Backbreaking In The Restaurant Industry

1557 Words 7 Pages
According to the National Restaurant Association, in 2011 Americans ate out for at least five meals a week, and the average household spent $2,620 on food away from home. Along with that, in order for restaurant workers to make ends meet, "American taxpayers effectively subsidize the restaurant industry to the tune of $7 billion per year” (para 3) in the form of public aid. With that being said, it is easy to see that this industry is one that many Americans contribute to almost daily, therefore implying that this issue should be of great concern. In the editorial, "For many restaurant workers, fair conditions not on menu", the rhetors address the “backbreaking” (para 1) work that employees in the restaurant business are required to do and …show more content…
They also use this data to their benefit in order to reveal the truth behind the restaurant business. They begin with a report from the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics which states that “the 13 million-plus restaurant workers in the United States face a poverty rate that is nearly three times that of the rest of the country’s workforce, and the industry hosts seven of the 10 worst paying American jobs” (para 7). When personally focusing on Massachusetts, the rhetors provide research done by MIT, indicating that a livable wage for Boston sits at $12.65 an hour for a single adult and $22.40 for a family of four, which far supercedes that of the restaurant workers in the state. In addition to this data, the authors go on to show that even if you manage to attain a job with sustainable pay, it is not secure. Restaurant analyst Victor Fernandez estimates the annual turnover in the restaurant industry to be “above 95 percent for hourly workers” (para 8). On top of that, research shows that even with minimum wage requirements being incredibly low, establishments still continue to break the law. The rhetors state that “state law exempts eateries from paying time-and-a-half for more than 40 hours of work in one week. However, federal laws do not - and if a restaurant makes more than $500,000 in gross annual sales, it is …show more content…
They specifically target lawmakers, governors, and anyone holding a position that gives them the power to make a change, whether it be citywide, statewide, or ideally nationwide. The rhetors argue that lawmakers in Massachusetts should find the courage to “reject the demands of the National Restaurant Association” (para 10). They then encourage all people of power to follow in the footsteps of Somerville Mayor Joe Curt atone who championed and passed a citywide ordinance that prevents employers guilty of wage theft from getting or renewing permits. In the end of the article, they state that “this law should be replicated across Massachusetts” (para 19) finishing with a quote from Curtatone, who asserts, “if you break the law and don’t pay your workers what they’re owed, you won’t do business in Somerville” (para 19). It is clear the rhetors hope lawmakers will realize that policies like this one should be reproduced throughout Massachusetts and the rest of the country as

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