Monday, January 9, 2012

Dishwasher Wanted Spanish Required

In the last couple of weeks I have seen two local Silver Spring restaurants put help wanted signs up in Spanish only (no English) looking for someone to wash dishes. Despite the many Salvadorian places in my neighborhood, these two places serve Japanese and Moroccan food, respectively. What could be the potential cause of the sign only posted in Spanish?

1. There are no English speaking dishwashers who would want to work
2. Spanish speaking workers have higher productivity per dollar of wage than English speaking workers
3. The Japanese and Moroccan restaurants have a preference for Latin workers other than based on things other than 1 or 2.

Montgomery county's unemployment rate is roughly 5, but neighboring Prince George's County is above 7%. I'm sure unemployment rates are much higher for those with education credentials that would have people looking for a dishwasher, so I'm doubting 1 is the potential answer. The obvious answer seems to be 2, but I'm wondering if 3 could also be a possibility. If other kitchen staff are also Spanish speaking (not uncommon in non-Latin ethnic restaurants in Silver Spring based on my observation). A common language could help productivity and morale as I have heard Spanish jokes sometimes between restaurant staff.

Totally unrelated (I hope) one of those restaurants had a fire

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1 comment:

Will Stafford said...

Hey Prof. Gitter,
Im basing this totally off of Anthony Bourdains book "Kitchen Confidential," so take it with a grain of salt. But he mentions that almost every restaurant, nomatter the cuisine, has latin workers in the kitchen and staff. So I'm inclined to agree with your thoughts on morale, as well as the possibility of having less of a learning curve when dumped into the frantic enviroment of a restaurant kitchen. Im willing to bet this trend in restaurant employment, however, is originally, at least, a result of #2.