Restaurant work sucks. I know, because I did it for five years (from around 34-39 years old), and supporting yourself on line cook wages is really heartbreaking. Many of you have had this experience as well, as you’ve mentioned in the comments. It’s a physically and mentally demanding job, one with constant risk of injury and either shitty or nonexistent health insurance coverage, and oftentimes, there’s no way up. Or a way out.
So it makes me angry to find out that Nusret Gökçe (aka Salt Bae) is attempting to hire a chef de partie at the London outpost of his restaurant, Nusr-Et, for approximately $16 an hour. The New York Post reports that the job was posted on job website caterer.com, saying that the restaurant claims it pays competitively. My ass it does.
Amazing opportunity for an experienced Chef De Partie to join Nusret team in the new restaurant in London. As a Chef De Partie, you will be working with some of the finest ingredients from the U.K. and abroad in the one of the most famous steakhouses in the world.
You will play a vital part in a large team and will support the Head Chef during service. To the successful candidate, Nusret London offers a highly competitive salary and excellent opportunities to develop a global career.
The pay is £12.00 - £13.50 ($16.40 - $18.45) for a position that covers an entire station of a restaurant. That means this particular chef likely manages at least a few other line cooks, and is probably on the line like the rest of the crew. Dude. One order of the mashed potatoes at Nusr-Et in London is $16. That’s fucked. Considering an hour of labor comes down to literal small potatoes, this is a slap to the face. I think a place that sells gold-leafed steak for £850 ($1,170) could probably afford to triple its staff wages and still make money.
All this to work at a restaurant where the celebrity up top is known for sprinkling salt in a silly way. And you wonder why everyone’s leaving the industry. You can do better than this, Salt Bae.