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Behind The Kitchen Door, The Social Impact Of Inequality In Miami’s Restaurant Industry

Behind the Kitchen Door: The Social Impact of Inequality in Miami’s Growing Restaurant Industry

In 2011, ROC-Miami released Behind the Kitchen Door: The Social Impact of Inequality in Miami’s Growing Restaurant Industry, the most comprehensive study of Miami’s restaurant industry ever conducted.  The research included 580 surveys of restaurant workers, 30 worker interviews, 30 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 can prosper together.


  • While the median hourly wage for restaurant workers in Miami is low at $8.88, our research shows that 9% of restaurant workers in Miami make a livable wage.
  • Restaurant workers have few benefits in Miami. 89.6% of workers surveyed reported that they do not have health insurance through their employers.
  • Almost half of workers (45.5%) have experienced overtime wage violations.
  • Workers of color have a significantly lower median wage than white workers.  The median wage for white workers is $11.29, $10.00 for Latinos, $9.00 for non-Haitian Blacks, and $8.21 for Haitians.
  • Workers are far more likely to engage in practices that are potentially harmful to consumers when their employers violate employment laws.  Over half (50.6%) of workers that had not been paid for all their hours worked, 39.3% for those who experienced overtime violations, and 44.4% of those who had a share of tips stolen by salaried managers reported having to cut corners due to time pressure in ways that might harm consumer health and safety.

 Download the full report here

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