Our Work

Beat The Heat

As global temperatures continue to rise, working in a restaurant becomes increasingly unbearable. Whether working over an open flame in a crammed restaurant kitchen, or serving on the patio on a hot summer day, restaurant workers are facing increased exposure to heat illness.

The Beat the Heat campaign calls on lawmakers and OSHA to implement a national heat standard.  Several states already have a heat standard in place, providing restaurant workers more power to protect themselves against the dangers of heat-related injuries.


ROC United’s signature COLORS Hospitality Opportunities for Workers (CHOW) Institute provides professional workforce development training in front- and back-of-house restaurant skills at no cost to either employers or employees in most of the ROC chapters. CHOW participants enjoy a multi-tiered curriculum designed to prepare them for living-wage jobs, including fine dining servers, bartenders and managers.

As the restaurant industry continue to grow and become more professionalized, restaurants need the training that CHOW offers. CHOW fills this gap while advocating for fair wages and better workplace practices in restaurants. Graduates are able to obtain above-average entry-level wages or advance into higher-paying jobs. 


Gender-based violence and harassment (GBVH) in the workplace has become more pervasive in the workplace, particularly in the restaurant industry. According to a national study we conducted, more harassment claims—sexual, verbal or physical—in the United States are filed in the restaurant industry than in any other.

Our campaign to end GBVH focuses on education and enforcement. If you would like to become more involved in our End GBVH campaign, follow this link.

Racial Equity Menu

Occupational segregation by race has emerged as one of the highest priority challenges faced by those who work in the restaurant industry nationwide. 

ROC United has documented the extent of racial discrimination and occupational segregation in the industry, which revealed significant racial wage gaps, barriers to people of color to advance to living-wage jobs, and explicit and implicit biases of restaurant employers and consumers that segregate the restaurant workforce.

The Racial Equity Menu is a campaign to bring racial equity to restaurants across the country. Restaurant managers and owners can participate in the program by first checking out the Racial Equity Toolkit. This toolkit is to provide restaurant management with practical resources for assessing, planning, and implementing steps toward racial equity.


RAISE (Restaurants Advancing Industry Standards in Employment) is a national association of employers, created by ROC United in 2011. RAISE’s mission is to professionalize restaurant work and promote fair wages, better benefits, as well as racial and gender equity for their employees and across the restaurant industry. RAISE restaurants provide above-industry wages, protections and benefits and have become critical allies in policy initiatives to improve restaurant jobs across the country.

Restaurant Workers Bill of Rights

The Restaurant Workers Bill of Rights serves as the north star for restaurant industry reform and promotes a bold vision to counteract systemic race and gender injustices and biases in the workplace. The campaign is separated into five pillars.

  • Thriving wages and a thriving life- increasing the federal minimum wage, combating wage theft, fair scheduling, universal childcare, eliminating the sub-minimum wage;
  • Healing and Rest- Paid family, medical, sick, and vacation leave, Medicaid expansion, reproductive rights, etc.
  • A Safe and Dignified Work Environment- Discrimination & harassment-free workplaces, workplace safety, racial & gender equity, LGBTQ+ rights, accessible enforcement;
  • Universal Healthcare and Bodily Autonomy- universal & affordable healthcare, reproductive rights, abortion access, natural hair protections, etc.
  • Participation in Governance- organizing, privacy, & voting rights, non-compete protections, etc.