List of Ethical and Unethical Restaurants

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Restaurant Opportunities Centers United (ROC), a group dedicated to the rights of food service workers, has released their annual list of national restaurants and how they treat employees.  

Their ROC National Diners’ Guide 2012 notes that it scores the restaurants in four categories, the minimum wage for tipped workers, the minimum wage for non-tipped workers, whether or not workers get paid sick days and whether the company offers opportunities for advancement.

The Darden restaurant group, which owns the chains Red Lobster, Capital Grille, Longhorn Steakhouse and Olive Garden, got very low scores, due to accusations of discrimination and “wage theft,” a system by which restaurants deny pay to employees through practices like working off the clock.

Starbucks, McDonald’s, Arby’s, Hooters, Denny’s and others scored low because they fail to offer their tipped employees anything more than an average of $2.13 per hour, don't pay more than the regional minimum wage, won't offer paid sick days or health insurance.

The positive ratings went to restaurants owned by celebrity chef Tom Colicchio, who is part of ROC’s 'High Road' roundtable program, as well as fast food chains Five Guys and In-n-Out Burger.


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