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Bouley


glenn
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I thought credit card transactions were instantaneous at this point.

They take anywhere from one to three days in processing. It seems to depend on the outfit in the middle doing the transaction.

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Glenn's link above no longer works, by the way, and the Observer database is down at the moment. So if somebody finds the article, or related ones, let's post some new links here.

Thie might be a good time to ask members to post a brief synopsis of any story and not just a link as most news links expire and we may be left with a thread that has limited meaning.

Most in the biz know that big restos don't pay their bills on time because they can't ... Same thing with Bolud (sic) and Jean Georges.

I've done some web design for two NY restaurants. Daniel Boulud's organization was one of them. Perhaps my bills were minor in comparison to those of the provisioners, but I was always paid within about a week. It left me totally unprepared for the next situation elsewhere, where the proceedure ensured that no bill was paid any sooner than five weeks and two months was no unusual. It's also possible that some restaurants have different schedules for professional services than for suppliers.

I won't dispute that great restaurants under pay their cooks. At the entrance level, it's worth it to the cook for both the line on his resume as well as the education and discipline. Consider it graduate shcool of the highest level. I'm continually reminded of a young cook who told me that if his work satisfies Boulud, he can get a job anywhere and work with confidence. He had just come from working at Commander's Palace and was truly impressed with the bar of what was not considered acceptable at Daniel. At the high end there's the pride that goes with being an important part of such an operation, although inevitably there's the urge to do one's own thing and have one's name on the menu. The credential of "executive chef" or "sous chef" at any of the four star restaurants is an impressive one.

As for the central issue of this thread, I'm a bit uncomfortable with hearsay remarks, but I've met more than a few industry people who have grumbled about the funds received by Bouley at a time when many of the other restaurants were donating food, facilities and time to feeding the rescue workers without pay. It wold be nice to get some sort of closure on this.

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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It's been my habit to expect payment from my customers within ten days of billing - usually by fax. Unless I know a customer is running into some problems, I'm pretty unwavering in this policy. It works.

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What is the actual salary of a line cook at, for example, Daniel? I bet it's significantly more than minimum wage.

I haven't seen someone's stub from Daniel, but I can attest that typical 4 star entry level kitchen pay is about $400 for 50-60+ hrs of work. Truly.

Different story if the place is union (Jean Georges), which means they probably won't keep you past day 89, inless you're exceptional. Union minimum is around $13/hr.

Lisa

Lisa K

Lavender Sky

"No one wants black olives, sliced 2 years ago, on a sandwich, you savages!" - Jim Norton, referring to the Subway chain.

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I haven't seen someone's stub from Daniel, but I can attest that typical 4 star entry level kitchen pay is about $400 for 50-60+ hrs of work. Truly.

Employees at these places are also paid minimally, barely above minimum wage.

lisa, with all due respect, as you probably know more about this than i do, but i don't know if 400 bucks for 50 or 60 hours a week should be categorized as "barely above minimum wage" for the purposes of this discussion. then again, i don't have any idea what minimum wage is these days.

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Minimum wage for non-tipped restaurant employees in the US appears to be $5.15 per hour, so at 60 hours a week they should be getting $309.00.

No, Andy: 40 X 5.15 = $206. I can't imagine that anyone would get paid for 60, when it's illegal to work that many hours.

OR: they'd get $360.50 if the place paid overtime, which is highly unlikely. First 40 at straight time, next 20 at time-and-a-half; and for all I know there's a limit on how many overtime hours one may "work" (= get paid for, regardless of actual time worked). Of all the places I worked in, only one paid overtime, and it was pulling teeth to get them to pay up according to my timecard. So this is also difficult to imagine.

Tommy: if one is getting paid $10/per hour for a 40-hour week, but is working 60 hours, the effective rate of pay is $6.66 per hour. That's $1.51 above minimum. It looks a lot better if you show it as 29.3% above minimum, but the basis is still minimum wage. And this is all BEFORE taxes.

Also, deduct at least $20/week carfare. And some places actually deduct a fixed amount per day for staff meal, whether you eat it or not. :shock: So what does that leave you? Remember too that there is no health insurance; or in the EXTREMELY unlikely event that there is, it ALL comes off the top.

To everyone NOT in the industry: What is YOUR base rate? Your effective rate, when benefits are factored in? :hmmm: (You don't really have to answer; just think about it. :sad: )

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Interesting story about Bouly,

My Exc Chef was his Chef for many years, I am going to see what his take on it is..

In regards to the pay.

I am pretty lucky where I work I get a good hrly rate plus a good amount of OT each week.....

thats one of the reason i took it.. none of the pastry jobs i where offered came close so i became a cook....

I bake there for I am....

Make food ... not war

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Tommy: if one is getting paid $10/per hour for a 40-hour week, but is working 60 hours, the effective rate of pay is $6.66 per hour.  That's $1.51 above minimum.  It looks a lot better if you show it as 29.3% above minimum, but the basis is still minimum wage.  And this is all BEFORE taxes. 

i think FG agrees with me when i say that generalizing the pay of people in the industry as 'just barely over minimum wage' isn't very accurate, particularly if we're talking about a place like Daniel.

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I thought credit card transactions were instantaneous at this point.

<<

Servers of course are paid small salaries, but they make their income from tips.>>

a dear friend of mine works at ducasse, the person gets paid $13/hr and only gets paid for 8hrs instead of the 12hrs actually worked. it sickens me that the chefs get paid probably half of what the servers get at these top restaurants.

yes it is said that once you have these grand restaurants on your resume that you can work anywhere but i wonder if it is really worth it......

"Is there anything here that wasn't brutally slaughtered" Lisa Simpson at a BBQ

"I think that the veal might have died from lonliness"

Homer

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. it sickens me that the chefs get paid probably half of what the servers get at these top restaurants.

......

I know the servers where i work make more than me. but they can have it

id rather stay in the hot kitchen then deal with the people in the dinning room.. no way !!!

I bake there for I am....

Make food ... not war

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  • 2 months later...

Went here for a birthday dinner last nite, both wife and I had the tasting menu...

Food was good (not outstanding) and portions very small, but service for the first two-thirds of the nite was BAD!

When we were seated, we were asked if we wanted a cocktail and we asked to see the wine list... it never came; we had to ask for it again after our dinner order was taken.

I asked for another roll and was told "sure"... never saw it. When our next course was served i asked again and was told "sure"... never saw it. Finally got it on the third try.

My wife's wine glass remained empty for long periods of time.

None of the above are major ordeals, but also not what i expect from a high-end restaurant. Around dessert service greatly improved, but overall i'd say i was somewhat unimpressed based upon the high expectations i had and it was not worth the money.

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thereuare, That's interesting that you had that experience. I was there about a year ago, and had some of the best service ever. Very attentive waiters, friendly, etc. Actually one of my favorite dining experiences ever.

I wonder if they were just having an off night, or if it has slipped ...

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There's another possibility, Erin: They're inconsistent. I think that's the most likely possibility. Read my earlier thread on my disappointing Good Friday meal at Bouley and the responses, including from a poster who had a great meal at that same service.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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I would lean towards the inconsistent theory. I'd go even further to say that not all of their staff is at the same level of understanding.

As i tried to convey, the service at the end of the meal was quite good (or maybe the wine kicked in :unsure: ). It actually started quite well, with the host/matre 'd being very courteous and pleasant. I think there were two people that dropped the ball: 1) a server that delivered one of our courses (who didn't remember my request for more bread), and 2) i don't know his position, but he wore a suit and when we were seated asked us for if we wanted drinks... this gentleman was the one that had too many other things on his mind to remember our request for the wine list and then also had deaf ears for my request for another roll.

Regardless who dropped the ball, at the prices they charge the meal should go relatively flawless, and i'd rather spend my dollars elsewhere.

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I was there within the past week and enjoyed excellent

service, including wine and rolls. So I suspect inconcsistent.

However, portions are small [not smaller than usual] and

the same olde tasting menu [mostly,anyway] has been

offered for the past few years. I would like to see some

new dishes.

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That's horrible.

I have been thinking that the way to deal with that is to clal the manager over during the meal. This is the sort of thing that the restaurant would like to know and to correct, rather than have published on the Internet. I know that this is hard to do in the middle of a meal, but still.

Bruce

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They are inconsistent, but they tend to do better at less busy times. When they ran the restaurant at half capacity (for the reopening) I thought the food and service were top notch. Unfortunately, they probably need the high volume to be profitable at their price point.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Was there on Saturday, November 1. We were there early, no reservation and casually dressed. Went on a whim. Could not have been treated better. Fantastic service, almost using ESP to detect our needs, by many staffers. The atmosphere is romantic . I agree that the portions are small, but they throw in a few intermezzos, amuses and cookie plates so that we left stuffed. One would have to be jaded not to enjoy this place if they had the experience that we did. I guess sometimes snags happen.

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My wife's wine glass remained empty for long periods of time.

I consider this a serious flaw and one that's ruined a good meal here and there. Oddly enough, I've found the problem worse in Europe (France and Spain) than in the US. Restaurants should leave the bottle on the table if they can't afford proper wine service by waiters. I don't have any post 9/11 experience at Bouley, so I can't comment on whether it was an aberration or not the night you were there.

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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