For Immediate Release:
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Contact: Rachel Tardiff, 202.746.1507,

Restaurant Owners Stand with Reps. Miller and Edwards to Support Better Wages and Treatment for Restaurant Workers

ROC United Announces the Formation of New Alternative Restaurant Association
RAISE (Restaurants Advancing Industry Standards in Employment),

On Wednesday, April 17, the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United (ROC United)
announced the formation of RAISE (Restaurants Advancing Industry Standards in
Employment), an alternative restaurant association of nearly 100 business owners across the
country aimed at supporting business owners and employers—and the workers they employ.
The announcement comes the same week as the National Restaurant Association, employing
lobbyists representing some of the country’s largest chain restaurant corporations, is
scheduled to come to the Hill for their annual “lobby day.”

“For too long Congress has heard only from the National Restaurant Association—the other
NRA—which represents corporate lobbyists in the restaurant industry,” said Saru
Jayaraman, co­founder of ROC United. “RAISE represents the voices of small sustainable
restaurant owners who make long term profits by providing livable wages and benefits to their

RAISE aims to support small and medium­sized business owners as they move towards the
“High Road” to profitability by raising the standards by which we do business. “High Road”
practices include:

  • ∙ Livable wages, tipped and non­tipped
  • ∙ Paid sick days
  • ∙ Access to affordable health care
  • ∙ Safe and healthy workplace
  • ∙ Diverse and equitable employment
  • ∙ Career advancement opportunities
  • ∙ Responsible immigration reform
  • ∙ Environmental sustainability

Rep. George Miller (D­CA), sponsor of the recently introduced Fair Minimum Wage Act, and
WAGES Act sponsor Rep. Donna F. Edwards (D­MD) joined Jayaraman and several member
employers to discuss the need to increase the minimum wage for all restaurant employees,
including those who work for tips, and to raise standards in the restaurant industry by
supporting sustainable and fair practices. Among the restaurant owners present were Andy
Shallal, owner of DC’S Busboys & Poets and Eatonville Restaurants, Teresa Ging, owner of
Sugar Bliss Cake Boutique in Chicago, IL and Natan Zion, Owner, The Gorbals Restaurant in
Los Angeles, CA.

Rep. Miller’s Fair Minimum Wage Act would reconnect the regular and tipped minimum wage
while raising both, stabilizing the restaurant industry just as it is project to grow by 10.6%
over the next ten years. Raising the tipped minimum wage will help lift many restaurant
workers out of poverty and provide a path to the middle class for millions of Americans.