Dining establishments are embracing the future of work, where power rests with the employees rather than the employer.
Apr 25, 2023
The co-creation economy and push for flexible work environments is rewiring restaurant businesses.
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An Australian café located in New York City’s West Village and Greenwich Village is now owned by its employees. As of March, Banter’s employees were each given a 10% stake in the business this year, a percentage that will grow as the business expands. Under this new financial model, the restaurant plans to be 80% employee owned within the next 20 years. “We increase ownership and receive dividends, which is just extra money in [the employees'] pocket because of business profits,” Banter representative Jaimen Sfetko told Time Out.
Donna, a cocktail bar in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg neighborhood that shut down during the pandemic, will reopen in the West Village this spring as a worker-owned restaurant. Owner Leif Huckman told Eater that the move allows “everyone [to] participate in the equity of the business.”
Astor Wines and Spirits, established in 1946 and located in Noho, Manhattan, transitioned to a worker-owned model at the end of last year. Operations manager Doug Yacka compared the financial plan to a “superior form of 401(k)” according to Curbed.
A new form of worker perks, folding employees into high-levels of the business gives everyday workers a chance to own and participate in the future of a company, no matter the size. In a volatile economy where stocks rise and dip, the restaurant industry is offering workers a way to invest in themselves and their local lives instead of larger, distant companies.
All images by Alexandro Loayza, courtesy of Banter NYC.