Links & Resources

Restaurant Opportunities Center of New York

A powerful advocacy non-profit organization for all restaurant workers.  Although based in New York, ROC -united has branches in other cities that include: Chicago, LA, Maine, Miami, Michigan, New Orleans, and Washington D.C.  Most of the centers offer free job training, ESL classes and skills to find good jobs.  This organization also  recently helped restaurant workers  win a $3.9 million settlement over wage violations.

NELP – National Employment Law Project

A national advocacy organization for employment rights of lower wage workers- This site has invaluable information for tipped workers.

You can find out what cities and states prohibit smoking in restaurants and much more.

Chinese Staff and workers association


Recommended Reading:


“Non Violent Communication – A language of Life” by Marshall B.Rosenberg, Ph.D.

In the restaurant industry, many of us are prone to offering insincere displays of apologies.  If you want to stop saying your sorry , READ THIS.  Rosenberg has been around for a  good while and many people endorse his book, including the legendary M.K. Gandhi’s grandson, Arun Gandhi.

This book will introduce you to a model of communication that can transform your communication with your customers.  You can learn to replace that old standby “sorry” with something much more honest, authentic, yet professional and effective.  This model of communication has been  used in various war zones, prisons and schools as a way to transform conflict into peaceful outcomes.  And in restaurants where both the back of the house and front can breed war zones between staff and sometimes customers ( I once watched a chef chase a line cook into the walk in yielding a very large knife),  arming yourself with these language tools can be invaluable.

Recommended Documentaries/Films

“Dish” Women Waitressing & the Art of Service  – Directed by Maya Gallus.

“as prices on the menu rise and serving acquires the respect and salary of a vocation, the number of women servers declines. The most sophisticated eateries employ only men to serve thier well-heeled patrons.”

Another insightful movie that demonstrates the gender discrimination in the industry.

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