Last fall restaurateur Camilla Marcus announced she will offer the 30 staffers at her restaurant west~bourne in downtown New York an unprecedented perk: Free, flexible, and close childcare.
In much of America the average cost of childcare has exceeded the average cost of college. It is deemed unaffordable by pretty much every metric. In pretty much every region. For hourly restaurant workers, who oftentimes lack consistent schedules, work outside the hours of normal daycare operations, and don’t earn enough money to live close to their workplaces, finding safe and affordable childcare is an all-consuming problem.
Marcus came on Eater’s Digest this week to discuss why it’s such an issue in the industry and how childcare can be an even more essential perk than healthcare. She explains how she’s partnered with Vivvi — a VC-backed childcare startup that aims to build a more flexible, employer-sponsored daycare — and convinced them to extend hours to 2 a.m. for restaurant workers. Using federal and state incentives with the help of Vivvi, she’ll be paying a fraction of what the everyday consumer pays for childcare for staffers who want to use it.
After our chat, we get into the biggest food stories of the week.