With all of the organic and local items on menus, it has never been a better time to eat in our country. At the same time, this may be the worst time in a long time to be a restaurant worker. The wages of restaurant workers in Philadelphia have declined by 11% since 2003 and nationally, the tipped minimum wage hasn’t increased since 1991. Yesterday, five former workers from a popular Philadelphia sushi restaurant announced that they had reached a $40,000 settlement with their employer, showing a growing food worker movement a powerful example of how they can get organized and win.
For over a decade, ROC United has been committed to promoting a restaurant industry that is fair, ethical, and strong. We do this through advocacy, and by organizing, training, and empowering all of our brothers and sisters in the industry. However, there is no better way to promote change than to model the changes we want to see in the world.
COLORS Restaurants model the integrity and quality that will forge a stronger industry for all of us. Part restaurant, part training-facility, part worker-owned cooperative incubator; COLORS eaters enjoy a worldly ambiance and a global cuisine made of quality, local and seasonal ingredients sourced from producers who practice sustainable agriculture, fair trade, workplace practices that ensure employees get paid sustainable wages.
Crucially, COLORS significance goes beyond the execution of quality dishes. COLORS also hosts trainings facilities for our renowned COLORS Hospitality Opportunities for Workers (CHOW) Institute. CHOW provides in-depth and advanced professional training in both front- and back-of-the-house restaurant skills at no cost to either employers or employees.
What’s more, COLORS is expanding beyond its current locations in New York City and Detroit. A COLORS—New Orleans is right around the corner. Meanwhile, there’s Restore Oakland, a joint project with the Ella Baker Center to bring economic opportunity, restorative justice, and community organizing to the Bay Area. The site will house a brand new COLORS Restaurant, office space and training centers for the Ella Baker Center and ROC United, and many other critical organizations and initiatives.
COLORS Restaurants embody the very spirit of ROC United, enriching and transforming the communities within which they operate. It is essential for the execution of some of our most critical initiatives; they need your support to thrive. Click here to donate $20—for whatever you can give—to ensure programs like CHOW continue to thrive.