San Francisco is one of the most expensive places in the world to live -- six figure incomes are considered "low" and even the tiniest homes are farcically expensive.
Housing costs are fueled by a combination of property speculation, NIMBYism that prevents high-density projects, and, of course, the world-beating wealth inequality of tech-sector jobs vs everyone else.
Restaurants are feeling the squeeze. Even with the minimum wage for tipped workers rising to $15, food service workers can't make ends meet (dishwashers can make $18-19/hour and still be housing-impoverished). To bridge the gap, restauranteurs -- led by the Greek restaurant Souvla -- are going self-serve, asking patrons to fill their own water glasses, bus their own dishes, and place their orders at a bar.
“It’s really sad,” said Jennifer Sullivan, who worked for years as a server in the area. Twenty years ago, she moved from Chicago to Oakland, where she rented a $750 studio apartment and waitressed her way through college. She fears that story would not be possible in the Bay Area now.
“I’ve even had dystopian future visions of buses full of labor that come from the outskirts of these really wealthy areas,” she said.
A few blocks from the original Souvla, at the celebrated modern French restaurant Jardinière, the chef Traci Des Jardins said her labor costs, including taxes and health care, now eat up 43 percent of her budget.
When she opened Jardinière in 1997, they were 27 percent. (Mr. Bililies said Souvla’s percentage is in the mid-20s now, even with paid vacation and retirement benefits.)
San Francisco Restaurants Can’t Afford Waiters. So They’re Putting Diners to Work. [Emily Badger/NY Times]
It's a not-very-well-kept secret that elements of the libertarian right believe that democracy is incompatible with capitalism (tldr: if majorities get to vote, they'll vote to tax rich minorities and since rich people are in the minority they'll always lose that vote); and as this persuasive and fascinating lecture and Q&A with former Greek finance […]
Amazon has selected New York City and Northern Virginia for new headquarters. They’re re-branding the area of Crystal City in Arlington, VA as “National Landing.”
Tim Wu (previously) is a legal scholar best known for coining the term "Net Neutrality" -- his next book, The Curse of Bigness: Antitrust in the New Gilded Age (previously) challenges the accepted wisdom about today's digital monopolists, which is that they grew so big because of some underlying truth about online business ("first-mover advantage," […]
In case you hadn’t noticed from the sleigh bell-heavy music and the hues on your Starbucks cup, the holiday season hasn’t shown any more patience this year. But that doesn’t need to be a bad thing, especially if you’re hoping to get a jump on your shopping. Retailers aren’t waiting til Black Friday to dish […]
What do you get for the techie who has everything? How about giving them a Raspberry Pi and letting them make pretty much anything. Or better yet, do it for yourself with the Ultimate Raspberry Pi eBook Bundle. This trove of ideas and education unlocks the unlimited potential of this mini-computer, whose affordability and versatility […]
Note-taking just caught up to the digital age. For most of us, writing freehand is quicker and more convenient than pecking away on a tablet, but what to do when you need those scribbles on file? Grab a Rocketbook Everlast Reusable Notebook, which seamlessly fuses analog and digital notes. Just jot down your thoughts, journals […]