Photo: Flickr / xeeliz
A lot of us are concerned about how animals are raised before they end up on our dinner table.But very rarely do any of us think about whether or not our servers are able to pay their rent and have decent working conditions — and most of the time, it’s just because we have no way of finding out.
Now there’s a way we can pick diners based on their treatment of the 10 million people who work in the restaurant industry.
According to the newly released Restaurant Opportunities centres United National Diners’ Guide 2012 — which ranks restaurants depending on wage, benefits, and promotion practices of 150 most popular restaurants in the country — more than three-quarters of the workers surveyed don’t receive health insurance from their employers, more than half of them have worked while they’re sick or have been injured on the job. And most don’t have any sick days and can’t afford to take time off.
AppleBee’s, McDonald’s, Taco Bell, Waffle House, Starbucks and Dunkin doughnuts are among restaurants with the lowest rankings.
Mark Bittman writes in The New York Times that consumers can now “know how the members of [their] wait staff are treated.”
“We don’t seem to mind or even notice that our servers might be making $2.13 an hour. That tip you debate increasing to 20 per cent might be the difference in making the rent.”
With this new guide, Bittman makes an interesting point:
“If you care about sustainability — the capacity to endure — it’s time to expand our definition to include workers. You can’t call food sustainable when it’s produced by people whose capacity to endure is challenged by poverty-level wages.”
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