A Chinese restaurant is not the easiest way to earn a living.  Patrons enjoy their meals, but know little about the difficult and demanding work over long hours each day that restaurant owners and workers endure.

The Sour Side of Chinese Restaurants is an article I published in Chinese American Forum to provide an overview of these aspects of this business based on news articles, oral histories, and research studies.  Here are several examples of the 'sour side' of running a Chinese restaurant.

Chinese restaurants have long been a favorite target of juvenile pranks such as demeaning and insulting phone calls.  There is a website that proudly lists dozens of such prank calls. Here is a small sample.

New immigrants are often exploited when they have to work in restaurants all across the country.  They labor under difficult conditions for long hours and low pay to settle large debts owed to snakeheads who smuggled them into the country

For a dramatic depiction of how unruly patrons treat the cooks in a Chinese restaurant, check on this short video, Mission Chinese.

Warning: this is an R rated film, not for children or the faint of heart.

Perhaps a bit over the top, but surely many Chinese cooks must have had similar fantasies.