyone and it breaks what little of a heart I have left to know how many of you are dealing with the same thing. Most of you are like me, you don’t have a choice, we love food, cooking is in our heart and we can’t fathom doing anything else. Even during our personal struggles, the Kitchen has always been a place of refuge from the real world. Now we’re losing what we love while feeling powerless and helpless to do a God damn thing about it. One minute you want to give up and cry? The next minute you want to put your fist through a wall? Yeah…. I get it…..trust, I understand. If you need help, fuck your pride and get it. Don’t be afraid to reach out if things get bad.
We will rise.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve taken off my apron and swore that I was done with this bullshit. At the end of the day, I always come back out of love. I’m telling you motherfuckers, it ain’t over. Shits going to be be ugly and scary and painful but when the dust finally settles, we’re going to wash our hands, turn on the hood vents and do what the fuck we do.
Can I get a fucking “Yes Chef!!!”?