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Guy Fieri is fighting for struggling restaurant owners – too bad he doesn’t care as much about their workers

Paul Constant is a writer at Civic Ventures and cohost of the "Pitchfork Economics" podcast with Nick Hanauer and David Goldstein. This week for Insider, he writes about restaurateur Guy Fieri's recent interrogation with Kara Swisher. In it, Fieri rehashed "tired trickle-down threats" and sounded less like a soul of the people, Constant writes. See more stories on Insider's business sheet.

Less than ten years ago, luminary chef Guy Fieri was a joke. New York Times restaurant critic Pete Wells's 2012 viral slam of Fieri's Times Square restaurant beclowned Fieri with such informal brutality that it seemed the emcee of tv demonstrates like "Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives" would never fully rehabilitate his reputation.

But a lot can change in 10 times. As I write this, the Guy Fieri renaissance is in full swing. Fieri has participated tremendous business success: he recently ratified a three-year $ 80 million contract with the Food Network, and opened a national chain of delivery-only "ghost kitchens" in response to the pandemic.

He's too receiving a critical reappraisal from the media elites who once taunted him. The instrument of the Fierissance is Fieri's philanthropic wreak. Since procure reputation through reality television, Fieri has raised money for children in need, gifted dinners, and, most recently, he started the Restaurant Employee Relief Fund with the National Restaurant Association, which gave rise to approximately $25 million to help restaurant workers who lost their jobs in the pandemic.

This week, Fieri appeared on New York Times ruling columnist Kara Swisher's interrogation podcast "Sway, " and he presented himself as a down-to-earth everyday dude. Fieri acquired sure to use his platform to speak up for independent restaurants, which are still hurting cruelly from the pandemic.

"We need support from legislation, " Fieri advocated politicians, admitting that he's "pissed" at the acces the restaurant industry has been largely left to its own machines during the last year.

So far, so good: Fieri is advocating for the restaurant industry that rendered him his start and did him a superstar. But when Swisher's questions begin to drill down into specific policy decisions, Fieri seems less like a guy of the people and more like, well, the rich proprietor of an international chain of eateries. Solely, he begins to drag out the same tired trickle-down menaces that you hear from disillusioned eatery owners when their metropolitan considers heightening the minimum wage.

Fieri's take on government regulations

When Swisher expects Fieri if he craves lawmakers to regulate exploitative gig economy apps like DoorDash that are milking small businesses with exorbitant fees involved in their low-wage meal delivery business, Fieri hesitates.

"I hate regulations, " Fieri said. "I'm not a big fan of rules. I think that all of a sudden government startles in and obligates it so certain groups can't work together and all this kind of stuff."

Continuing his anti-regulatory rant, Fieri cites regulations boycotting booze give in many states and metropolitans that lawmakers rapidly promoted when lockdowns started happening. His implication seems to be that hoisting regulations , not causing more, is the only way to success.

Instead of originating statutes to create a more equitable give app economy, Fieri said, "it would be awesome if some massive donor could say,' hey, you know what? Here's what I'll do. I'll make it so we're a nonprofit bringing busines. And we'll make sure motorists make money and restaurants make money. And here you go.'"

The difference between philanthropy and equitable wages

Of course, wealthy people love to promote philanthropy as the perfect solution to all of the world's questions, because unlike with taxes, wealthy people control the amount of humanitarian hand.

Fieri hoping for a wealthy person to magnanimously create a wildly favourite nonprofit bringing app does absolutely nothing to improve outcomes for small businesses and gig workers. But legislation ensuring that Doordash and Grubhub motorists receive paid sick and family leave days, like the law passed by the Seattle City Council last year, actively facilitates workers who have struggled through the pandemic.

Even worse is Fieri's react when Swisher asks why many diners are having trouble hiring craftsmen right now.

"It's really difficult to get your kids to eat a really healthful dinner and come to the dinner table hungry when they've been having snacks during the day, " Fieri said, adding later, "Why would you go and chew broccoli if you just got to eat Doritos? "

The "snacks" in his analogy seem to be the weekly $300 added unemployment insurance remittances that were a part of the last stimulus package. Fieri says those remittances were "awesome" during the pandemic, but "at some point in time, we've got to pivot. And we've got to be people back to work."

Relatable versus' rich person dismissiveness'

For Fieri to dismiss unemployment payments of $300 to workers who lost their jobs during the pandemic as junk food, and to promote low-wage, exploitative diner hassles as healthy and healthful, is not just wrongheaded and snobby - it's likewise the worst kind of trickle-down nonsense.

And again, it's not contemplative of actuality. Job-search busines Indeed reports that more people are looking for work in states that still cater the $300 per week. People have looked at the shameful modes at low-paying diners and they've decided they'd rather switch careers.

Employers who grow their wages get more employments, and higher-quality workers. Instead, Fieri dismissed hundreds of thousands of restaurant workers who lost their jobs as lazy. And he continued to take an anti-worker stance when Swisher asked whether restaurant craftsmen should unionize.

Fieri responded that management in his restaurants are so proactive that there's no need for a union. "At my eateries, if a situation ever comes up, we get involved and dealing with this problem, " Fieri said.

That totally unsatisfactory answer doesn't indicate the day-to-day events of workers who have faced retaliation for wreaking a problem to HR, or whose calls for help have been roundly ignored by management. And the data are very clear that confederation undertakings offer better - about 11% better, in one study - than non-union jobs.

For every single opportunity that Fieri had to propose for restaurant laborers during the interview, he either balked or actively pushed back. That's because Flavortown, like so many corporate works, is built on a foundation of low-pitched compensations and craftsman exploitation.

Guy Fieri absolutely deserves accolades for the advocacy wreak he's doing for independent restaurant owneds. He works his platform to promote business owners who've chiefly been left out of the civic communication - especially during the pandemic.

But it's also vital to remember that Fieri is a singularly wealthy man, and he got that action thanks to the hard work of his employees. Customers in countries around the globe enjoy Fieri's Flavortown brand for its intimacy, its bold preferences, and its cheap rates. But behind the scenes at Flavortown, older workers are fed a steady food of evacuate trickle-down calories that to be maintained poor and riches those at the top.

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