Labor and Policy

  • Starbucks workers on strike outside a Seattle Starbucks in June 2022.
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    Christopher Doering/Restaurant Dive

    Starbucks union welcomes CEO with 115-store strike

    Laxman Narasimhan faces a nationwide demonstration of Starbucks Workers United members, who are urging for cooperation, one day before the chain’s annual shareholder meeting.

    By March 22, 2023
  • A close-up image of two Papa Johns pizza boxes
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    Joe Raedle / Staff via Getty Images

    Papa Johns fired worker with vision disability who needed service dog, EEOC alleges

    Misconceptions still linger about service animals, including their risk to health and safety, EEOC says.

    By Emilie Shumway • March 20, 2023
  • Explore the Trendline
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    Drew Angerer via Getty Images

    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
  • A bike courier with a red delivery bag.
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    Michael M. Santiago via Getty Images

    California court defends independent contractor status for gig workers

    The California Court of Appeal upheld the independent contractor provision of Prop 22, but struck down portions that would’ve made it almost impossible to amend the law. 

    By March 14, 2023
  • Gopuff
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    Retrieved from Gopuff press release.

    Gopuff makes third round of layoffs since last spring

    Latest staff cuts include about 2% of the company’s global workforce, according to a company spokesperson.

    By Brett Dworski • March 10, 2023
  • A U.S. Department of Labor sign is see outside the agency.
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    Kate Tornone/Restaurant Dive

    DOL: Florida restaurants withheld $190K from workers to cover operating costs

    Investigators in the agency’s Wage and Hour Division recovered more than $27 million for 22,531 foodservice workers during fiscal year 2022.

    By Ginger Christ • March 10, 2023
  • Starbucks Workers United members on strike
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    Permission granted by Starbucks Workers United

    Starbucks to appeal major NLRB judge ruling

    Starbucks will fight a judge’s finding that the chain violated labor law as the brand uses the courts to run out the clock on the union drive.

    By March 8, 2023
  • An image of a delivery courier in New York City
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    Michael M. Santiago via Getty Images

    NYC cuts proposed delivery worker wage floor by almost $4

    Grubhub, Uber Eats and DoorDash persuaded the city to reduce its 2025 target base pay by $3.86 an hour, arguing workers would be compensated by “multi-apping.”

    By March 8, 2023
  • Image attribution tooltip
    Michael M. Santiago via Getty Images

    New York AG proposes rule limiting dynamic pricing

    Price increases above 10% that aren’t being used to preserve margins would be considered excessive during states of emergency under the proposal.

    By March 6, 2023
  • 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 faces corporate employee revolt

    A group of at least 83 corporate workers have signed a petition urging the company to pull back from its return-to-office policies and sign a fair election agreement with Starbucks Workers United.

    By March 2, 2023
  • A chef cooking in the kitchen with pots, pans, and a restaurant stove in the background
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    Miodrag Ignjatovic via Getty Images

    NRA forecasts 2023 job growth, not major recession

    With jobs up and wage growth moderating, most restaurant operators still expect high labor costs and difficulty hiring, according to the National Restaurant Association’s State of the Industry report.

    By Feb. 28, 2023
  • A photo of Starbucks workers participating in a strike in Nottingham, Maryland, Nov. 17, 2022
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    Permission granted by Aleah Bacetti

    Starbucks board opposes labor review backed by NYC pension funds

    A group of Starbucks investors is calling for an independent workers’ rights assessment of the chain’s conduct in the Starbucks Workers United Campaign, fearing risks to “long-term value.”

    By Feb. 24, 2023
  • Christ Holden, a leader of the California Legislature's Black caucus, speaks at an event regarding the introduction of a prison reform bill.
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    Courtesy of California Assembly District 41

    CA bill would establish joint franchisor-franchisee liability for QSRs

    AB 1228 reopens the legislative fight between fast food groups and organized labor as both prepare for a protracted referendum campaign. 

    By Feb. 22, 2023
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    Scott Olson via Getty Images

    IRS proposes point-of-sale tip reporting

    Service industry employers that participate in a proposed voluntary IRS tip reporting program could receive protection from liability under rules that define tips as part of an employee’s pay.

    By Laurel Kalser • Feb. 15, 2023
  • A woman and man at a cash register
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    Courtesy of Chipotle

    How Chipotle’s focus on training, internal promotions drove record employee retention

    With 90% of its restaurants fully staffed, traffic has already shown signs of improvement in January. 

    By Feb. 8, 2023
  • An image of a redesigned Starbucks line.
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    Courtesy of Starbucks, Joshua Trujillo

    Starbucks’ stagnating traffic drives reinvention plan

    Transactions per store per day are down globally compared to last year, but Starbucks says retention is up and traffic is more concentrated in specific dayparts.

    By Feb. 3, 2023
  • The Michigan State Capitol on a winter day. A stone building with a dome.
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    Bill Pugliano via Getty Images

    Michigan court strikes down attempt to raise wage, eliminate tip credit

    The court case is another legal victory for the restaurant industry in its political battle to cap pay and preserve the tipped minimum wage.

    By Jan. 31, 2023
  • The Virginia state capitol
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    Drew Angerer via Getty Images

    Virginia introduces fast food labor council bill

    Like California’s controversial FAST Recovery Act, the bill would establish a commission to regulate restaurant working standards and wages. 

    By Jan. 27, 2023
  • An image of a man preparing a burrito at Chipotle
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    Courtesy of Chipotle

    Chipotle to add 15K workers before spring

    The chain is looking to boost restaurant staffing to support new openings, all while promoting many managers from the ranks of its hourly workforce.

    By Jan. 26, 2023
  • An image of several hands holding KFC products and a WGU pennant in front of a KFC.
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    Courtesy of KFC

    KFC offers tuition-free college to some workers

    The chain will offer the education perk to eligible employees through a partnership with Western Governors University starting in February.

    By Jan. 25, 2023
  • Two flags flown by fast food workers demonstrating in support of AB 257.
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    Mario Tama via Getty Images

    FAST Recovery Act referendum approved, opening political duel in California

    California’s secretary of state found restaurants’ challenge to the fast food council law has collected sufficient signatures, a political win for QSRs. 

    By Jan. 25, 2023
  • A round sign with the words Burger King on it.
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    Justin Sullivan via Getty Images

    Burger King franchisee to pay $60K to settle pregnant ex-worker’s harassment, retaliation claims

    As part of the settlement, North Georgia Foods entered a two-year consent decree and will notify the alleged harasser that he is not eligible for rehire.

    By Ryan Golden • Jan. 24, 2023
  • An image of a hand holding a Peet's Coffee cup
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    Courtesy of Peet's Coffee

    Peet’s union wins first election

    The union victory in Davis, California, is another score for organized labor in the cafe sector, which has seen a rash of campaigns in recent years.

    By Jan. 23, 2023
  • Robotic Arm
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    Permission granted by Remy Robotics
    Sponsored by Remy Robotics

    The solution to the labor shortage is not automation. It’s autonomy.

    Remy Robotics CEO Yegor Traiman proposes a comprehensive solution to the restaurant industry’s labor problem.

    Jan. 23, 2023
  • A cook ladles food into a styrofoam takeout container in New York
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    Spencer Platt via Getty Images

    New York City’s ‘skip the stuff’ bill for foodware items goes to mayor’s desk

    The bill to prohibit foodservice establishments from automatically including plastic cutlery and other items is meant to cut down on waste. It’s the latest in the city’s recent laws banning certain single-use foodware.

    By Megan Quinn • Jan. 20, 2023
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    Scott Olson via Getty Images

    Study: Only 54% of QSR employees worked 90 days before quitting in 2022

    QSR workers are five times more likely to quit over miscommunications with management during their first 90 days than after, HourWork research finds. 

    By Jan. 20, 2023