I came of age at a time when foodservice jobs were mostly there to help us earn spending money on the way to becoming who we would be when we grew up. Many of us graduated from minimum-wage high-school gigs behind fast-food counters to tipped work in higher-end eateries and bars that let us put ourselves through college.
For the most part, we counted on our parents to take care of health insurance until we got a “real” job that came with benefits. Today, for many, those quickservice gigs are the real job, but the pay hasn’t kept up with changing times, and the jobs still largely come without affordable health care benefits. The issue has been debated for years, between workers who can’t make ends meet and restaurant chains that say paying higher wages and providing benefits would drive up prices and put the brakes on growth and job creation.
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