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A Day in the Life of Katz's Delicatessen's Jake Dell in 33 Photos

Jake Dell may be a young man, but as the owner of Katz's Delicatessen he runs one of NYC oldest and most iconic restaurants. Here's what an average day looks like for the man in charge of one of the city's finest pastrami purveyors.

Classics Week logoJake Dell starts off his day by working out at the gym before walking to work. He lives in the East Village and quips that he lives the farthest west of any member of the Dell family, which has been a part of Katz's for three generations. The deli is still run using the tried and true inventory system that has been in use since time immemorial. This means little help from computers — almost everything is done by hand. Dell uses long arithmetic to manage his pastrami, brisket, pickles and mustard inventory. It might lack the automation and complexity of a fully computerized system, but it has worked perfectly for over a century. After taking a full inventory throughout Katz's cavernous basement, Dell helps clear out catering and shipping orders in anticipation of the lunch rush. Katz's ships its product world wide, and that accounts for a fairly significant portion of its business.

Dell works the floor during the lunch rush, managing the crowd and making sure that customers are happy. His afternoon includes a telephone interview with the Daily News, and a conference call with the Henry Street Settlement (Dell is heavily involved in the non-profit). He then visits the Tenement Museum, where the Katz's Delicatessen book is sold, before meeting his sister for coffee. From there it's back to work for the dinner rush, before meeting friends for dinner at Mighty Quinn's, where the king of pastrami tries a little barbecue brisket.

Check out Eater's interview with Dell to hear about his plans to keep Katz's alive forever, who his favorite diner is, and why he wants to change his last name.

Katz's Delicatessen

205 East Houston Street, Manhattan, NY 10002 (212) 254-2246 Visit Website