With Yelp and Zagat, we know how restaurants rate when it comes to their cuisine, ambiance and service. But what about how they rate when it comes to treating their employees? In her new book, Forked: A New Standard for American Dining, Saru Jayaraman, co-founder of Restaurant Opportunities Centers United (ROC United), explores the good, the bad and the ugly in the American restaurant industry. The book profiles fabulous restaurants taking the “high road to profitability” and provides ratings of America’s most popular eateries based on the wages, working conditions, and promotion practices they afford workers.
On January 26, the Ford Foundation and ROC United hosted a discussion on Jayaraman’s new book and what can be done to improve worker conditions in American restaurants. The event featured prominent figures in the restaurant industry, including restauranteur Danny Meyer and chef and Top Chef judge Tom Colicchio, who are taking the “high road” in providing their employees fair wages, good working conditions, and opportunities.