How Restaurants Are Supporting Equal Pay Day
Created by the National Committee on Pay Equity in 1996, Equal Pay Day offers an opportunity to reflect on the wage disparities that still exist between men and women in several industries. Per the Census Bureau and Department of Labor Statistics, working women in the U.S. earn 80 cents for every dollar a man in an equivalent job makes, on average. The gap is even wider for women of color; Black women earn just 63 cents for every dollar paid to white men, while Hispanic women, earn just 54 cents.
The food industry is not immune to these disparities. Chef Amy Brandwein, of Centrolina in Washington, D.C., is getting involved by donating 20% of Mercato's morning profits to organizations that support women and families affected by the pay gap.
"Women are a huge percentage of workers in the hospitality industry and need to be more fairly represented," Brandwein tells Food & Wine. "They are very hard workers and deserve to be paid equally. Somehow, we have treated women in the hospitality industry as second-class citizens and I think we can all agree that this needs to change. I personally have experienced pay discrimination as a chef, so understand that this is not a figment of anyone’s imagination, it’s real."
Here are restaurants, bars, and coffee shops around the country that are making statements on Equal Pay Day, plus how you can support them (and possibly nab a discount.)
Centrolina (Washington, D.C.)
James Beard Award finalist Amy Brandwein, of Centrolina, and her female executive team will be participating in fundraising efforts on Tuesday, April 10. The market section of Centrolina, Mercato, will donate 20% of morning (8 a.m.- noon) profits to organizations that support women and families affected by the pay gap: The Boys & Girls Club, Dress for Success, The American Association of University Women, and Feeding America.
Hill City Tap House (Seattle, Washington)
From 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., guests are encouraged to "take a bite" out of the wage gap; there will be complimentary snacks from Emma's BBQ and Molly Moon's ice cream. (Plus, drinks will be wrapped in sleeves that detail statistics surrounding the wage gap, and there will be a "feminist trivia takeover.")
Grounds Coffee (Midland, Michigan)
The female-owned coffeeshop (at 4951 Eastman Ave.) is giving a 20 percent discount on beverages to all women customers.
Sweet_ness Café 7 (Buffalo, New York)
The café will feature coffee sleeves and napkins with messages that “highlight the gender wage gap."
The Works Bakery and Café (New Hampshire)
For the fourth year in a row, they're offering female customers a 20 percent discount across all eight of its N.H. locations.
Sparrow Bakery (Bend, Oregon)
The American Association of University Women (AAUW) is partnering with women-owned Sparrow Bakery, which will offer $1 off on coffee all day while also providing information on the Oregon Equal Pay Act.
The Plank Coffee (Cloverdale, California)
Between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., representatives from the American Association of University Women will be selling cookies representing the pay gap. For one dollar, women buyers will receive %100 of a Cousteaux Bakery cookie, while all men will receive only 80% of the same cookie.