Synopses & Reviews
A restaurant critic can tell you about the chef. A menu can tell you about the farm-sourced ingredients. Now who's going to tell you about the people preparing your meal?
From James Beard Leadership Award winner Saru Jayaraman, Forked is an enlightening examination of what we don't talk about when we talk about restaurants: Is the line cook working through a case of stomach flu because he doesn't get paid sick days? Is the busser not being promoted because he speaks with an accent? Is the server tolerating sexual harassment because tips are her only income?
As most corporate restaurants continue to set low standards for worker wages and benefits, a new class of chefs and restaurateurs is working to foster sustainability in their food and their employees. Forked offers an insider's view of the highest—and lowest—scoring restaurants for worker pay and benefits in each sector of the restaurant industry, and with it, a new way of thinking about how and where we eat.
"That restaurant workers can be paid as little as $2.13 an hour and require food assistance to survive is a national scandal. Forked tells the stories of enlightened restaurant owners who treat and pay workers decently, with immediate returns in employee loyalty, better customer service-and profits. This book should inspire all restaurant owners to take the "high road," and all of us restaurant customers to demand that they do." Marion Nestle, Professor of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health at New York University and author of Soda Politics: Taking on Big Soda (and Winning)
"No one has done more to move forward the rights of food and restaurant workers than Saru Jayaraman. This is the story of the next steps in the movement, as told by the woman who is creating them." Mark Bittman, author of The Kitchen Matrix and A Bone to Pick: The Good and Bad News About Food
"With this book, a diner trying to choose between Chipotle, which earns ROC's praise, and Taco Bell, which has been sued repeatedly over employee rights, can make an informed decision.... A revealing exposé of the realities of restaurant work that makes a strong case for reform." Kirkus Reviews
About the Author
Saru Jayaraman is Co-Founder and Co-Director of the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United (ROC United) and a graduate of Yale Law School and the Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. She has been named one of Crain's "40 Under 40," CNN's "Ten Visionary Women," New York magazine's "Influential of New York," and a 2014 White House "Champion of Change." Her work has been profiled extensively in the New York Times, and she has appeared on CNN, MSNBC, Bill Moyers Journal, NBC Nightly News, Today, and Real Time with Bill Maher.