(Munchies) Welcome back to Restaurant Confessionals, where we talk to the unheard voices of the restaurant industry from both the front- and back-of-house about what really goes on behind the scenes at your favourite establishments.
This time, we hear from a chef in Buenos Aires about what it’s like to be sued by your own waiter.
I never imagined that after my restaurant sponsored my waiter’s work visa, he’d sue me as soon as he could legally stand on two feet.
My head cook knew a guy—let’s call him John—who’d moved to Buenos Aires from Europe, who was looking for work. My husband and business partner tried out a couple of people but John had way more presence, dressed well, served wine well, had plenty of salon experience, spoke three languages, and made the diners laugh. We hired him over a native Argentine.
Plus, since he was a friend of our cook and needed the money, we thought, “Let’s give him a job.” In the US, rule number one is: don’t hire anyone illegally. We should have put him on the books but he didn’t have a visa. And, while I wouldn’t normally do something like that, given that it’s common for staff to moonlight and be paid on a daily basis in Argentina, we hired him anyway.
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