Newsflash!

It turns out the incredibly high cost of living in the Bay Area makes it hard for restaurant line cooks to survive here, and therefor hard for restaurants to find good cooks. I smell Pulitzer….

But it is a serious issue, considering that this is a town that thrives on its hospitality industry more than anything else. The Chronicle frames the story as a divisive issue between cooks and waiters.


In San Francisco, line cooks working nonunion jobs make much less than half of what servers can earn working the same number of hours.A cook who is paid $15 per hour at 40 hours per week earns an annual salary of $31,200, while a server earning minimum wage plus the San Francisco median rate of $30 per hour in tips brings home $81,411 per year. Cooks tend to work more than 40 hours a week, and servers tend to work less than full time, so the difference may not be quite that extreme. Still, it’s substantial.Changes in San Francisco law, including the paid sick leave requirements and employer-mandated health insurance, could deepen the divide between what cooks and waiters bring home. Due to go into effect Jan. 1, pending a lawsuit filed by the Golden Gate Restaurant Association, the health insurance ordinance would require private companies with 20 employees or more and nonprofits with 50 employees or more to provide health insurance or pay a fee to the city.In the past, some restaurants would offer cooks, who are generally full time, extra benefits such as paid time off and health insurance - which they didn’t offer the part-time waitstaff - to make up for their lack of tip income. Under the new and pending legislation, part-time workers also qualify for health care and paid sick leave.

It turns out the incredibly high cost of living in the Bay Area makes it hard for restaurant line cooks to survive here, and therefor hard for restaurants to find good cooks. I smell Pulitzer….

But it is a serious issue, considering that this is a town that thrives on its hospitality industry more than anything else. The Chronicle frames the story as a divisive issue between cooks and waiters.

It’s worth noting that after the SF Weekly ran an Expose on the CCA in June, students from that institution filed a class-action suit against the university, alleging fraud in the school’s admissions practices.

Chefs’ high hopes, low pay leave S.F. restaurants starved for help

Newsflash!