Specialty Food Magazine

Spring 2020

Specialty Food Magazine is the leading publication for retailers, manufacturers and foodservice professionals in the specialty food trade. It provides news, trends and business-building insights that help readers keep their businesses competitive.

Issue link: https://www.e-digitaleditions.com/i/1220124

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Page 30 of 75

Danea Horn, co-owner of Burger Patch, on Equal Opportunity What made you decide to launch #GrilPower? Part of it was just that we were so proud of our staff, men and women, that they had been working hard and we wanted to celebrate what they had been doing and bring a larger spotlight and voice to the #MeToo movement. You hear a lot about equal pay for equal work, but we hadn't been hearing about that in the restaurant industry. We felt like, being the new kid on the block, maybe we could enter the conversation and prompt other restaurants to look in their own back-of-house and see if they were giving equal opportunities to their workforce, or asking people if they wanted the opportunity to be trained in back-of-house positions. Statistically, especially in California, women of color earn 40 percent less than other workers. Only 37 percent of restaurant managers are women. Often higher pay is in the back of house, and people that are passionate about being in the restaurant industry should be afforded the same opportunities to learn those skills to move up in their restaurants. Have your customers been talking about this at all yet? I have talked to some people about it a little bit, but not everyone is interested. I think the goal of targeting luxury goods—or seemingly luxury goods—was intentional on the part of the administration so that people would view it as just an "elite" problem. None of my customers have brought it up on their own. Some are aware, and some are less so. They are just going to think that we're raising our prices, unfortunately. Have you prepared to start raising prices yet? It's too early. We don't know how the tariffs will pan out, and we don't know who will remain in business. It's so unknown as to what's going to occur, and what products will actually be available, that I don't know how to plan. What have you done to communicate about this issue to Washington? I have certainly written to my representatives, and communicated the issue as best I could, through op-eds, for example. I also had a conversation with a spokeswoman for one of the Pennsylvania senators at an event. I have been communicating about it, and a lot the people I know have been doing the same. Have you heard many concerns among other restaurant operators? Absolutely. People are terrified. They made life decisions—to have a family, to go into this business—based on the notion that they would be able to do what they have been doing, in terms of getting wine and importing it and distributing it, and now they are looking at the possibility of failure. 28 SPECIALTY FOOD SPECIALTYFOOD.COM Q&A PHOTO: TOM HUYNH PHOTO: JILL WEBER

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