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Your Call

How can the restaurant industry develop more equitable workplaces?

Flickr user snekse. Used under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0


On this edition of Your Call, we talk about the struggle to make the restaurant industry more equitable. The Bay Area’s food scene is sumptuous, but it’s not immune to some of the nastier aspects of the restaurant industry.

Workers in the industry, especially fast food, struggle with sexual harassment and assault. Workers of color are paid less than white workers and have fewer opportunities for advancement. In cities where the cost of living is high, restaurants struggle to find staff. How can restaurants become better workplaces for employees, especially women and people of color? And what can those of us who eat out do to support ethical food jobs?



Gwyneth Borden, executive director of the Golden Gate Restaurant Association, a nonprofit trade association representing the Bay Area’s culinary industry


Saru Jayaraman, co-founder and president of Restaurant Opportunities Centers United, an organization that advocates increased wages and labor standards for the country's 12 million restaurant workers

Web Resources:


CNN: Few noticed, but Congress just banned restaurants from skimming tips

SF Chronicle: Oakland restaurant devises system to combat customers’ harassment of workers

OpenTable blog: 8 Critical Issues Facing the Bay Area Restaurant Industry in 2017

Harvard Business Review: Sexual Harassment Is Pervasive in the Restaurant Industry. Here’s What Needs to Change

San Francisco Chronicle: Battling racial inequality, segregation in Bay Area restaurants

New York Times: Harassment and Tipping in Restaurants: Your Stories

Sprudge: Sexual Harassment At Four Barrel Coffee: What Happened, And What Happens Next