Family Values @ Work

Get a Glimpse Behind the Kitchen Door

June 4, 2012

Cage-free chicken grilled by a sneezing chef.

Organic salad brought to you by a coughing server.

Are we really eating healthier when we don’t know what is happening Behind the Kitchen Doors?

Our friends at Restaurant Opportunities Center (ROC) United have been documenting the problems for restaurant workers and the public when owners take the low road and make people choose between coming to work sick or losing a paycheck or their jobs. Lack of paid sick days, along with artificially low wages and rampant gender and race discrimination, are a hallmark of restaurant work.

And so is resistance, smartly and creatively led by ROC United, a key partner in our coalitions. The group’s Co-Director, Saru Jayaraman, has written a new book called Behind the Kitchen Doors, educating consumers on the moral, political and economic implications of eating out. The book promises to be a groundbreaking expose of working conditions in restaurants, depicted through the stories of workers across the country.

Behind the Kitchen Doors isn’t due out until 2/13/2013 – a date representing the amount of the tipped minimum wage, kept to a staggering $2.13 by lobbyists for the other NRA (the National Restaurant Association.)


What’s at stake when we choose a restaurant is not only our own health or food experience, but the health and well-being of the second-largest private sector workforce—the lives of 10 million people, many immigrants, many people of color, who bring passion, tenacity, and important insight into the American dining experience.

A high road is possible. ROC United has documented the many restaurants who value their employees by paying them a decent wage, allowing them to earn paid sick days, and treating them with dignity and respect. But too many restaurant workers have no access to such treatment — a reality that affects anyone who goes out for a meal.

CLICK HERE for more information on Behind the Kitchen Door & to sign up for updates on events/promotions.

Help ROC United grow their organizing by spreading the word to your friends.



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