Frank talk: discrimination in the restaurant business


It's hard to change mindsets (even at the most subtle and yes, joking level). Seemingly unperturbed by their countries' Employments act, understand that you can find it almost everywhere (in different organisations).

You may even be able to find people being discriminated against practically anywhere in the world in some way, shape or form. You may be discriminating against somebody/some group without even realising it!

You may have been a victim...

If you find home a safe place (or being around people who are just like you), the workplace can, unfortunately, be no safe haven.

There have been many reports of discrimination within the restaurant industry, despite how important the industry is to the economy.

A labour advocacy group, Restaurant Opportunities Center United, conducted a report that accords that, in the foodservice industry, workers of colour and Women are often forced into jobs of the lowest pay.

In this report, it is also found that workers of colour earn 56% less than white workers who are just as qualified as workers of colour.

On the other hand, according to the San Francisco Chronicle, in San Francisco and Oakland, workers in the restaurant industry who are white males are often channelled into positions in which they can earn as much as $150,000 a year.

The study, titled “Ending Jim Crow in America’s Restaurants” found that white men in the state of California often earn $4 more every hour on an average compared to, for instance, women of colour.

Full-service restaurants are public settings in which you can sometimes witness or even encounter prejudice. Case in point, the racism issues that have plagued Starbucks.

Restaurant employees in the U.S. are often not too well off. They are more likely to live in poverty compared to other workers and on top of that, they may have to deal with discrimination.

The restaurant employer may say that they’re colour blind or gender neutral when it comes to hiring but then they may follow up with something suggestively, vaguely racist or sexist, like, “We want someone who has the right look and good communication skills.”

If they say that they want someone “clean-cut”, they might just be narrow-minded and believe that only a white male is capable of handling the job.

Despite how much it may seem discriminating against people based on their race, gender or religion is a thing of the past, many people face it in their daily lives.

Don't think you're in the restaurant businesses so you're an exception.

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Rauf Fadzillah

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