How realistic is the show Bob's Burgers?

Specifically the part about Bob’s Burgers remaining in business with no non-family employees. Is it technically legal for 9-13 year old children to work in their parents’ restaurant? Does anyone on the board know a real restaurant that is run like this?

Well, I enjoy the show, but most of the humor is fairly broad, so people are going to show up pretty soon and ask why you expect it to be realistic at all … but,

When I was a kid, young kids did work afternoons and weekends in their family stores – pastry shops and pizzerias, in particular. I never saw that at hardware stores for example. I don’t know how they got around child labor laws, particularly for the safety aspect. Maybe the writers of Bob’s Burger’s are channeling their youth in their show – just like Hogwart’s endless brilliant idea to put the first years repeatedly in danger. Its something we want to see, even if very unlikely.

Anyway, the kids seem to slack off as much as they work. Gene just wears the burger suit. Louise taunts people at random. Only Tina seems to do any cooking, and rarely at that.

From the government Small business administration website:

It goes on to say that hazardous jobs are restricted to those above 16, family business or not, but the most hazardous thing I’ve seen the Belcher kids to is cook the burgers, so they’re probably OK.

I used to go to a Chinese place in Chicago that’s no longer in business (on North Clark, near Wrigley… the place is now a douchey bro-bar), but we’d regularly be brought our drinks by a kid who was no older than 6 or 7.

Not as common as it once was, but family businesses still exist. It’s definitely cost effective because even if family members are supposed to be on the books as actual employees, there’s no effective way to regulate that.

Common as hell where I live(Trinidad) although technically illegal probably.

Most bizarre was a pharmacy that had a ten year old girl working the register :dubious: Gimme a couple morning after pills, Magnum XL condoms, and some of that Astroglide lube.

It wasn’t a restaurant, but my brother and I worked in the family business–electronics repair–from a very young age, and I’d say that generally involves more dangerous work than a burger joint. It’s not that uncommon, or at least, it hasn’t been in the past. Small family businesses and farms often rely on children to help keep up with the work; kids can take on a lot of tasks that don’t require main strength (or height, I suppose), and that frees the adults to handle other jobs. Just having a child to play gofer can save considerable time in some tasks.

There’s also the fact that the restaurant has to be closed for any scene requiring both Bob and Linda to be somewhere else, which is a fairly common and sometimes unplanned occurrence in many episodes. Not to say that there aren’t lots of businesses like that in the real world, of course.

She’s probably really used to that, if she worked there for any length of time. You need to give her a story to tell her parents!

" … and a roll of duct tape, an electric shaver, a disposable camera, a package of contact paper, a funnel, and a six-pack of 9-volt batteries. Oh, better make that two."

By the way, there was a push recently to remove that family exemption for farm work that was shot down under pressure from industry lobbyists. I’ll see if I can track down a cite …

Yeah, situations like that should logically strand Tina, the eldest, in the diner alone. 'Course, age aside, she’s the worst of the kids to be given that much responsibility. She’s just, “Uhhh … uhhh UHHHH” and melt into a puddle. Then again, Gene is too hyper, and Louise would likely turn the place into a casino, or something.

I went to a convenience/liquor store a couple weeks ago and there were no adults present at all. Maybe someone was in the bathroom, but we were in there a couple of minutes looking for a snack. Got to the counter, and the kid playing head to head PSP with his buddies got up and rang me up, went back to his game. The kid really WAS a kid, not just short; was not older than 12 or 13.

If I hadn’t had the kids with me, I would have asked for liquor just to see what happened next.
And a project I am starting after we move is to make a BoB’sBurgers Special every week :stuck_out_tongue: Now I’ve gotta find ALL the recipes; there are sites with some on them, but not all. Guess it’s time to rewatch and take notes!

My father and uncle bought a hardware store when I was 10. I started working there part-time during school breaks soon after.

I’d bet that in a lot of sissy (i.e. blue) states working a hamburger grill is considered too hazardous for anyone under 16…

Usually, if you’re under 21, you can’t sell liquor unless an adult supervisor approves it. That even applies if the cashier is 19 or 20. If you had asked for liquor, the kid would have called his parents to approve it. Otherwise, the store could lose its liquor license.

Years ago, this wasn’t as rigidly enforced. I worked in a convenience store for a week when I was 17, and we sold beer. And adult was nearby, but still …

A guy I knew in college worked in a convenience store, and he’d sell beer to his friends without concern. The supervisor was livid one day, “You have to card everyone!” So he carded the next person who came – a 91 year old regular. The old guy was so thrilled, he got to use his veteran’s card as ID.

This is just another example of what people want in their entertainment programs – situations that could be a problem, but for some flush of naivete, we all just let it go.

That depends on the locale. I’m originally from Iowa, where you can sell unopened alcoholic beverages in places like grocery stores, even liquor stores, starting at age 16, no supervision required. At 18, you can dispense and serve alcohol in bars and restaurants. The only thing you can’t do (besides drink it) before 21 is drive it somewhere and deliver it.


Oh yeah. We used one in college all the time. Benji’s- watch for the guy in the big yellow Lincoln.