Second Generation Chinese Restaurant Managers

Check out this article in the NY Times: Based on an Old Family Recipe. It’s about second generation children of restaurant owners who go to college, graduate, and then bring their skills in marketing/business/internet to help grow their family restaurants. It’s quite inspiring.

According to one sociologist, restauranteurs today have cachet:

For her 2005 book “Consuming Citizenship,” the sociologist Lisa Sun-Hee Park interviewed children of Korean- and Chinese-American entrepreneurs, including many who sold food. Quite a few of her subjects cringed in embarrassment while recounting their parents’ stories; they spent much of their lives trying to get as far away as possible from jobs they considered demeaning.

But that might be changing, at least in the food world. “There are different trajectories happening,” Dr. Park said. “The restaurant business and food culture have become professionalized. It has a level of status, a sense of upward mobility, that it didn’t have earlier.”

I, for one, am totally supportive of this. Food is style, food is family, food is life. It’s great that these children are continuing the family business and loving it at the same time. The last woman says it best:

As a child, Ms. Tran said, her family “wanted me to be a doctor or something. That was what they told me every day. But what they taught me every day was different. What they taught me every day was: do what you love, because that’s what they did. They toiled all their lives, but they loved it.”

One thought on “Second Generation Chinese Restaurant Managers

  1. I am reading”Strangers from another Shore” for private research and find this very interesting and helpful for me…
    I understand why the previous generations would not want the current one to continue in the same line of work. At the time they began, there was segregation, discrimination, open racism, the work was back breaking, for long hours and minimal returns.
    However, the current generation has the flexibility and ability to transition through different layers of society and thus take back the respect and recognition that was in some cases, previously denied to their predecessor

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