Labor and Policy


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    Justin Sullivan via Getty Images

    Report: 51% of CA restaurant owners concerned FAST Recovery Act will drive up food costs

    Forty percent of these operators are afraid of losing employees to a QSR that could pay workers more, according to Homebase’s Owners Pulse Survey. 

    By Oct. 4, 2022
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    Courtesy of Starship

    Food delivery robots to roam Chicago in pilot program

    Robot operators will partner with restaurants and grocery stores to test the app-based robot deliveries while city leaders examine device boundaries and risk. 

    By Katie Pyzyk • Oct. 3, 2022
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    Drew Angerer via Getty Images
    Trendline

    Workforce Challenges

    The recovering restaurant labor market is still unstable, marked by growing worker demand and a small talent pool, pressuring businesses to adapt their staffing strategies. 

    By Restaurant Dive staff
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    Joe Raedle via Getty Images

    Papa Johns expands college benefits to more hourly workers

    The chain will offer free tuition to corporate employees working as little as 10 hours per week, and offer discounts to franchise employees.

    By Sept. 29, 2022
  • Isabella Casillas Guzman at her confirmation hearing as Small Business Administration Administrator
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    Tasos Katopodis via Getty Images

    NRA urges SBA to lower rates, accrued interest on COVID-19 loans

    A study from the NRA shows more than three-quarters of restaurants that took out Economic Injury Disaster Loans do not think they can pay them back.

    By Sept. 27, 2022
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    Caroline Colvin/Restaurant Dive

    Austin restaurant operator pays $230K after requiring workers to share tips with managers

    "Tips are the property of tipped employees who earn them, plain and simple,” a DOL representative said.

    By Kate Tornone • Sept. 26, 2022
  • Atlas Restaurant Group reopens for outdoor dining with social distancing measures in place. (May 2020)
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    Permission granted by Atlas Restaurant Group

    Chicago Mayor proposes to make city’s outdoor dining program permanent

    The proposal includes some changes to the Windy City’s program, which was initially introduced in 2020 and has been extended twice.

    By Sept. 23, 2022
  • Picketers outside a Boston Starbucks during a 64 day strike.
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    Permission granted by Boston Starbucks Workers United
    Starbucks unionization efforts

    Boston Starbucks strike ends after 64 days

    Starbucks Workers United members signaled Wednesday they were willing to go back to work unconditionally, ending the longest strike in the chain’s history. 

    By Sept. 22, 2022
  • Activists with One Fair Wage participate in a “Wage Strike" demonstration outside of the Old Ebbitt Grill restaurant on May 26th, 2021 in Washington, DC.
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    Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images via Getty Images

    Report: Tipped wages negatively impact Black women

    Fifty-three percent of Black women workers said tips didn't cover the difference between subminimum wage and minimum wage at least once in the past month, according to One Fair Wage.

    By Sept. 21, 2022
  • Chipotle opens its first Chipotlane Digital Kitchen in Ohio in December 2021.
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    Courtesy of Chipotle

    Chipotle and New Jersey reach $7.75M child labor settlement

    New Jersey alleged Chipotle violated child labor laws governing meal breaks and hours, but the company disputes those claims despite the settlement.

    By Sept. 21, 2022
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    Permission granted by Bloomin' Brands

    Bloomin’ hires HR vet as chief human resources officer

    Suzann Trevisan brings over 27 years of experience in human resources to her role at the company, which has faced labor cost growth. 

    By Sept. 19, 2022
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    Courtesy of Starbucks

    The 4 biggest takeaways from Starbucks’ Investor Day

    The coffee chain laid out plans to target loyalty growth, labor efficiency and international openings, with a goal of reaching 45,000 stores by 2025.

    By Sept. 14, 2022
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    Courtesy of Starbucks, Joshua Trujillo

    Starbucks debuts kitchen system to boost speed while keeping customization

    In a demonstration during the the chain’s Investor Day, a barista could make a mocha frappuccino almost 50 seconds faster than with Starbucks’ old model. 

    By Sept. 14, 2022
  • Starbucks workers on strike outside a Seattle Starbucks in June 2022.
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    Christopher Doering/Restaurant Dive
    Starbucks unionization efforts

    Starbucks expands non-union benefits with savings, student loan repayment tools

    Starbucks maintains its position that it can’t legally extend benefits to unionized stores without bargaining on a store-by-store level, but the union claims these perks are meant to quash organizing. 

    By Sept. 13, 2022
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    Retrieved from Bojangles/Business Wire on March 02, 2021

    EEOC: Bojangles transferred employee for alleging sexual harassment

    Effective reporting procedures for sexual harassment are necessary for Title VII compliance, the agency said in announcing a lawsuit.

    By Kate Tornone • Sept. 12, 2022
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    Courtesy of Starbucks

    Starbucks will rehire 7 pro-union workers it fired in February

    The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals denied the company’s request to stay an injunction ordering the company to offer to rehire fired organizers.

    By Sept. 9, 2022
  • A sign saying "we're hiring!" hangs in a Starbucks window.
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    Mario Tama / Staff via Getty Images

    Starbucks shareholder files suit over diverse hiring

    A conservative think tank claims Starbucks’ diverse hiring practices violate the Civil Rights Act of 1965.

    By Caroline Colvin • Sept. 9, 2022
  • Gavin Newsom
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    The image by Gage Skidmore is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

    Restaurant groups push to repeal California’s fast food council law

    A coalition led by industry groups has about three months to collect signatures necessary to put the repeal of AB 257 on the 2024 general election ballot.

    By Sept. 8, 2022
  • Gavin Newsom gives a speech.
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    Justin Sullivan via Getty Images

    Industry wonders what’s next as Newsom signs fast food council bill

    The National Restaurant Association vows to fight against what organized labor heralded as one of the biggest changes to labor law in decades.

    By Sept. 6, 2022
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    Dan Kitwood via Getty Images

    McDonald’s president denounces CA fast food council bill

    Joe Erlinger wrote in a letter Wednesday that the legislation would establish an uneven playing field, forcing major chains and their franchisees to raise wages while other business owners would be exempt. 

    By Aug. 31, 2022
  • The California statehouse
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    The image by Jimmy Emerson, DVM is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

    California Senate approves fast food labor council with power to set wages

    Chains with over 100 units nationally would be subject to regulations formulated by the council, which includes industry and labor representatives.

    By Updated Aug. 30, 2022
  • The Starbucks logo hangs outside one of the company's cafes in Northwich on 3 July, 2008 in Northwich, England.
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    Christopher Furlong via Getty Images
    Starbucks unionization efforts

    Starbucks must extend benefits to union workers, regional NLRB office says

    A Seattle NLRB office issued a complaint asserting the company and interim CEO Howard Schultz violated labor law by giving benefits to non-union stores.

    By Aug. 26, 2022
  • Teamsters pose outside a Lansing, Michigan Chipotle where workers voted 11-3 to join the union on Aug. 25
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    Permission granted by International Brotherhood of Teamsters

    Chipotle workers at Michigan store unionize

    Workers voted 11-3 to join the Teamsters, marking the first successful union push at the chain, which permanently closed a Maine store that organized with an independent union.

    By Aug. 26, 2022
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    booker5m via Getty Images

    Restaurant outsourcing startup Bite Ninja raises $11.3M

    The firm has trained 12,000 workers to take orders remotely, offering savings for restaurants that don’t want to hire traditional employees. 

    By Aug. 24, 2022
  • A McDonald's store is shown in Houston, Texas.
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    Brandon Bell via Getty Images

    Judge approves McDonald’s franchisee’s $1.5M settlement in sexual harassment suit

    About 100 plaintiffs, who alleged they were harassed by a Michigan store manager, will be able to claim an average of $10,000 each.

    By Aug. 18, 2022
  • People hold signs while protesting in front of Starbucks on April 14, 2022 in New York City.
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    Michael M. Santiago via Getty Images
    Starbucks unionization efforts

    Starbucks requests NLRB suspend mail-in union elections

    The chain claims the labor board and Workers United engaged in misconduct during the voting process in a Kansas City-area cafe, and likely other elections.

    By Aug. 15, 2022