Hello, fellow Mint Fanatics. We’ve got a favor to ask of you. You see, Women Chefs and Restaurateurs (WCR), an organization established to support women in the restaurant industry, recently launched a survey of women-led restaurants. By women-led restaurants, they mean restaurants in which a woman is the owner, the head chef, or someone occupying a leadership position in the restaurant. We’d like you to participate in the survey. It’s only six questions and won’t take five minutes of your time.
We’d love it so much if you could nominate Chef Nikky Phinyawatana and Asian Mint in the survey. But even if you don’t, we’d appreciate it a lot if you’d just name any outstanding women chefs and restaurateurs you may know. WCR launched the survey to add names to highlight and promote in their extensive partner networks. The exposure will help any woman chef or restaurant owner get the support she needs to build her business and succeed in the restaurant industry.
And with the restaurant business being the tough, male-dominated arena that it is, any woman chef or restaurateur will need all the help she can get, especially from her fellow women.
Women face a multitude of issues in the male-dominated restaurant industry
One of today’s great ironies is that while so-called traditionalists have deemed that a woman’s place is in the kitchen, restaurant kitchens all over the world are considered the dominion of men. Many restaurant industry experts blame the development of macho culture in the industry on 19th-century French chef Auguste Escoffier’s Brigade de Cuisine. The Brigade de Cuisine is a rigid and often highly masculine hierarchy of leadership in the kitchen that is still observed in many restaurant kitchens today.
It’s not that women are invisible in the restaurant business. In fact, they’re more visible now than they ever were. According to the National Restaurant Association, 61% of women in the US have worked in a restaurant at one time or another. Moreover, around 33% of American restaurants today are owned by women.
Despite these figures, however, the restaurant industry as it currently is still an industry that marginalizes women. The Restaurant Opportunities Centers United (ROC United) even went on to call it “discrimination by design.” ROC United stated that the industry follows a business model that consciously confines women to inferior positions in restaurants. To prove it, ROC United claimed that only 19% of America’s chefs are women.
Because few women occupy leadership positions in restaurant kitchens, women face a multitude of workplace issues and challenges within the restaurant industry. Perhaps the least of these issues is pay discrepancy, in which women get paid much less than men for the same amount of work and number of hours worked. There’s also the lack of adequate health care or paid maternity leave. Women in the restaurant business are also five times more likely to be sexually harassed or even raped.
If there are more women chefs and restaurateurs, we can reasonably expect conditions to become better for women in the restaurant industry. Despite the catfight stereotype, women do look out for their fellow women after all.
WCR helps women chefs and restaurateurs carve their own niche in the restaurant business
WCR is an organization dedicated to supporting and promoting women looking to advance themselves in the restaurant industry. They provide resources women can use to develop their careers as chefs and restaurateurs. They also create opportunities for such women to forge connections with their industry peers. In short, they are women who help other women succeed in the food and beverage industry.
It’s really a great deal that you take the time to fill out the WCR survey form and nominate any women chefs and restaurateurs you know. Again, it’s only six short questions, and you can participate as many times as you want.
Thanks a lot for helping us out.