Feb. 3, 2022

Unseen Labor in the Restaurant Business with Priya Krishna

Plus: Inside a TikTok Famous Bodega


Ever had a sandwich the Ocky Way? Nora and Scott chat with New York Times food reporter and author Priya Krishna about her new YouTube series "On the Job" which takes us behind the scenes to meet the people in the restaurant industry whose work we take for granted. 

Hosts: Nora Ali & Scott Rogowsky
Producer: Bella Hutchins
Production, Mixing & Sound Design: Daniel Markus
Music: Daniel Markus & Breakmaster Cylinder
Senior Producer: Katherine Milsop
Director of Audio: Alan Haburchak
VP, Head of Multimedia: Sarah Singer

Full transcript for this episode below. 

Transcript

Priya Krishna: This labor is the bedrock of our society and our economy. And even if that labor is not immediately seen as part of our experience of eating or dining out, it doesn't mean that that labor is not equally important, that it's not equally, if not more skilled labor than the labor that is seen. And in the same way that we write about chefs wanting to build these massive empires, well listen, a lot of these folks are just as ambitious. They have honestly more hustle than a lot of these other front facing figures, and they have really incredible stories to tell.

Nora Ali: From Morning Brew, this is Business Casual, the podcast that reveals the unexpected business story behind everything. I'm Nora Ali.

Scott Rogowsky: And I'm Scott Rogowsky. Nora and I are here for your ears, bringing you conversations with, creators, thinkers, and innovators who can tell us what it all means and why we should care. Now let's get down to business. Nora.

Nora Ali: Scott.

Scott Rogowsky: Hello. Why do always I start like that?

Nora Ali: We're in a good mood because it's Friday.

Scott Rogowsky: I know.

Nora Ali: We're recording this on a Friday. We're just happy. And it is a food episode.

Scott Rogowsky: Oh, food episodes, my favorite episode. I'm very impressionable when...

Nora Ali: Me too.

Scott Rogowsky: ... It comes to content. So when we're talking about food, when we're watching these clips, the stomach starts growling. The mouth starts watering. I might eat my laptop, Nora. The microphone is looking mighty tasty. This looks like a nice sausage. This could be a Beyond Microphone.

Nora Ali: Oh my gosh.

Scott Rogowsky: But no, we had a great chat with, with Priya Krishna from New York Times, very knowledgeable, and she's got this great series on YouTube that we both watch. How great is this thing?

Nora Ali: It's so good. There's so many things that we don't know about what it takes to get food on our plates. There's a lot of things that I've always wondered about, even things like managing inventory of ingredients. How do you even plan in a pandemic when you don't know what demand is going to be? You don't know what the guidelines are going to be for restaurants. So that wasn't really one of the things that we covered in this conversation but Priya told us there's going to be more episodes. There's going to be more people she interviews. So I can't wait to see what she uncovers with this series.

Scott Rogowsky:

I want to see a whole episode on those little green plastic dividers in the sushi plates. It's the little green grass, the fake plastic grass. A, what is that? B, where is it coming from?

Nora Ali: Who designed them and why is it always the same in every single to-go sushi?

Scott Rogowsky: And why do we need it? Right, exactly. But it does come down to the fact that there's so much that goes into everything that we take for granted all the time, whether it is the food itself, and like you mentioned, the preparation of the food and the inventory, but also the small businesses, these men and women who are just coming out of the ashes, frankly, of this pandemic, phoenixes rising and creating new businesses, getting crazy followings because they're doing something that's cool and unique and serving a demo that wanted it. It's product-market fit at its finest, right?

Nora Ali: Yeah. And these small businesses are taking advantage of social media and the rising need for delivery now. So I'm really excited about this conversation. We're going behind the business of food industry jobs that are often overlooked. Priya Krishna, who is a food reporter for the New York Times, is joining us to discuss her new video series, On The Job, which you can find on YouTube, and it's about labor and the people who shape what we eat and how eat whose jobs often go unseen. So here's our conversation with Priya Krishna.

Scott Rogowsky: Priya, what we love about your show is that it takes us behind the curtain with some of the less visible aspects of the food industry and really focusing on the labor aspect of it all. What inspired you to be a pioneer in the sense of exposing this aspect of the industry and really take viewers behind the curtain for what seems like the first time?

Priya Krishna: If you look at a lot of my written work, I am often less interested in the chef who becomes painted as sort of the singular auteur of a restaurant, and I think that when we think about what tends to get the big, glossy, beautiful coverage, it tends to be chefs' personalities. But frankly I'm more interested in the labor behind those restaurants, behind our food systems, understanding the stakes that those people are up against every day. And I have to say this is something that's long been interesting to me, but CC Allen, who is the visionary behind the show, basically our showrunner, she just had this unbelievable vision for doing a show that really showed the humanity of these people and it wasn't centering anyone's experience, but the people doing the labor, and I don't know that I had seen a lot of shows that did that, and that's a testament to CC.

Nora Ali: Especially in a world where we're so used to getting food delivered to our doorsteps, and we don't really think about what actually goes into putting food onto our plates. So during your reporting for this series, what surprised you the most, in general, about the labor that goes into just getting us food?

Priya Krishna: What surprised me the most was how insanely difficult these people's jobs were, yet they were just like, "It's the job. It's no big deal." I often feel like it's the people who are doing the hardest, most taxing jobs, that aren't the ones who are giving themselves credit for the sheer amount of work that they're doing. And so, there were many moments where I was like, "You know your job is incredibly hard. What you do is like a high-skill, difficult thing." And they'd be like, "It's just what I do. Folding 90 linens in a minute."

Scott Rogowsky: Let's get into some of these episodes that you've done. We've watched them and we love them, but I want to hear some of the stories behind the scenes. First of all, for those who haven't watched them yet, these are available on YouTube. But tell us about this bodega owner in Red Hook. He was so electric on camera. It's why he's garnered over two million followers on TikTok. He's really just an natural on camera. But the moments when the camera wasn't running, what was he like?

Priya Krishna: Honestly, Rahim is exactly the same on camera as he is off camera. I will say there's definitely a change in his energy from when he's interacting with customers to when he's doing his everyday duties, like stocking the shelves, but the guy literally does not run out of energy. He knows that people are coming from across, at this point, the country to see him make a sandwich and he gives everyone a show. And there are many moments where I was just like, "This must be exhausting. You do this every single day. You come in for your shift, you don't finish until late. You're making all of these sandwiches. You're having to be creative. You're having to be animated." And I was telling him, I was like, "There are a lot of people who do TikTok full time. You're doing TikTok and running a bodega." And he has aspirations to run his own sandwich shop. But yeah, how he is on camera is exactly how he is. He is just as warm. He is just as energetic. He is just as down to earth and just incredibly hard working.

Nora Ali: Yeah. I do want to play a quick clip from that episode of Rahim, just to give our listeners a little bit of a sneak peek as to the energy that Rahim has. So let's play that clip.

[AUDIO CLIP BEGINS]

Rahim: Yes, young lady. How may I help you today?

Priya Krishna: Could I get one New York Times special, the Ocky Way?

Rahim: Sure. Sure. We're going to make something special for you.

[AUDIO CLIP ENDS]

Priya Krishna: Literally all of us as we were walking out, we're like, "We can never think of the word “sure” in the same way again."

Nora Ali: And he's got these other cute catch phrases like, "Can't forget the bev. Never, never, never," but yeah, he has this energy. He has to maintain it and I'm sure it's exhausting. But bodegas also serve as this backbone of New York City, especially in areas where groceries aren't that prevalent. So can you explain what the role of the bodega is and how Rahim embodies that?

Priya Krishna: Yeah, I mean, one of the big reasons we wanted to profile a bodega owner is because of the role that bodegas play in New York. They are grocery stores. They are delis. They are gathering places for the community. And in that particular area of Red Hook, it is the primary grocery store for a lot of people. So Rahim knows his regulars super well. He knows what kinds of groceries they want. I asked him why there were so many flavors of Pop-Tarts, and he was just like, "My customers, they love Pop-Tarts. They want all the flavors." So he's really like listening and he's really in tune with his community. And that to me, is what makes bodegas and their owners so special.

Nora Ali: It's like a startup doing user research. He's in touch with his user base. It just makes sense.

Scott Rogowsky: And it becomes a community hub. The bodega serves a focal point, not just a place to get your food. I don't think many people think of Trader Joe's or Whole Foods, or Gelson's out here in LA, as a community hub where gathering and chatting, but the bodega is all about that owner-customer experience. And the Ocky Way is really what symbolizes this. You asked for your New York Times special, the Ocky Way in that clip, Priya. Can you explain what the Ocky Way means and how it works?

Priya Krishna: I thought a lot about what I felt the Ocky Way meant. There is literally what it means. I think he mentioned that "akh" means brother in Arabic. But there's also just like this intangible definition of the Ocky Way, which is just like, the Ocky Way means like with flare, with pizzazz, with a Rahim signature bravado. It just means you're getting a sandwich that's going to make you smile. 

Scott Rogowsky: With love. It's love and it's that brotherly connection that he's inspiring in his community there.

Nora Ali: Yeah.

Priya Krishna: Exactly.

Nora Ali: Let's take a very quick break. More with Priya when we get back. Priya, more on Rahim. He's prolific on TikTok, as we mentioned and he actually announced recently on TikTok that he's now on Cameo...

Scott Rogowsky: Sure, sure. He's perfect, perfect for Cameo.

Nora Ali: ...Which is perfect.

Nora Ali: So, Priya, what did you learn about Rahim's ambitions to broaden his brand and monetize it and make sure that he know he is actually benefiting from this newfound fame that he has?

Priya Krishna: He is incredibly entrepreneurial. I am not surprised to hear that he is on Cameo. He wants to run his own line of sandwich shops. I asked him what kind of sandwiches will be on the menu and he was like, "I'm not going to tell you. It's my business." But I asked him who he looks up to and he said Salt Bae. He was like, "Salt Bae took like a little flick of the wrist motion and turned it into a cultural moment and into restaurants." And I think he really looks up to that. People who take... They have this skill, they have this energy, they have this persona and they take that and it becomes larger than life and larger than themselves.

Nora Ali: Yeah. And the role of social media has been so interesting. The food culture on TikTok is so robust. People create their brand. They sell product and merch. They start restaurants. Food items go viral and sell out, like the feta pasta, for example. Just zooming out a little bit, what do you think talk's biggest contribution to the food world has been in addition to creating the Rahims of the world?

Priya Krishna: I think TikTok in many ways is even more democratic of a social platform than say Instagram. You don't have to have one million followers to go viral on TikTok. I think that's a superpower of that platform. Literally anyone, anywhere with a smart idea as it relates to food, whether it's feta pasta or nature's cereal or this green goddess salad...

Nora Ali: Have you made any of those, by the way?

Priya Krishna: I have not made any of those. No.

Nora Ali: Nature's cereal, Scott, is just fruit and ice cubes in coconut water and you eat it like cereal. No, thank you.

Scott Rogowsky: I'm looking at this baked feta pasta, is looking very delicious.

Nora Ali: Yeah. It's so good. I interrupted you though, Priya. Sorry. So yeah, we have these random food items...

Scott Rogowsky: I'm getting very hungry now.

Nora Ali: ... That go viral.

Priya Krishna: Yeah. And I think that in many ways, it's the perfect platform for someone like Rahim who has got the energy. His energy literally pours out of the screen when you watch him. And it's not like he's got a whole camera rig and a sound guy like many of the people on TikTok. In many ways, it's his nephew and a phone and they're making these really great sandwiches and that's all he needs. It's just that and his personality and that's enough on TikTok. Obviously, there is a ton of noise, but I think that it is really cool the way that TikTok is set up that even if you have 500 followers, you can still get a video that has a million views.

Scott Rogowsky: In another episode of On The Job, you profile Lyana Blount, who started a restaurant on Instagram called Black Rican Vegan. And Lyana is very similar to Rahim in many ways, using social media to prop up her brand and build this business. And also, of course, taking on all these multiple roles to keep the business running. Let's get a clip of Lyana from that episode before we talk about it.

[AUDIO CLIP BEGINS]

Lyana Blount: When the pandemic slowed all of that down, I had time to get creative and cook for the family and post it. I maybe had almost a hundred followers and it blew up when I posted the pernil plate. You see that? Just like pernil, this is jackfruit. They're like, "What? Vegan pernil? How? Where?"

[AUDIO CLIP ENDS]

Scott Rogowsky: Vegan pernil. Priya, did you get to taste this vegan pernil? Or did you get to taste any of her dishes?

Priya Krishna:

I didn't get to taste the pernil, but I did get to taste everything else. And it was phenomenal.

Scott Rogowsky: How good? How good?

Priya Krishna: And I was eating a full meal at 8:00 in the morning because we were getting there at 5:00 and I was like, "This is the best breakfast I've ever had."

Nora Ali: I could feel it. Watching you eat it, it was, "Oh, my gosh. I want some of that."

Scott Rogowsky: This episode is about restaurants that are run on Instagram, which again is this very recent phenomenon born from the pandemic in a lot of ways. How did you find her, particularly, in the sea of new Instagram restaurants that have popped up over the past few years?

Priya Krishna: That was all CC Allen, our showrunner, and Gina Fernandez. The two of them basically set out to find someone who ran a restaurant on Instagram who had a really cool story and most importantly, whose food was super awesome. And I think what really amazed them about Lyana was not only that like her food was awesome and how quickly she had grown this brand that basically it sells out in five minutes, but just Lyana herself she has this quiet confidence. She does not make herself the face of the brand. In fact, I think it was really hard to figure out who ran Black Rican Vegan because she doesn't put herself and her face out there. And I think she's created such an incredible community. She recognized the Black Rican Vegan is her, but it's more about the community that she has created of people that are obsessed with her food. And I think that that was really phenomenal. And CC and Gina saw that from the start and they just did an amazing job bringing her into the fold.

Nora Ali: When I tell you, I ran to Black Rican Vegan's Instagram after watching your episode to try to order. And here I was thinking I could get their food delivered for dinner that night, but that's not how it works. So can you talk through the logistics and the operations behind their delivery service?

Priya Krishna: It's pretty remarkable that it's all basically run through Instagram. She posts the menu every week to her Instagram. You go online and you order. And when it's sold out, it's sold out and she's sold out in minutes. She also does popups occasionally, but your best bet is really ordering online. And then like on top of that, a lot of these places, you have to go pick up the food at a place and that's pretty common, but she delivers to multiple boroughs. Her operation was so tight and that was really incredible. She's running all of that herself.

Nora Ali: And you talked about all the different hats she has to wear, all the roles that she has. What are those, for people who are just not familiar with the number of jobs there actually are to make something like this happen?

Priya Krishna: She is the head chef. She is the operations manager. She is the financial director. She is the social media manager. She is the photographer. She literally does every single job. It is absolutely remarkable. And she has a full-time job working in education on top of that.

Nora Ali: Oh, my God.

Scott Rogowsky: This isn't even her full-time gig. That is just mind blowing.

Priya Krishna: It's her side hustle, yeah.

Scott Rogowsky: This is her side hustle.

Nora Ali: So impressive.

Scott Rogowsky: What sticks out to you about this kind of labor? On one hand you could say, "Well, this is really impressive and it shows a lot of ambition and kudos," but also she's trying to put food on her own table. She's trying to make a living and support her family. And it would be nice if she could do one thing and really devote herself to her passion. But the fact is it's very expensive to live these days, especially in New York City and a lot of people work in multiple jobs, just to get by. When you think about the type of labor that a lot of restaurant folks are doing that you're so close, how does it make you feel?

Priya Krishna: Ultimately, this is her passion. This is what she wants to do. I think eventually she'd love to do Black Rican Vegan full-time. She wants her products in grocery stores and available across the country. Similar to Rahim, she has tremendous ambitions and it's so impressive to me how many hats people like her and Rahim are willing to wear to make their dreams come true. It's not like they come from limitless resources. They have limited resources. They live in New York. The cost of living is really high, but they both are incredibly committed, not only to their passion, but to their communities. I think it's pretty awesome that Lyana is really conscious about her prices. She wants to make sure that people in the Bronx can afford to eat Black Rican Vegan, that she's not pricing out her own community

Nora Ali: And for food that sells out so quickly, she very well could, but I love that she isn't. And Lyana is smart to take advantage of these relatively recent trends in delivery, where we're seeing delivery-only restaurants with no real storefront ghost kitchens slash cloud kitchens, whatever you want to call it. What do you think the future holds for ghost kitchens? We see a lot of investment in them. For example, the founder of Uber, Travis Kalanick started CloudKitchens. And do you think it does anything to impact the dine-in restaurant business at all?

Priya Krishna: I think those kitchens are here to stay. I think that's huge. I think that people will always want to dine-in at restaurants. I don't think that that's at risk of going away, but I will say that in the realm of ghost kitchens, I'm more interested in the upstart businesses like Lyana's or people who are doing food that's uniquely personal to them than the large corporations doing research and saying, "We think that this neighborhood will like sushi and pizza so we're going to do a ghost kitchen that serves sushi and pizza." I'm much more interested in the former than the latter.

Scott Rogowsky: We have another quick break to take with Priya Krishna. When we come back, we're going to dive into the dirtiest episode of them all. Priya, your final episode is about a facility where a restaurant sent all their dirty napkins and uniforms from the cooks and all the white linens that look so pretty when you sit down in a restaurant, well, they don't end up so white at the end of the day. How does this process work start to finish? And just describe the sheer magnitude of it for all of us who haven't seen the episode.

Priya Krishna: This was a dream episode for me because it's something I genuinely was curious about. Basically, these guys show up at the end of the shift or early in the morning, they pick up what's called the soil, the dirty laundry. They bring it to the facility, it gets sorted, categorized stains are examined, like, "This is a turmeric stain. This is a wine stain." And then they're sorted and washed accordingly. And I very stupidly asked, "Okay, is it just like the worse the stain is, the hotter the water?" And the guy looked at me like, "Ah, no. It's a lot more complicated than that."

Scott Rogowsky: Actually have a clip of that moment. Here it is.

[AUDIO CLIP BEGINS]

Priya Krishna: Generally, the rule of thumb is hotter water for deeper stains or is it much more complicated than that?

Worker: It's much more complicated.

Priya Krishna: Okay.

Worker: We have a chemical system here. On this side is the belts I was showing you where the people are taking...

[AUDIO CLIP ENDS]

Priya Krishna: Yeah. There's a million kinds of chemicals depending on what kind of stain, what kind of item it is. And then after it's washed, it goes through this really intense drying and folding and pressing process. It was one of the coolest things I'd ever seen. I could just wander around that area for forever.

Nora Ali: So what did you learn in addition to the process itself? What did you learn about the employees that work at these kinds of facilities? Do they also take on multiple roles and wear a lot of hats like in your other episodes?

Priya Krishna: You would think that with the technology, the way it is that the process would be pretty automated, but I think what was really interesting was just the sheer amount of human labor that is still involved in the process, the people hand folding the napkins, controlling what laundry goes where, examining stains, and figuring out what needs to happen to get this stain off. I was absolutely in awe of how good these people were at their jobs. This one woman, she folds linens and the way that she does it, her hands moved so fast, I was like I didn't know a human's hands could move that fast. These people are incredibly skilled about what they do. But once again, incredibly humble. They're like, "This is just a job. I've been doing the job for years. It's not that hard." There was this one woman I talked to who was training other people, and she was like, "I don't understand. What's so hard about folding 90 linens? It's just folding." And there's a real appreciation for that labor, and I think what was really important with that episode was it's been in this family for multiple generations. We want to just highlight the family business, but we want to equally put the spotlight on these workers, without whom the business simply cannot run, who have been working in these facilities for years and years and years, who know the laundry business inside out, and who, again, are just incredibly good at what they do often, wearing multiple hats, often doing their job while also training the person who's going to be doing that the next day and dealing with problems as they arise. One kink in the chain and the whole rest of the system gets messed up. They have to constantly readjust and figure out, "Okay, how do we do this?" If this isn't working or if this came out and there's still a stain on it. It's really incredible.

Scott Rogowsky: And are there multiple facilities like this, or is this serving most, if not all the restaurants in New York? Is it a central hub where all these things are being trucked to?

Priya Krishna: They have other facilities, but this is the main hub, and this is one of the largest laundry facilities in the New York area.

Nora Ali: Priya, for this whole series, what do you hope viewers take away? What should be this new understanding that we have around labor and what are some considerations we should have when we're, or ordering food or dining in restaurants?

Priya Krishna: That this labor is the bedrock of our society and our economy. And even if that labor is not immediately seen as part of our experience of eating or dining out, it doesn't mean that that labor is not equally important, that it's not equally, if not more skilled labor than the labor that is seen. And in the same way that we write about chefs wanting to build these massive empires, well listen, a lot of these folks are just as ambitious. They have, honestly, more hustle than a lot of these other front-facing figures. And they have really incredible stories to tell and I think that we got such awesome feedback on other types of people that people want to see profiled. And I feel like there's almost like a limitless number of episodes that we could do for this series.

Scott Rogowsky: Who would you like to see next? Who would you like to particularly profile in the future episodes?

Priya Krishna: There's a few ideas I had. I love the women who sell churros in the subway. I'd love to just follow one of them around for a day. I'd love to do a mobile knife sharpener. This is such a thing in New York. You call the guy, he rolls up in his truck and he sharpens your knives and he's on his way. I would love to just follow around a guy who sharpens knives for a living.

Scott Rogowsky: Don't get too close.

Nora Ali: It is limitless. I want to give you props, Priya, for a second though, because the comments on this series on YouTube are hands down the best universally positive comments I have ever seen on YouTube. I'm actually going to read one of them because I loved it so much. The comment says, "This is what you get when you have someone asking reasonable, important questions without overstepping boundaries, while being kind, understanding, and humble. Truly a pleasure to watch." And that's about you, Priya and people love you. You're an amazing reporter. What do you think it takes to be a good food reporter, and why do you think your stories resonate so much with people?

Priya Krishna: Un-centering yourself in the process, I feel like that is the most important... It seems so obvious, but I think it's just leading with empathy and leading with the source themselves. This is not about you. This is about them. I just like to let them talk, make some observations, treat it like we're having a conversation, not try to insert myself into the narrative. I don't know. I also just love...

Nora Ali: I'm taking notes.

Priya Krishna: I really love people. I've always loved interacting with people since I was really little. I would just go up to strangers and chat. And CC and Gina just have a knack for finding really awesome people, and I get a lot of energy in talking to them. And these particular people that we spoke to just filled me with so much hope and joy for the future of food. And it was really nice to get to spend the day with them. It felt like it's so much for them to be allowing us into their space to allow two camera people, a reporter, a sound person. They're doing a lot by just letting us into their space, so the best that we can do is just step back and let them shine.

Scott Rogowsky: Well, I'm feeling energized from our conversation. I'm charging up. I'm getting charged to the point where I think I'm ready for it. I think it's happening. I think it's time for Quizness Casual, the Business Casual quiz. Today's contestants. It's going to be Nora Ali, as it most often is, along with Priya Krishna, our guest today. We've been talking about the restaurant industry. Priya covers the restaurant industry for New York Times. So why don't we do a quiz, all about food that we eat and the restaurants that we go to. And maybe some of the things that you profiled in your pieces for the On The Job web series. Okay. You ready for it? You can work together to answer these, by the way, Priya.

Nora Ali: Collaborate, yes.

Priya Krishna: I'm so glad that we're working together. I'm really new at this.

Scott Rogowsky: This is collaborative. Here we go. Qumero Numero Uno: According to a report from the National Retail Federation published in April 2021, what is typically the busiest day of the year for restaurants? New Year's Eve, Mother's Day, Valentine's Day or Easter?

Priya Krishna: It's going to be either New Year's Eve or Mother's Day, I think.

Nora Ali: My instinct was telling me Mother's day or Valentine's Day, but yeah, I guess New Year's Eve. Everyone's got to go out to dinner before they go out to the clubs, right?

Priya Krishna: I feel like New Year's Eve is what we think it is, but it might be Mother's Day.

Nora Ali: Should we go with Mother's Day because that was an overlap in our instincts, was Mother's Day?

Priya Krishna: Yeah. I think one is Mother's Day. Two is New Year's Eve, so fingers crossed, it's Mother's Day.

Nora Ali: All right, let's go for it. Locking it in. Mother's Day.

Scott Rogowsky: Mother! Well, New Year's Eve, you got those pre-fixed menus. It gets expensive on New Year's Eve. So a lot of us go out to eat, but many of us probably avoid it. Mother's Day is the answer, top holiday for dining out followed by Valentine's Day, Father's Day, New Year's Eve, and then Easter. Easter a lot of people eat at home, I guess. Good guessing there. We're one for one so far. Off to a good start.

Nora Ali: Better than usual.

Scott Rogowsky: Here's Qumero Numero... Yeah. Much better than usual. Usually we're big whiffing all the way through. Q2: What is a common English translation for the Spanish word bodega? Small grocery store, convenience store, wine cellar, or deli?

Nora Ali: I've taken Spanish for many years, but I don't remember.

Priya Krishna: I speak Spanish. So I'm like trying to figure out what the... But there's there's not a clear etymology to be able to analyze... What are the options?

Scott Rogowsky: You got small grocery store, convenience store, wine cellar, or deli.

Nora Ali: I feel like it's not wine cellar.

Priya Krishna: I feel like it was, if it was small grocery store, I would be like, "Bodegita". Something that indicated...

Scott Rogowsky: And remember we're looking for the original derivation of this. So the meanings of worth change over time, of course, so it may not be what we expect it to be.

Priya Krishna: Maybe that means it's wine cellar.

Nora Ali: Maybe.

Nora Ali: See, when I have instincts about what it's not, it tends to be that so why don't we...

Priya Krishna: Should we just do wine cellar?

Nora Ali: Why don't we do wine cellar. Yeah. 

Priya Krishna: Sure.

Nora Ali: Let's do it. Wine cellar it is.

Scott Rogowsky: All right. That little hint might have helped. Yes. The word "bodega" is derived from the Spanish word for wine cellar or a wine store room, but it definitely has a vino connection there. Wine shop. So there you have it. It's now of course, much more than wine. All right, here we go. Final question. You're two for two. Good job. In what city was the first American fine dining restaurant established? New York City, Boston, Charleston, or Newport?

Priya Krishna: Well, Delmonico's is in New York and that is one of the oldest restaurants, but I feel like New York is very obvious and I feel like I only know New York restaurant history, but Delmonico's is quite old. I think it's over a hundred years old. But Boston, old city...

Nora Ali: Thing are old in Boston.

Priya Krishna: Yeah.

Nora Ali: I would go with Boston. Because we've got a lot of history there.

Priya Krishna: Sure. Let's do it.

Nora Ali: All right. Boston. And if it's wrong, it's my fault. But we're locking it in

Scott Rogowsky: Priya don't get too mad at Nora here, but you were right in your first guess there. Delmonico's. New York City is the answer, home to Delmonico's, the steakhouse that opened its doors in 1837. So almost 200 years old.

Priya Krishna: So old.

Nora Ali: Oh, my gosh.

Scott Rogowsky: Crazy.

Nora Ali: You can say you got three out of three in your Twitter bio or whatever, Priya, if you want.

Scott Rogowsky: Yeah. Your Wordle. Put this in place of your Wordle, Priya.

Nora Ali: Exactly.

Scott Rogowsky: When can we get the Quizness Casual score to be the trending topic on Twitter? But I'm going to say that is one of the best results we've had on Quizness Casual, two out of three. I'll give you two and a half out of three. Congratulations. Thanks for playing. And thanks for chatting with us.

Priya Krishna: Of course. This was really great. Thank you so much for sharing your love for the series. I feel like sometimes we put things out and we're like, "Will anyone watch this? Does anyone care?" So hearing you guys talk about it, it was really awesome. It really warmed my heart this Friday afternoon.

Nora Ali: You warmed our hearts with the series and this conversation.

Nora Ali: Thanks, Priya.

Scott Rogowsky: We love hearing from you, BC listeners, so please hit our line. We're working on an upcoming episode about the video game business, video games, and we want to hear your thoughts. Are you gamer? What's the future of gaming in the metaverse? What was that gamer gate all about? That was like 10 years ago now. Send us an email at businesscasual@morningbrew.com or DM us on Twitter @bizcasualpod. That's B-I-Z casual pod with your brain droppings.

Nora Ali: You can also leave a voice memo on our website, businesscasual.fm, or give us a ring and leave us an old fashioned voicemail. Our number is 862-295-1135. As Business Casual grows, we are excited to get to know our listeners, old and new. Drop us the line. And don't forget to leave your name and where you're calling or writing from so we can hear from you in a future episode.

Scott Rogowsky: Business Casual is produced the Ocky Way by Katherine Milsop and Bella Hutchins. Additional production sound design and mixing by Daniel Markus. Alan Haburchak is the director of Audio Morning Brew. Sarah Singer is our VP of multimedia and Jessica Coen is our chief content officer. Music in this episode from Daniel Markus and The Mysterious Breakmaster Cylinder. If you like what you heard, please follow up Business Casual on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you go for your candy. And we'd love it if you gave us a great rating and a review.

Nora Ali: Thanks for listening to Business Casual. I'm Nora Ali.

Scott Rogowsky: And I'm Scott Rogowsky. 

Nora Ali: Keep it business.

Scott Rogowsky: Sure, sure. And keep it casual.

Nora Ali: I love that.