Behind the Kitchen Door

by Saru Jayaraman
Cornell University Press

Book CoverHow do restaurant workers live on some of the lowest wages in America? And how do poor working conditions—discriminatory labor practices, exploitation, and unsanitary kitchens—affect the meals that arrive at our restaurant tables? Food Labor Research Center director Saru Jayaraman sets out to answer these questions by following the lives of restaurant workers in eight American cities. Blending personal narrative and investigative journalism, her book is an exploration of the political, economic, and moral implications of dining out.

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Press and reviews

Unions, activists push to up D.C.’s recently raised minimum wage, include tipped workers
Washington Post, May 25, 2014

Is 2014 the Tipping Point? Activist Researcher Fights to Raise Wages of Restaurant Workers
California Magazine, May 21, 2014

Opinion: Restaurants - someone's mother works here
by Saru Jayaraman
CNN Eatocracy, May 9, 2014

Revolving door slams on minimum wage hike
The Hill, April 4, 2014

It's Not a Tip Credit, It's a Tip Penalty
The Stranger, April 9, 2014

Interview Highlights: Saru Jayaraman
Moyers & Company, April 8, 2014

All Work and No Pay
Moyers & Company, April 4, 2014

Selling wage increase as a ‘Mother’s policy’
Melissa Harris-Perry, March 30, 2014

The needs of low-wage women
Melissa Harris-Perry, March 30, 2014

The CNN 10 Visionary Women: Saru Jayaraman, restaurant reformer
CNN, March 24, 2014

Is 2014 the Tipping Point? Activist Researcher Fights to Raise Wages of Restaurant Workers
California Magazine, Cal Alumni Association, March 13, 2014

The Feministing Five: Saru Jayaraman, March 8, 2014

Indian American Labor Activist Targeted by Restaurant Industry Leaders
India West, February 27, 2014

Proposal to Raise Tip Wages Resisted
New York Times, January 26, 2014

Labor groups up the pressure on Big Biz Video
MSNBC's The Cycle, January 21, 2014

Advocates for Workers Raise the Ire of Business
New York Times, January 16, 2014

Saru Jayaraman: Raising the Restaurant Minimum Wage Video
The Atlantic Presents: The Shriver Report LIVE, January 15, 2014

Monks, Belgian Cafe, Grace Tavern make "ethical labor" list
Philadelphia Business Journal, January 15, 2014

Ethical Dining Out
The Joy Cardin Show, Wisconsin Public Radio, December 31, 2013

What Really Happens to Your Tip?
The Washington Spectator, November 14, 2013

Minimum Wage for Tipped Workers Has Been Kept at $2.13 for 21 Years
The Real, September 26, 2013

Woman Goes 'Behind The Kitchen Door' And Exposes Restaurant Industry
AOL Jobs, September 24, 2013

The Rock-Bottom Pay Mandated for Tipped Workers Like Servers in Restaurants Needs to Rise From $2.13 an Hour.
San Diego Free Press, September 22, 2013

Behind the Kitchen Door
KQED Forum, September 3, 2013

Q&A: Restaurant Workers Movement is Just Beginning
New America Media, September 2, 2013

Fast-food workers carry King's Dream
Op-ed by Saru Jayaraman
New York Daily News, August 22, 2013

Child care on the third shift
Washington Post, July 10, 2013

New Generation Activists Build Bridges
The Christian Science Monitor, July 9, 2013

To Tip or Not to Tip, Raise Base Wages
New York Times, June 23, 2013

Meet Up, Eat Up, Act Up: Consumers Join the Movement for Food Workers' Rights, June 16, 2013

Op-Ed: A Heaping Plate of Momentum for Restaurant Workers
By Saru Jayaraman, TakePart, May 15, 2013

Moving Beyond Alinsky Activism
Moyers and Company, Group Think, May 8, 2013

May Day: A Vision for Restaurant Workers
The Center for Media Justice, May 1, 2013

Why Women and People of Color Keep Getting Shafted in the Growing Restaurant Industry
RH Reality Check, April 30, 2013

In tough economy, fast food workers grow old
In Plain Site, NBC News, April 15, 2013

5 Great Food Videos – Shorts
Forbes, April 13, 2013

Real Time with Bill Maher, April 12, 2013

Coming soon to a restaurant menu near you: Livable wages
Crain's Chicago Business, April 4, 2013

Behind the Kitchen Door: Meet New Ashoka Fellow Saru Jayaraman
Forbes, April 4, 2013

Saru Jayaraman on the Melissa Harris-Perry Show, MSNBC, March 30, 2013

What Goes on Behind the Kitchen Door
KQED Bay Area Bites, March 21, 2013

We Serve You — We Aren't Servants
Huffington Post, March 15, 2013

Seven Amazing Women Who Are Working to Change Our Food System
Earth Island Journal, March 8, 2013

The Top 13 Women of Color to Watch in 2013
Center for American Progress, March 8, 2013

An Interview with Saru Jayaraman
KCET Food Rant, March 5, 2013

Fighting the Other NRA -- Resources to Support Food Workers
Huffington Post, March 4, 2013

Restaurant Workers: Saru Jayaraman Takes Us 'Behind the Kitchen Door
AFL-CIO Now, February 27, 2013

Why Is the Restaurant Lobby Making Us Sick?
Huffington Post, February 20, 2013

Could You Live on $2.13 Per Hour -- Even With Tips? That's the Minimum Wage for Waiters
AlterNet, February 14, 2013

Why the Other NRA Loves the First Lady
Huffington Post, February 15, 2013

A Valentine's Day wish: Fairness for food workers
Pesticide Action Network, February 14, 2013

How the Other NRA Is Making Us Sick
Food Safety News, February 15, 2013

Going Behind the Kitchen Door to Inspire A Different Kind of Foodie
ColorLines, February 11, 2013

CNN's Starting Point with Soledad O'Brien, February 7, 2013

Behind the Kitchen Door (book review)
Reviewed by Penny Pleasance
New York Journal of Books, February 7, 2013

Quick Reads: "Behind the Kitchen Door" By Saru Jayaraman (book review)
Mother Jones, February 7, 2013

In the kitchen, injustice thrives
Op-ed by Saru Jayaraman
New York Daily News, February 6, 2013

To Consider: Seeking Better Conditions For Restaurant Employees
New York Times Diner's Journal "Front Burner," February 5, 2013

Fight flu, give restaurant workers paid sick leave
Op-ed by Saru Jayaraman
CNN Opinion, January 30, 2013

Do You Give As Much Thought to Restaurant Workers as You Do to Your Organic Chicken?
An interview with Saru Jayaraman by Amy Dean
Truthout, January 28, 2013

Justice for Food Workers: An Interview with Sarumathi Jayaraman
Civil Eats, September 4, 2012