(Washington, D.C.) The National Restaurant Association
responded to two misleading reports released today by Fast Food Forward. The reports were authored by the University of California, Berkeley, and the National Employment Law Project.
Scott DeFife, Executive Vice President, Policy & Government Affairs, National Restaurant Association:
“America’s restaurant industry provides opportunities for millions of Americans, women and men from all backgrounds, to move up the ladder and succeed. In addition to providing more than 13 million job opportunities, the restaurant industry is one of the best paths to achieving the American dream, with 80 percent of restaurant owners having started their careers in entry-level positions. In fact, nine out of 10 salaried employees started as hourly workers.
“These misleading efforts use a very narrow lens and selective data to attack the industry for their own purposes and fail to recognize that the majority of lower-wage employees works part-time to supplement a family income. Moreover, 40 percent of line staff workers in restaurants, the primary focus of the reports, are students.
“The inclusion of the Earned Income Tax Credit shows just how misleading these efforts are, as it is a tax credit specifically designed for working families, not public assistance, and is used to inflate their numbers.”
In the 1990s, there was a significant public policy shift to connect work requirements to public assistance. According to BLS data, 68 percent of the 10.4 million individuals classified as ‘working poor’ work in occupations outside of service occupations (sector that includes restaurants). In fact, 1.2 million of them work in management, professional, and related occupations.
Founded in 1919, the National Restaurant Association is the leading business association for the restaurant industry, which comprises 990,000 restaurant and foodservice outlets and a workforce of more than 13.5 million employees. We represent the industry in Washington, D.C., and advocate on its behalf. We operate the industry's largest trade show (NRA Show May 17-20, 2014, in Chicago); leading food safety training and certification program (ServSafe); unique career-building high school program (the NRAEF's ProStart); as well as the Kids LiveWell program promoting healthful kids' menu options. For more information, visit Restaurant.org and find us on Twitter @WeRRestaurants, Facebook and YouTube.