Bar Isabel Aims to Give Staff Better Quality of Life

There’s recently been much talk in the U.S. restaurant industry around the topic of labor issues. For one, there’s a shortage of chefs and cooks. There’s also an unequal pay gap between front-of-house and back-of-house staff, something that was always known but not really talked about in the public spotlight. Until now.

New York City-based serial restaurateur Danny Meyer went on record to say he would be rolling out a “Hospitality Included” program that would ban tipping, increase prices on menu items, and balance out pay for all staff. A few weeks ago, Meyer began implementing this in one of his restaurants, which reportedly caused a gaggle of servers to quit, and an increase in resumes from back-of-house staff, especially cooks. It’s a start.

But there’s no denying that, aside from these aforementioned issues, quality of life for those in the restaurant business is seriously lacking. The nature of the job includes inevitably long hours, physical labor, and not much work-life balance — at least, for those putting in their time.

The team behind Toronto’s Bar Isabel has taken note and is actually doing something to solve it. Beginning this week, on November 8th, the establishment will no longer be open until 2 a.m. (except for on Fridays and Saturdays) and will close at midnight from Sunday through Thursday. The reason? So that staff can rest and enjoy a better quality of life. The staff even made a fun video about it. Read More