The local food and beverage community is frothing and stewing about the piece written by Post and Courier columnist Ken Burger on Sunday about “getting trapped in F&B.

A recap of his more incendiary points:

  • Students get sucked into the food-and-beverage business to earn spending money, then find themselves trapped.
  • It’s a young person’s game.
  • It’s addictive. And it makes you feel like you ought to be doing more with your life than asking people if they want more sweet tea.
  • Once the high wears off, it’s just a crummy job.
  • Sexual harassment is common.
  • The after-hours party scene is fueled by alcohol and drugs.
  • It’s quick money that requires little training.
  • It can be physically and mentally demanding, it can also be demeaning.

    On Tuesday, Charleston Grill G.M. Mickey Bakst, a lifer who just couldn’t jump to a job in the real world if Burger is to be believed, dispatched a letter to the editor of the P&C, defending the honor of his profession.

    His kicker:

    Yes, Mr. Burger, you are right about some things, there are drugs and alcohol abusers in our industry, there are people who party all night long and there are those who never finish. I ask you, though, are there any industries where those things don’t exist? Will you malign each of them as you did the people who make up the wonderful F&B industry that is so important to our town?

    Since then, the comment boards, Facebook walls, and Twitter messages have been lit up by angry F&Bers. There’s even an “I dare Ken Burger to eat out in Charleston” challenge out there.

    Today, we encountered a chalkboard at Tattooed Moose scrawled with a simple message: You suck Ken Burger.

    If Burger isn’t careful, the angry mob may just march on Columbus Street with (symbolic) burgers on stakes.

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