Wealthy families are hiring laid-off chefs from NYC's cratering restaurant scene — and paying them up to twice as much to be private employees
Top New York City chefs have been recruited to become private chefs for wealthy families. The New York City restaurant industry was severely impacted by the coronavirus. On March 17, all restaurants in the city were ordered to cease dine-in services and pivot to take-out or delivery only. Becoming a private chef allows for many-out-of-work restaurant employees to remain employed and maintain a steady income. They can even make more money as a wealthy family's personal chef than they did working in a restaurant. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
Chefs from upscale New York City restaurants are leaving the city to become private chefs for wealthy families instead, Page Six's Jennifer Gould Keil reports — and it's just the latest example of how the city's high-end restaurant scene is suffering amid coronavirus shutdowns. According to Keil, out-of-work chefs from restaurants like Daniel, Per Se, Gramercy Tavern, Jean-Georges, and Eleven Madison Park, tell her they've been approached by real-estate brokers and talent agencies for potential new jobs as private chefs. These are some of the city's most renowned upscale eateries; Eleven Madison Park, for one, is ranked among the top restaurants in the world, Business Insider previously reported. Resorting to privatized work is one way for laid-off chefs to continue to make a living while staying in the industry. Ian Tenzer, a former sous chef at Eleven Madison Park, told Keil he "can't stand not working" and that he misses "being in the kitchen." It can also be a more lucrative career option than restaurant cheffing. Those who formerly worked as sous chefs at upscale restaurants can expect to earn $120,000 to $200,000 a year working privately for a family, Keil reports — that's compared to the roughly $100,000 they'd make working in a restaurant. They also have the potential to earn even more in bonuses if they agree to shelter-in-place with the families that hire them during the pandemic. Business Insider's Hillary Hoffower previously reported that many wealthy people (including Martha Stewart) are asking their staff to quarantine with them indefinitely, with some offering bonuses and raises to do so. Business Insider's Katie Warren previously reported that the NYC restaurant industry ordinarily makes nearly $50 billion in sales each year and employs over 167,000 people. On March 17, restaurants in the city were forced to cease dine-in services and offer take-out and delivery only as part of coronavirus shutdowns implemented to curb the spread of the virus. Just a day later, Union Square Hospitality Group, the restaurant group owned by renowned chef Danny Meyer that operates at least 18 restaurants in NYC (including the famed Gramercy Tavern), laid off 80% of its workforce, Business Insider's Taylor Borden reported. Many other restaurants and major hospitality groups followed suit, leaving thousands of restaurant workers without jobs or steady income.SEE ALSO: Hundreds of yachts are crowding the waters around the US Virgin Islands as other Caribbean islands close their ports, and it's creating a trash problem on top of coronavirus fears DON'T MISS: The owners of the real-life castles featured on 'The Crown' and 'Downton Abbey' are losing income and overwhelmed with maintenance needs because of coronavirus shutdowns Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: How waste is dealt with on the world's largest cruise ship
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'Blindsided' with no backup plan and rents closing in: Laid-off NYC restaurant workers describe how their lives have changed as their industry collapses around them
A staffing agency that hires nannies and chefs for ultra-wealthy families at 6-figure salaries says it's been 'inundated' by laid-off restaurant workers desperate for work
Chefs and waiters that have been laid off due to the coronavirus are looking to ultra-wealthy...Chefs and waiters that have been laid off due to the coronavirus are looking to ultra-wealthy families as possible new employers, a New York-based staffing agency told Business Insider. A record-shattering 3.28 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits in the week ending March 2 alone, as authorities closed nonessential businesses to slow the spread of the virus. Since being identified in Wuhan, China, in December, the novel coronavirus has infected at least 511,000 people and killed over 23,000 across the globe. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. The staffs of high-end restaurants who can't work from home through the coronavirus crisis have found a new way to make ends meet as their workplaces shutter and lay them off at record rates — working in the home of a local ultra-wealthy family. A New York-based staffing agency that hires butlers, chefs, nannies, and personal assistants for ultra-wealthy families across the globe says it's been overwhelmed with calls from recently laid off hospitality workers looking for new jobs. Restaurants across the country have been forced to convert to take-out only or close entirely and hotels stand empty as authorities ask Americans to practice social distancing to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. David Youdovin, the CEO of Hire Society, told Business Insider that his firm has placed over a dozen people in new roles this month alone. Some of the openings Youdovin filled were posted before coronavirus outbreaks took hold in the United States, while other positions were newly created to accommodate families who now find themselves spending more time at home. "It's a defensive industry and a 100% controlled one," Youdovin told Business Insider. "Our clients are quasi-recession-proof. If the market tanks dramatically, they are still fine and will always need someone to help them manage their households, serve them their dinner, or cook them their dinner." Just two weeks after the World Health Organization declared the novel coronavirus outbreak a pandemic, restaurants, coffee shops, gyms, fitness studios, and cultural institutions have already begun to lay off employees. Some cities forced the closures while others shuttered voluntarily as customers embrace social distancing in an attempt to slow the virus' spread. Air travel has also ground to a halt, leaving airline and hotel employees vulnerable to layoffs as well. A record-shattering 3.28 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits in the week ending March 2 alone. Still, Hire Society is looking to fill dozens of open positions in New York City, the Hamptons, and Palm Beach, Florida, Hire Society recruiter Giuliana Bianchini told Business Insider. Several of the roles come with full health insurance and paid time off in addition to six-figure salaries — benefits that restaurant workers affected by the coronavirus layoffs likely did not have in their former roles. Some of the firm's clients have also begun to require that new employees quarantine themselves for 14 days before starting work, Bianchini told Business Insider. Some families are even offering bonuses to staff who are willing to sequester themselves with the family between shifts. New York and Florida, two of Hire Society's largest markets, are also home to two of the largest outbreaks of the novel coronavirus in the country. Out of the over 1,100 confirmed coronavirus deaths in the United States, as of Thursday, 385 occurred in New York State and 28 were in Florida. New York is now considered the epicenter of the country's outbreak, and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has blamed his state's outbreak on New Yorkers traveling to Florida despite refusing to close his state's beaches amid widespread Spring Break parties that disregarded CDC guidelines for social distancing. Since being identified in Wuhan, China, in December, the novel coronavirus has infected 511,000 people and killed over 23,000 across the globe.SEE ALSO: Gen Z workers will likely bear the brunt of the coronavirus layoffs DON'T MISS: Melinda Gates is taking walks, Warren Buffett is drinking more Coke, and Elon Musk is still going to work. Here's how the world's richest people are preparing for the coronavirus outbreak. Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: 9 of the most exclusive Disney spots to visit, including the invite-only Cinderella Suite where Tom Cruise and Mariah Carey have stayed
The chef Chris Shepherd has promoted immigrant restaurateurs and the city, and become a big name...The chef Chris Shepherd has promoted immigrant restaurateurs and the city, and become a big name himself in the process.