Where will impending Italian food court in the Pru get all its workers?

Richard Auffrey notes Eataly plans to hire 600 workers in an already tight market for its mega-place where the old Pru food court used to be, and how they'll find and, more important, retain all those workers after looking at a job site's comments on the New York Eataly.



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Not surprised

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I'm actually not surprised at all by this. You can fancy up the food all you want and put a fun name on it.. but Eatly is nothing more than fancy food court. It's still food service. And unless you work for a company that actually cares about its employees and pays a living wage, it will always be a sucky job.

I also wonder how many of these 600 jobs are perm positions. No I don't mean full time, but ones that exist after the initial opening. Many "first run" places will over hire people just to lay people off as sales begin to slow.

When I was a manager at Krispy Kreme in Medford, we hired almost 1000 people to work at that store for opening day. Yes really. Yeah the lines and sales dictated the need, but as the novelty wore off, we let people go left and right. On the first overnight I managed (which was days after the store opened), we had 30 people on overnights. 10 on the line, 7 up front/drive thru, 5 ladies finishing, and a few extras for crowd control (parking lot), dishes, stock, and floaters). By the time I left six months later, we were down to maybe 7 on the overnight. (1 for line, 1 for dishes, 2 for finishing, and 2-3 on counter/drive thru) But the sales dictated it. I hear they went down to 4 at night by the time the store closed. What a difference.

What's going to happen if they cannot fill those positions is the service is just gonna suck there, and the quality just may not be there. You'll have employees who work there because its a job and a paycheck, not because they actual care about the service they give. But this can be said about any restaurant. And we wonder why service at these places sucks so bad.

My guess would be

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that it'll be the same number of permanent positions as there were in the old food court, give or take. Like you said, once the novelty wears off, it's going to be the same level of demand as there was before. And the same quality. And the same wages. And the same level of turnover.

For someone that works in

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For someone that works in that building I am not all that happy Eataly is going in. This place is not affordable to many people that used to frequent the Food Court. Luckily I brown bag it but I think a lot of ppl are going to be surprised at the cost. There certainly won't be any more teenagers going in (or not as many or as often) or "regular" workers.

Inexpenseive Alternatives at the Pru

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Multiple food trucks outside.
"Fooda" pop-up food kiosks inside, near the post office (these may go away when Eataly opens)
Au Bon Pain (although I can't stand that place)

Soon to open:

Anna's Taqueria and the Cambodian sandwich place, next corridor over where Saks is.

Will Eataly go the way of Marche' ? Not enough customers to support God-knows-how-many-million-invested?
we shall see!

I agree

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I think Eatly will go the way of Marche did years ago. It's almost the same concept. Now, of course, Marche was this tiny place in a corner of the Pru Mall, while Eatly took over the entire food court. Only time will tell.

But alot of these 'fad' places don't last very long (FroYo anyone?). Just like my KK story above.. within 4 years almost all have vanished from New England (except for the one at Mohegan Sun). The novelty wears off eventually.

And from what I read about Eatly it really isn't anything special.. It really sounds like a small step up from an Olive Garden... mass produced Italian food that sits on warmers all day.

I didn't even think Marche was small

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It was a while ago but I thought one of Marche's problems was that it was too big of a place. You'd go to one kiosk to get one thing, then another to get something else. By the time you sat down to eat they first thing was cold.

Of course I hear that Eataly will be obnoxiously huge so yeah it will dwarf what Marche was.

I've heard that Eataly was actually good, which is enough to get me to try it if/when I'm in the area. But if it sucks, there are plenty other places to go.

Those aren't really a

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Those aren't really a substitute for the food court that had plenty of room and variety.

...which is probably intentional

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I don't think the mall's ownership has any obligation to maintain a typically formatted food court. There is/will be plenty of variety--just not all concentrated in one part of the complex. Personally I'm not going to miss that shitty chinese food at Panda Express or whatever it was called, or Soup in a bread bowl..oh I mean Boston CHOWDAH company, etc.

The "Post Office corridor"

Crazy Dough's Pizza has been there for 2-3 years, I suppose they could be hurt by "Eataly" competition. But I have a feeling they and the "Fooda" kiosks will be around, there is small seating area in that corridor and they seem to do great business. There's also a salad place near the Au Bon Pain. I did recently notice that the long-time Dunkin's is boarded up for renovations, possibly they are expanding/creating a seating area?

I also work nearby

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And I don't miss the food court. Perhaps it's because I hate food courts and malls in general. But I like that the Pru isn't trying to be a generic, suburban mall in the city. For 'affordable' (whatever that means in Boston anymore) there are some cheap places on Mass Ave, a Wendy's and Subway nearby.

From the property owner's perspective, I can't say I blame them. Foodcourts are low quality, boring, and in the city let's face it, a loiterer magnet.

We're gonna take your jobs

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We're gonna take your jobs and there's nothing crooked Hillary or the short fingered vulgarian whose name shall not be spoken can do about it!

Suck it meatbags!

Im amused at people calling

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Im amused at people calling Eataly a fad. It is a well established chain. Their NYC locations do very well every single day

I think that's great that

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I think that's great that Eataly does well in NYC... but keep in mind that NYC is a much larger city with a much larger tourist population. I do not think that Boston has the tourist numbers who might actually frequent the Pru to eat in a glorified food court. However, if you like that kind of thing, by all means knock yourself out.

Thank you

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Yes I agree. I was gonna write it but got distracted.

NYC has a far bigger tourist population.. alot more people who would be willing to eat a glorified food court than here in Boston. You'd also have to know it's there.. you could be a tourist in Boston and never step foot inside the Pru Mall unless you had a real reason to be there.

But also remember NYC is also the same place that has a few chain restaurants in one of the most touristy places in the city.. Times Square. And I'm not one to knock chain places, but the TGIFridays is over priced in Times Square yet always has a line out the door. People do like chain restaurants apparently.

Then again just about anyone who comes and visits me in Boston, always wants to go to the Cheesecake Factory or some other chain they do not have near them. So Eataly may just work for those who like chains and fad dining.


Yes, we have a smaller tourist population, but many of them are staying at the hotels that adjoin or are very near the Pru, which is very attractive as a shopping center - both boutique and chain options. (Tesla! Sephora!, Gucci! Barnes and Noble!) Lots of tourist traffic, especially in winter months and Eataly would certainly attract visitors on both ends of the tourist/shopper economic scale, especially now that Legal Seafoods is no longer there.

You're right

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You're right about that. I do know alot of tourists from other countries like US Shopping malls because of the variety in one area. I wish I had a dollar for a tour bus I saw parked outside of the CambridgeSide Galleria.. I'd be rich.

However just keep in mind many folks come in for the day and never go to the backbay. A lot of the historical stuff is not located in the BB but downtown.

Like you said, I think if people are INSIDE the mall, it'll get noticed. But I don't think people are going to go out of their way to eat at that place if they have no other business in the mall, not when there's better, more local, food options just outside the mall on Boylston Street. But then again see my comment about the Cheesecake Factory.

PS - Legal in the Pru Closed? I was just there a few weeks ago.. I must have not noticed it closed. Sheesh that place was remodeled like twice in the past 10 years (once when it was moved back to accommodate the Mandarin being built.

No, YOU'RE right....

about Legals being open-my brain got confused with all the current and past remodelling. As for your Cheesecake Factory comment-my aunt was in town for the day recently when her cruise ship was in port and one place she prioritized to visit was a very famous local place where everybody allegedly knows your name....


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Yes I've been dragged there too. Too many times I can count

It's on my list of "Things I won't do when visitors come", which consists of

Cheers (Both the Bull & Fitch and the Fanuiel Hall location)
Fanuiel Hall/Quincy Market
The Aquarium
Any place that has to do with Ted, The Town, or the Departed
Walking the freedom trail
A duck tour

Most of these places I've just been far too much and it just does not change. The Aquarium is like that mostly for me. I refuse to go inside. I usually tell people.. "I'll go over to the legal seafoods bar and have a drink while you are inside. See you in an hour". Usually they are out in 45 min (if its just adults). Every single time.


It frequently has new/different things to see. We have a membership -- so it doesn't cost anything extra to go see an hours worth of new stuff. ;-)

Not Art

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Ya but I'm not an art person so its very very boring to me :-) I've been a few times.. doesn't really do much for me. But art never has done that *shrug*

I thought Eataly was more of an emporium

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With all kinds of goods imported foodstuffs from Italy, not just a glorified food court I may be mistaken about that but if not i think it will do very well at Pru.
I work in the tower and mall is very busy at many times of the year with tourists. I think there's also a built in upscale clientele with the Mandarin and guests from Copley Place hoetels or other Euro and Asian visitors. As well as business lunch crowd.

I'm not crazy about it replacing the food court nor a big Batali fan but I see no reason this place won't do well. There's going to be a roof top,restaurant/ bar which itself will be popular.

When I lived in Dot I used to love going to Tutto Italiano in Hyde Park. That's way out of the way for me now but I'll gladly pay a bit more to pick up some delicacies at Eataly even if they're more expensive. Plenty of people in South End and Back Bay only have Shaws now. Eataly will provide a lot of variety and convenience I think. And thAt demo isn't value shopping either.

I think this place is extremely well positioned for success.

A bowl of ramen is 15 bucks across the corridor at Wagamama so...

Legal has been closed in Pru for ages. Copley Place branch still open.

Eataly has Boylston Street entrance

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Right in the new plaza for 888.
This is much more ambitious than a food court replacement and will. Be serving a different market.
I think it's going to be quite successful.