The Next Supper: The End of Restaurants as We Knew Them, and What Comes After

Corey Mintz. PublicAffairs, $28 (352p) ISBN 978-1-5417-5840-7
“I’m convinced there’s a better way to be a restaurant customer,” writes food journalist Mintz (How to Host a Dinner Party) in his fiery work exposing “the twisted DNA of the dining industry.” As the Covid-19 pandemic dragged on, he writes, it revealed a restaurant industry struggling to make ends meet, and one ravaged by a culture in which “fiefdoms” were rampant with “wage theft, tip skimming, and abuse.” Through conversations with owners, chefs, cooks, servers, and delivery people, Mintz offers a searing critique of the food world, explaining why many of its standard practices—such as relying on apps for on-demand deliveries and tipping—have “train[ed] us to value convenience over price, quality, and fair wages”; how the brutal treatment of kitchen staff—from the underpaid to those not paid at all—has led to the current labor shortage; and the harms of operating under the ethos that the “customer is always right.” As a corrective, he urges consumers to stop treating industry workers as “beneath our concern” and to “suss out... what kind of workplaces are worth supporting.” Mintz also describes how thoughtful urban planning can preserve family restaurants and protect neighborhoods from being inundated by corporate franchises. With the hospitality industry poised at a point of inflection, this offers plenty of food for thought. Agent: Lynn Johnston, Lynn Johnston Literary. (Nov.)
Reviewed on : 09/27/2021
Release date: 11/16/2021
Genre: Nonfiction
Compact Disc - 978-1-6686-0362-8
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