Behind the Kitchen Door: The Hidden Costs of Taking the Low Road in Chicagoland’s Thriving Restaurant Industry

In 2010, ROC-Chicago released Behind the Kitchen Door: Pervasive The Hidden Costs of Taking the Low Road in Chicagoland’s Thriving Restaurant Industry, the most comprehensive study of Chicago’ restaurant industry ever conducted.  The research included 582 surveys of restaurant workers, 29 worker interviews, 31 employer interviews, and government data analysis.  The findings illustrated the great need for reform that can achieve a sustainable industry in which workers, employers, and diners prosper together.

Findings

  • ● Chicago’s median wage for restaurant workers in 2009 was $8.86 per hour, compared to the median wage of $17.28 for all workers in Chicago.  However, almost one quarter (22.3%) of restaurant workers reported making a livable wage.
  • ● Nearly all workers surveyed (96.2%) reported that they did not have paid sick days.
  • ● 28.5% of respondents have worked “off the clock” without being paid.
  • ● 42.8% of restaurant workers felt that they or others were treated differently based on race.
  • ●  75.9% of Chicago’s restaurant workers reported working while sick, making it likely that illness was passed on to diners and coworkers.
Download the full report here

 

Executive Summary [scribd id=65093185 key=key-7sjlkikffas7j9k6yes mode=list]

Full Report [scribd id=65093171 key=key-2h7t0qheb7ijg3ro22m7 mode=list]