Help Wanted!

To answer the OP’s question, I’m in Queens, the immigrant capital of the world. I eat mostly in inexpensive ethnic restaurants and those are the windows I look at. There were always very few help wanted signs in the windows and that is still the case. I haven’t noticed that any of the restaurants I go to are short-staffed and none of the owners or staff I talk to have said there is a labor shortage. So I doubt the current immigration issues are the problem.
On a related note, the only fast food I eat is at Burger King. Many of the franchises here have added computer kiosks for placing orders and taking payment. This was specifically in response to rising minimum wages. McDonald’s is supposed to roll them out nationwide. One BK franchisee cut staff by approx 20% initially but has since added back half of those jobs. That could be another reason why there is no labor shortage.

Is the inference here that the small inexpensive ethnic restaurants which are staffed by immigrants are perhaps skirting the minimum wage?

@NotJrvedivici
That’s not at all what this was about. The OP never mentioned minimum wages. He wrote “…‘Help Wanted’ signs posted on food service establishments of every sort from tablecloth spots to fast food. All job levels, from front of the house to back” and asked if there are Help Wanted signs in other parts of the US/world.
My first paragraph answered his question; the second responded to the other 20 replies.

I haven’t done. But might well. I take the view that a restaurant owner who knowingly employs illegal immigrants - an ilegal act in itself in the UK, punishable by up to 5 years in prison - may well have scant regard for other practices that a good employer woul follow - minimum wage, health & safety, food safety, etc. And it does often seem to be the small independent ethnic restaurants that appear in the newspapers with the owner being prosecuted. Not that large mini-chains of ethnic restaurants are immune.

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I would say the same thing is true at the Jersey shore.

Btw I have noticed a lot of Central Americans and Mexicans both working and eating at the small red sauce and dough joints around here lately.

Don’t know if that’s a trend, but it seems Italian food ain’t what it used to be.

I know when I started out (post uni) I shared a house with 6 or 7 people and we pretty much lived week to week. In the winter a trip to the pub was needed because we couldn’t afford to turn the heating on and it was warm…we nursed a beer for a long time…!

I understand that lots of "entry level’ workers still do much the same thing. Four bedrooms in a modest family house means accomodation for 6 to 8 - and that is probably the upper end.

Far from perfect but reality for many, and if you are an immigrant it may even be a massive step up from what your used to…and even more so if you are a refugee from a war zone.

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“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold