•  Jobs to Thrill Your Inner Child: Ice Cream Taster
    The job of an ice cream taster – also called a tastemaster, food scientist, sensory analyst, or flavorologist – is unsurprisingly, to taste-test ice cream. A full-time taster may be expected to stick to an aggressive daily sampling schedule, and is asked to assess the quality of each flavor on the basis of texture, color, smell, appearance, and other factors in addition to taste. While an exact job description depends on the employer and specific role, a taster's additional responsibilities can include inventing new ice cream flavors and products, or serving as a marketing rep for his or her company. As well as possibly being the most fun job in the universe, a career in frozen treat-sampling can be lucrative. An ice cream taster can earn up to $100,000 a year, according to some sources.
  • These Jobs Make the World a Worse Place (Say the People Who Do Them)
    What did you want to be when you grew up? Chances are, it was along the lines of unicorn wrangler or astronaut/basketball player – just the sort of thing that's impossible find a major in, never mind a grownup job. That doesn't mean that all real jobs are boring or unsatisfying; during the compilation of PayScale's latest report, The Most and Least Meaningful Jobs, workers with titles as diverse as English teacher and chiropractor told us that their jobs made the world a better place. And then were the other folks, the ones whose jobs made them long for the days when "vet who specializes only in kittens" seemed like a reasonable career path.
  • Portland, Maine Accidentally Gives Tipped Workers a Raise
    Language matters, especially when it comes to legislation. Recently, we had proof of this when the Affordable Care Act nearly deflated thanks to an alternate interpretation of the phrase "established by the state." Now, city officials in Portland, Maine, find themselves in a similar bind: confusion over the language in a recent bill to raise the city's minimum wage to $10.10 an hour led city council to nearly double tipped workers' wages, from $3.75 to $6.35 an hour, as of January 1. The accidental raise was met with dismay from restaurant owners and delight from labor organizers. Both dismay and delight, however, might be short-lived.
  • How I Got My Dream Job: Carlo Chalisea, Founder/Owner/Chef at Don Lucho's Food Truck
    Carlo Chalisea served Don Lucho's first sandwich off the grill himself in August of 2013. Now, two years later, the 30-year-old Seattle-based chef and entrepreneur is slanging his imaginative Rococo and Aji Amarillo-smothered Chicharron and Lomo Saltado creations to sandwich-loving Seattleites all over town as many as five days a week, and has trouble keeping up with demand even after hiring multiple employees. As one of the only authentic Peruvian food options in an area where the South American country’s cuisine is still largely unknown, the mobile sandwichera, which is named after Chalisea's father, has been growing apace with the local food truck scene as a whole, which exploded following the Seattle City Council’s unanimous vote to allow mobile food vendors to sell on public streets in 2011 (the state’s legalization of recreational marijuana in 2012 couldn’t have hurt things, either). At least some of the sandwich truck’s growth is the result of carving out a unique niche within the city’s larger mobile food community by way of standing gigs at local breweries, which have, like the trucks, been cropping up like wildfire in recent years. Along with this fortuitous strategy, the majority of his savings, and good old fashioned hard work, Chalisea credits Don Lucho’s success to innovative takes on his mom's family recipes, and a passionate dream to bring his Peruvian culture and cuisine to his hometown.
  • How I Got My Dream Job: Peter Charbonnier, Owner/Brewer at Populuxe Brewing
    Most beer enthusiasts resign themselves to enjoying their passion on their own time, brewing and drinking when they're not at work. But for Peter Charbonnier, owner and brewer at Populuxe Brewing in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle, beer is more than just a hobby: it's a full-time dream job.
  • Ivar's Restaurants Up Minimum Wage Ahead of Seattle's $15 per Hour Mandate
    Ivar's, a seafood chain based in Seattle, deals a little differently with the usual problems facing restaurants. For example, most companies, faced with the challenge of generating PR, just whip up more creative ads. A few years ago, Ivar's did that ... and then put them at the bottom of the ocean. The organization put out the rumor that their late founder, Ivar Haglund, had placed billboards under Puget Sound. The signs, which were supposedly placed in 1954, bore slogans like: "Ivar's Chowder. Worth surfacing for. 75¢ a cup." Ivar's latest trick is no hoax: while some business owners have protested Seattle's minimum wage hike to $15 an hour minimum wage, the restaurant is rolling out a new, higher wage structure to staff before the phased deadlines.
  • How the Hazards of 'Clopening' Affect You
    "Clopening" is the newest trend in the service industry. In order to shave costs by relying on fewer employees, many employers are scheduling the same person to close up a restaurant at midnight, only to return in seven hours to open. Clopening exists in more industries than just hospitality: retail, security, construction, and nursing are using the practice, as well. The harsh consequences of clopening affect more than just the weary service worker; they affect us all in detrimental ways.
  • The 5 Most Stressful Food Service Jobs
    There's a reason the great Tina Fey once said that her job producing, writing, and starring in 30 Rock was less stressful than "managing a Chili's on a Friday night." The job is set up to encourage stress: everything you have to do needed to happen five minutes ago, it's a multitasking nightmare, and you're dealing with the public. Often, the public is hungry. Always, the public seems to have gone out to eat because they're not allowed to abuse their families at home. You get the idea: food service is stressful.
  • These Are the 5 Happiest Food Service Jobs
    High stress. Low pay. Little to no job security. There's a reason that many of the food service occupations PayScale examined for its recent Restaurant Report rate poorly for job satisfaction or job meaning, or both. But that doesn't mean that everyone who works in the restaurant business hates their jobs. Here, we examine some of the job titles that reported being happier at work.
  • These Cities Are Where Food Service Workers Earn the Most
    When it comes to food service jobs, where you live can be almost as important as where you work. While waiters at Chez Fancypants will almost always outearn counter staff at FastBurger, working in certain metro areas will give you a decided pay advantage. PayScale's Restaurant Report breaks down the highest (and lowest) earning locations for food service workers.
  • Tipping: A Tough Way to (Not) Make a Living
    An HR manager once told me that he preferred to hire workers who had at least some food service experience on their CV. "No one knows how to work harder than a person who has worked for tips," he told me. But does that hard work translate into a decent salary? PayScale's Restaurant Report shows that the answer is often no.
  • Waitresses Are the Most Sexually Harassed Occupation
    The restaurant industry has a unique business model. Rather than business owners budgeting to pay employees, restaurant owners depend upon customers "voluntarily" giving waitresses and waiters tips in return for "good service." That pay structure can lead to a dangerously imbalanced power dynamic between customer and waiter. No wonder, then, that a recent report from Restaurant Opportunities Center United found that two-thirds of female employees in the food service industry have been sexually harassed. In fact, 37 percent of Employment Opportunity Commission harassment claims come from women in the restaurant business.
  • Is There a Downside to a $15 an Hour Minimum Wage?

    The International Franchise Association has made defeating Seattle's $15 per hour minimum wage its "top policy fight," arguing that laws like these unfairly discriminate against franchisees, who will be lumped in with big businesses and forced to comply with the law by 2017, the earliest deadline of the staged roll-out. PayScale spoke via email with Chad Mackay, President and COO of El Gaucho, a high-end steakhouse chain based in Seattle, for his take on how the law could affect both businesses and workers.

  • The Future of Minimum Wage: More Money, But No More One-Size-Fits-All

    At the beginning of the month, Seattle's city council voted unanimously to increase the city's minimum wage to $15 an hour in stages over the next three to seven years. To get a business owner's perspective on the issue, we spoke via email with John Pepper, co-founder and former CEO of Boloco, a Boston-based restaurant chain with 22 units across New England. Pepper told us a bit about why a higher minimum wage isn't necessarily bad for business and what else needs to change for small businesses to thrive while paying their workers higher wages.

  • Low-Wage Workers Ask Employers to Voluntarily Raise Their Pay

    The fight to raise the minimum wage from the current federal mandate of $7.25 an hour to $10.10 has met with fierce opposition from Senate Republicans. Now, low-wage workers are taking matters into their own hands, asking their employers to commit to raising their pay without waiting to be legally required to do so.

  • Call to Slash Salary of the CEO of McDonald's
    Activist investment group Change to Win (CtW) is calling for the salary of McDonalds' CEO Donald Thompson to be slashed, due to the chain's poor performance as well as the gross inequity between CEO and worker pay. This is a good opportunity to discuss intra-company pay gaps as it affects all of us who work for a living.
  • Robots Won't Steal All the Jobs (But They Will Take Some)

    Since the early days of science fiction, man has worried that robots would eventually take their jobs. So far, the news seems to be mixed -- sometimes robots giveth jobs and sometimes they taketh them away. But certain low-paying occupations are more at risk for robotic replacement than others.

  • Stressed Across America [infographic]

    Stressful jobs are the same, no matter where you live. If you're a heart surgeon or an air traffic controller, you're going to be a little tense from time to time. But some cities have higher concentrations of certain stressful jobs. PayScale's latest infographic looks at these.

  • Starbucks to Hire 10,000 Veterans and Spouses

    Yesterday, Starbucks announced a plan to develop a hiring program for veterans and military spouses.

  • Low-Paying Fast-Food Jobs Cost Taxpayers Big Bucks

    Here's a new wrinkle on the debate over what constitutes a reasonable wage for fast food workers: New research from the University of California at Berkeley indicates that the fast food industry costs American taxpayers $7 billion annually, thanks to the fact that 52 percent of fast food workers are forced to rely in part on public assistance.