How many restaurants pay in cash?

Most do, is the quick answer, for a million reasons. Any restaurant owner will tell you that undocumented workers are the backbone of any kitchen – the hardest-working, dependable, and longest-staying.  Are those employees being taken advantage of? I dunno, maybe on some institutional level, but everyone seems pretty happy about it at the places I ask. We pay everyone on the books (stand down IRS). My accountant has scared the good sense out of me with stories of $100k fines, and I went through a string of unreliable college kids for dishwashing –  well-meaning but soft, who usually run at the sight of chocolate-covered kitchen on a Sunday morning.  The less important reason is financial, of course, since cash payments are the common sense solution to a recessionary environment in a highly-taxed town. We’re all squeezed, so the money’s gotta come from somewhere. That extra $100 in take-home means they can afford the basics (we’re talking food and subway fare), and I can keep the lights on. Who’s got other ideas?