With our busy schedules, we eat out a lot. We aren't foodies, so we stick to the casual fast-food circuit and neighborhood eateries. When we eat out, we tip around 20%. Neither of us have worked as servers in a formal restaurant. My experience with food service came working the deep fryer at Santa's Village making fries and pizza puffs. Then there was my stint at the movie theater concession stand (you can survive on free popcorn & nachos). Both of those jobs, that I held in the 1990s, paid more than most restaurant workers earn today -- $2.13.
Do you know what $2.13 buys you? Well it doesn't buy the workers much in terms of health care, so you get sick people making your food from the deli on the corner to the fancy restaurant that requires an act of God to get a reservation.
I was excited to learn about Behind the Kitchen Door, which is an upcoming new book written by Saru Jayaraman, Co-Director of ROC United. You really need to watch the book trailer:
Then click over to the book site to keep up to date on its progress!
There's much more to do than just getting these workers a pay raise. We need to see our food as more than just what is on our plate, but see the people who get it there.