If you've always dreamed of getting into the restaurant biz on the ground floor, you could do worse than use Time Out New York's guide to the best restaurant employers as your bible. No shocker that there's a Danny Meyer joint on the list of seven — employees at the famously staff-friendly Shake Shack have a "Caught Doing Right" board, where they write encouraging notes about one another — but while all the choices offer perks like paid vacation, family meals, and health insurance, only Bouley really pulls out the big guns with comped meals among the toffs in the dining room.
David Bouley himself might be facing all sorts of problems — a crumbling empire not least among them — but it's a good life for the staff at his still-going-strong flagship. "When any of the staff comes in, the employee doesn’t pay, and neither do their guests,” says a dining-room captain. “All of the cooks come in for dinner regularly, because it’s important for them to see that side of what they do.” That, and the lobster with passion-fruit coulis.