COLORS-DETROIT: JOIN THE JUST. GOOD. FOOD. REVOLUTION! By PHIL JONES & MINSU LONGIARU ROC-MICHIGAN As a “food desert,” Detroit is a place where fresh healthy food is hard to find among all the convenience stores with chips, pop and processed food or fast food outlets offering burgers and fries. Hunger is a daily fact in our city.
A great piece in Eater shines a spotlight on ROC’s COLORS Restaurants, and in particular COLORS—Detroit. Through its CHOW program and commitment to fairness and dignity for the city’s restaurant workers, COLORS—Detroit has had a powerful impact on the restaurant workers of the Motor City.
Students at COLORS Detroit make at least $10.10 plus tips — well above the state’s minimum wage of $8.90 per hour and the $3.38 tipped minimum wage — and work side by side with instructors and more experienced trainees. Before hitting the dining room floor, though, recruits undergo extensive classroom instruction during which they complete food handler’s and alcohol safety certification and receive a crash course in issues concerning the restaurant world. “They’re learning about the industry — the good, the bad,” Farris says. “They’re learning to know their rights in the industry. They’re knowing expectations, they understand the career ladder opportunities in the industry.
COLORS is still expanding, and in a very big way. Locations in Detroit and the Bay Area are opening soon, and promise to have a transformative impact on their respective communities. The Bay Area in particular will be the site of ROC’s groundbreaking Restore Oakland, a joint project with the Ella Baker Center to foster economic opportunity, restorative justice, and community organizing in the Bay Area.