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科技公司如何颠覆了硅谷的餐饮业

更新时间:2016-9-20 10:34:22 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

How Tech Companies Disrupted Silicon Valley’s Restaurant Scene
科技公司如何颠覆了硅谷的餐饮业

PALO ALTO, Calif. — It was not so long ago that the aroma of Moroccan spiced prawns and wood-oven pizzas wafted out to a downtown street here from the open-air patio of a once popular eatery called Zibibbo.

加利福尼亚州帕洛阿尔托——不久前,摩洛哥辣虾与木炉披萨的香味还会从一家名为Zibibbo的昔日热门餐馆的露天院子里飘到这里下城的街头。

Today that patio is behind locked doors, obscured by frosted glass. The pizza oven is gone. The formerly crowded bar has been converted into a sparsely populated startup space of a dozen engineers, their bikes and whiteboards. After 17 years in operation, the restaurant closed in 2014. The space is now an American Express venture capital office and a startup incubator.

如今,院子大门紧闭,里头长满了冻坏的杂草。披萨烤炉不见了踪影。当初人声鼎沸的酒吧区变成了空旷的初创企业办公区,有稀稀拉拉的十来名工程师,以及他们的单车和白色书写板。营业17年之后,Zibibbo餐厅于2014年关门大吉。腾出的地方如今是美国运通公司(American Express)旗下的一处风险投资办公室和一个创业孵化器。

All told, more than 70,000 square feet of Palo Alto retail and restaurant space were lost to office space from 2008 to 2015, as the tech bubble drove demand for commercial space downtown.

从2008年到2015年,随着科技泡沫推高对帕洛阿尔托下城商业空间的需求,共有超过7万平方英尺(约合6500平方米)的零售与餐饮空间让位于办公空间。

It is a story playing out across Silicon Valley, where restaurateurs say that staying afloat is a daily battle with rising rents, high local fees and acute labor shortages. And tech behemoths like Apple, Facebook and Google are hiring away their best line cooks, dishwashers and servers with wages, benefits and perks that restaurant owners simply cannot match.

硅谷处处在上演同样的故事。餐饮从业者表示,为了求生,他们每天都要与不断攀升的房租、高企的当地税费及严重的劳动力短缺做斗争。此外,苹果(Apple)、Facebook和谷歌(Google)这样的科技界巨头在拿餐馆老板们无法匹敌的薪水、福利及其他一些好处来挖走他们最出色的后厨员工、洗碗工和服务员。

Silicon Valley technologists love to explain how they have disrupted the minutiae of daily life, from our commutes to the ways we share family photos. But along the way, they have also managed to disrupt their local restaurant industry.

硅谷的技术专家喜欢说,他们如何颠覆了我们日常生活的方方面面,从交通出行到分享家人照片的方式。然而与此同时,他们也做到了颠覆本地的餐饮行业。

That may not be an issue for tech workers with access to free, farm-fresh cuisine in corporate cafeterias, but for everyone else here it is leaving a void between the takeout cuisine popping up around Palo Alto — picture bento boxes ordered on iPads at a counter — and $500 meals at high-end restaurants.

对于能在公司餐厅吃到农场新鲜采摘的食材做成的免费菜肴的那些科技业人士而言,这大概不是什么问题,但对这里的其他人来说,却要面临一片真空地带:帕洛阿尔托提供的,要么是在各处冒出来的外卖店——想象一下,在柜台用iPad点单的便当——要么是吃一顿要花上500美元的高档餐厅。

“Restaurants as we know them will no longer exist here in the near future,” said Howard Bulka, a chef and owner of Howie’s Artisan Pizza in Palo Alto and another restaurant in nearby Redwood City. “Palo Alto is just too tough a row to hoe. A lot of people are looking into getting out in one piece or are thinking of leaving the business entirely.”

“在不久的将来,我们了解的这种餐馆就会在当地不复存在,”霍华德·布尔卡(Howard Bulka)说。他是帕洛阿尔托的Howie’s Artisan Pizza店和附近雷德伍德城的另一家餐厅的主厨兼老板。“帕洛阿尔托实在是太艰难了。很多人在想着怎么全身而退,或者是在考虑完全退出餐饮业。”

With razor-thin profit margins, restaurateurs find they can increase wages only so much. Paying a livable wage is a struggle in Palo Alto, where the average one-bedroom apartment rents for $2,800, the same as in New York City, according to Rent Jungle. Workers have also been driven out of surrounding towns that were previously affordable, like Cupertino and San Jose, where demand from a new influx of tech workers has driven up the average cost of a one-bedroom apartment to more than $2,500.

餐厅利润菲薄,业主们发现能给员工涨薪的空间十分有限。Rent Jungle的数据显示,帕洛阿尔托一居室公寓的平均月租达2800美元,与纽约城平齐,想在这里给出能过得去的薪酬并不容易。员工也在被迫搬离曾经宜居的周边市镇,比如丘珀蒂诺和圣何塞。新近涌入的大批科技从业者带来的需求,将这些地方的一居室公寓的平均月租推高至2500美元以上。

Understaffed “fast casual” restaurants — frozen yogurt, cupcake and tea shops; poké bars; and salad stations where customers order from the counter — have replaced older mom-and-pop restaurants. Other newcomers are well-heeled chains like Nobu, the global sushi empire that announced plans to open a restaurant in Palo Alto, and Sweetgreen, the salad chain startup that has raised $95 million in venture capital funding and can offset the costs of doing business in Palo Alto with sales from its more than 50 other locations.

人手短缺的“休闲快餐”——冻酸奶、杯子蛋糕与茶饮店;海鲜沙拉吧;柜台点餐的沙拉店——在逐渐取代老式的夫妻餐饮店。其他一些新来的店铺包括Nobu和Sweetgreen之类的阔气的连锁餐厅。前者是足迹遍布全球的寿司帝国,已宣布计划在帕洛阿尔托开店,后者则是初创连锁沙拉店,从风险投资公司那里筹措了9500万美元,可以用其他逾50家店的收益来弥补在帕洛阿尔托做生意的成本。

Not everyone is so fortunate. “We’re competing more for staff than we are for guests at this point,” said Craig Stoll, a James Beard Award-winning chef and co-owner with his wife, Annie Stoll, of Delfina.

并非每个人都有这样的运气。“现阶段,我们更多地是在争夺人手,而不是顾客,”克雷格·斯托尔(Craig Stoll)说。他是拿过詹姆斯·比尔德奖(James Beard Award)的主厨,与妻子安妮·斯托尔(Annie Stoll)一起开设了名为Delfina的餐厅。

The Stolls own four restaurants in San Francisco and two in Silicon Valley — one in Burlingame and the other in Palo Alto. They have not been able to fully staff their Silicon Valley locations since they opened about two years ago. They used to require their line cooks to have particular experience. “Now we’re just selling ourselves on Craigslist, posting pictures of cooks butchering pigs, sautéing, and good-looking waitresses to recruit staff,” Stoll said.

斯托尔夫妇在旧金山开了四家餐厅,在硅谷开了两家——一家位于伯灵格姆,另一家位于帕洛阿尔托。硅谷的这两家店大约两年前开张,却一直没有招够员工。他们本来要求后厨拥有一定的工作经验。“现在我们直接在Craigslist上推销自己,为了招人,贴些厨师在杀猪啊,烹饪啊,漂亮女招待之类的照片,”斯托尔说。

In the last year, the Stolls have lost several of their best servers and their director of operations to Twitter and Airbnb in San Francisco. To compete, the couple have been increasing pay and perks as much as possible, but they say they still often have to close off entire sections of their Silicon Valley restaurants simply because there is not enough staff to service them.

去年的时候,斯托尔夫妇手下最出色的几名服务员和运营总监跳槽去了旧金山的Twitter和Airbnb。为了保持竞争力,二人尽量在提高薪资和补贴水平,但他们表示,在硅谷的两家店还是经常得关闭整片的就餐区,而原因就是没有足够的服务员。

Recently, they have resorted to hiring their 14-year-old daughter and her friends to step in. “We’re breeding our own workforce at this point,” Stoll joked.

最近这段时间,他们不得不请14岁的女儿带着她的朋友来帮忙。“我们目前在培育自家的劳动力,”斯托尔开玩笑称。

Just a few blocks from Pizzeria Delfina in Palo Alto, JC Andrade, an owner of Vino Locale, a family-run wine bar, said his bar lost its previous chef to Facebook. His family increased workers’ pay and now offers a 401(k) program, but Facebook and Google continue to offer his staff higher wages than Andrade said he makes as owner. Increasingly, he said, he has to beg his 15-year-old brother to pick up shifts.

在离帕洛阿尔托的这家Pizzeria Delfina仅几个街区的地方,有一座家庭经营的葡萄酒吧,名为Vino Locale。店主J·C·安德雷德(JC Andrade)表示,之前的主厨跳槽去了Facebook。他们家给员工增加了工资,现在还提供401(k)退休福利计划,可Facebook和谷歌给安德雷德手下员工提供的薪资总是比他自称作为老板挣的钱还多。他表示,自己在越来越多地去请求15岁的弟弟来帮忙轮班。

Last year, Brigette Lau and Chamath Palihapitiya, founders of the venture fund Social Capital, opened Bird Dog, a stylish restaurant downtown. They had backing from other Silicon Valley investors eager to bring a slice of younger, innovative and relatively affordable San Francisco-style cuisine to downtown Palo Alto.

去年,风险基金“社会+资本”合伙公司(Social Capital)的创始人布里盖特·刘(Brigette Lau)与查马斯·帕里哈皮蒂亚(Chamath Palihapitiya)在下城开了一家名为Bird Dog的时髦餐厅。他们拥有其他一些硅谷投资人的支持,这群人热烈期望将新派、创新而又相对物美价廉的旧金山式菜肴带到帕洛阿尔托下城。

But even with Silicon Valley’s backing and their own substantial means — Palihapitiya is part owner of the Golden State Warriors basketball team — Lau said operating a restaurant in Palo Alto was not for the faint of heart.

不过,就算拥有硅谷的支持,二人又财力雄厚——帕里哈皮蒂亚是金州勇士队的老板之一——刘女士仍然表示,在帕洛阿尔托经营餐厅可不适合心脏不好的人。

“I’m supportive of the startup community, but not at the expense of the community,” she said.

“我本人支持创业群体,不过这不应该以当地的民众与企业作为代价,”她说。

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