Are restaurants exacerbating the obesity epidemic?

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, almost all discussion of restaurant health has focused on one topic: how to protect diners and staff from the virus. But another health issue has been largely overlooked: how restaurants are compromising the health of Americans by selling foods high in calorie density, fat, added sugars, and sodium, but low in essential fiber. And during a pandemic where obesity and other pre-existing health conditions have been risk factors for serious illness, this discussion could not be more relevant.

It is common knowledge that fast food sold by chains such as McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, etc. has a poor nutritional profile. But the starters, main courses and desserts sold in full-service restaurants are hardly better.

This was made clear in a study from the Friedman School of Nutrition published last year. He showed that about 70% of the meals in fast food restaurants were of “poor quality” and only 30% were even of “intermediate” quality. In full-service restaurants, 47% of meals were of intermediate quality and 52% of poor quality.

Perhaps most strikingly, less than 0.1% of the meals consumed at these restaurants met the American Heart Association’s definition of “ideal quality”, namely meals high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes and vegetables. low in processed meats, sugary drinks, saturated fat and sodium.

Franchisees – fast food restaurants and others – have tried to balance their menu offerings. Burger King, for example, offers a garden salad. But more common are the offerings – like a triple bacon and pretzel cheeseburger sold by Wendy’s – that are high in calories, saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium.

Beyond the nutritional profile

Another area of ​​concern is portion sizes in restaurants. While the Cheesecake Factory’s monster portions may seem aberrant, the CDC reports that the average serving size of a burger and fries in a restaurant is now about three times as large as it was in the 1950s. .

Likewise, the authors of a 2019 study analyzed the menu items of 10 popular fast food chains in the United States from 1986 to 2016. They found that the number of calories and the size of the portions (in grams) of main courses had increased by 12% and 25%, respectively. ; desserts had increased by 46% and 37% respectively; and the calorie count of secondary orders had increased by 21%.

This double dose of large portions and unhealthy foods contributed to the increase in the obesity rate among American adults from 15% in 1980 to over 42%. Weight gain is of particular concern given that obesity and related conditions, such as diabetes and high blood pressure, have been linked to an increased risk of complications and death from COVID-19.

The evolving restaurant landscape

The rise in obesity rates comes against the backdrop of two major changes in the American gastronomic landscape.

The first is the dramatic expansion of access to food options outside the home. From 1977 to 2012, the number of food establishments in the United States increased by 77%, according to the United States Department of Agriculture. More recently, the number of “quick service” establishments has grown from around 150,000 in 2007 to nearly 200,000 last year.

The impact of increasing restaurant density was shown by the authors of a 2015 article. They showed a strong link between an increasing obesity rate and a per capita increase in the number of restaurants in a state. .

The second change in the restaurant landscape is that people eat a lot more in restaurants than before. In 1962, food consumed outside the home made up 27% of the total food budget of Americans. By 2017, this figure had risen to over 50%.

These trends, coupled with the troubling nutritional profile of the foods offered by restaurants, partly explain the poor state of the average American diet. Most American adults and children do not consume the recommended daily amounts of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes, while consuming higher than recommended amounts of added sugar, sodium, and processed meats.

These eating habits are correlated with adverse health effects. In 2012, more than 45% of American adult deaths from diabetes, heart disease and stroke were associated with suboptimal eating, according to a JAMA to study. This diet is defined as low in fruits, vegetables and whole grains, and high in sodium, processed meats and sugary drinks.

What needs to change?

There are no easy answers to getting Americans to develop healthier eating habits, but one step is to eat out less often and cook healthy foods at home more often. Researchers at Johns Hopkins University have found that when people cook their own food, they consume 12% less sugar, 6% fewer calories, and 6% less fat.

With delivery services making restaurant meals more accessible than ever, there is an urgent need for all food establishments to improve the health profile of their dishes. This means more offers that are low in fat and sodium and high in nutrient density. It also means smaller portions.

COVID-19 has shown the vulnerabilities of people facing food-related health issues. Restaurants should take the lead in helping Americans overcome these challenges and in doing so, help them improve their health.

Vanita Rahman, MD, is Clinical Director at Barnard Medical Center, Clinical Instructor in Medicine at George Washington University School of Medicine, and author of Simply Plant Based. Matthew Rees is editor of the Food and Health Facts newsletter, senior researcher at the Tuck School of Business in Dartmouth, and a former White House speechwriter.

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San Bernardino County Restaurant Closures, Inspections, September 23-30 – San Bernardino Sun

Here are the restaurants and other food establishments that San Bernardino County health inspectors have temporarily closed due to imminent health risks between September 23 and September 30, 2021. While no reopening date is mentioned, the agency had not listed this property as reopened as of this post.

Jollibee, 1 Mills Circle Suite 103, Ontario (in the Ontario Mills shopping center)

  • Firm: September 29
  • Class: Unclassified (got a 91 / A on September 21)
  • Raison: Rodent infestation. After seeing rodent droppings in a storage area on September 21, the inspector wrote that there would be a follow-up in two days. Instead, he returned on September 29. Pest control had visited and set up traps, but the inspector again found rodent droppings in the storage area as well as in the food preparation area, on the floor and on a cart containing hamburger buns. As of September 1, six more restaurants in Ontario Mills had been closed due to a rodent infestation, but they were all reopened on September 2 and follow-up inspections on September 9 found no further evidence of pests.
  • Reopened: September 30

Mexican Grill Zendejas, 2440 S. Vineyard Ave., Ontario

  • Firm: September 29
  • Class: 81 / B
  • Raison: Cockroach infestation. Visiting in response to a foodborne illness complaint, the inspector found around seven live cockroaches near the cooking line and in a cabinet under the soda fountain, and more than 10 dead cockroaches in the same cabinet. There was another critical issue: the food inside three refrigerator units was at unsafe temperatures. Among the seven minor infractions, there was mold inside the ice maker and liquid waste was backing up into a floor sink which the manager said he could not fix until the owner’s approval.

Shirley Market, 25388 E. 6th St., Highland

  • Firm: September 27
  • Class: 85 / B
  • Raison: Rodent infestation. The inspector said the entire facility smelled of rat urine and saw feces “on every shelf in the food display area”, including mixed with loose crisps and flour. from a bag that had been torn. There was also excrement on a tray in the cold room, the floor of a storage area, and the floor of a shipping container. The operator said he was aware of the rodent problem and was trying to get rid of it without professional pest control. The inspector also noted a missing wall in a storage area where the operator said plumbing had been repaired and holes in the ceiling in two places, including an area rotting from water damage.
  • Reopened: On September 28, after two pest control visits, all the droppings were cleaned up.

Yermo inc., 35474 Yermo Road, Yermo (partial closure)

  • Firm: September 23
  • Class: Not rated (most recent was 90 / A on August 9)
  • Raison: Rodent infestation. An inspector surrendered in response to a complaint that someone had seen mice and cockroaches in the convenience store. The inspector found rodent droppings – of which the operator was aware – in a cabinet containing a trash can under the soda maker. There were also rodent chew marks on a cardboard box and a taped dead cockroach in the same cabinet, and more old droppings in a storage room. The store was allowed to continue selling prepackaged items, but no prepared food or drink. It was the store’s second issue in six weeks; it was closed for a day in august so as not to have hot water after a line break.
  • Reopened: September 28 after the pest control visit

Non-closure inspections to note

Here are selected inspections of facilities that were not closed but had other significant issues.

Fuji Restaurant, at 73603 Twentynine Palms Highway in Twentynine Palms, was inspected on September 28 in response to a complaint about unsanitary conditions. He received a score of 77 / C with a critical offense. The owner did not wash his hands and, when asked to do so, washed incorrectly, twice. Among the 13 other offenses, the fake crab was at a dangerous temperature in a cooler that did not keep cold, the cooked rice was at room temperature, a large container of raw cabbage was placed on the ground in front of the cooking line , and surfaces throughout the kitchen were heavily soiled with grease, food debris, and “black slimy matter.” The restaurant has now received B or C ratings in five consecutive inspections, and seven of the eight carried out since 2018, according to records.

The Pick up Stix at 1053 E. 19th St. Suite B at Upland was inspected on September 24 and given a rating of 80 / B with a critical violation. Raw chicken and raw shrimp were at dangerous temperatures in a prep cooler; staff were told to keep the lid closed. Among the other 10 violations there was mold in the ice maker and on the floor under the cooking line equipment, cold water had been cut off at a hand washing sink, some food containers were not cooled quickly enough and an employee did not know the safe temperatures for cooking chicken, reheating food or keeping food hot.

About this listing

This list is posted online on Friday. Any updates as restaurants reopen will be included in next week’s list.

All food facilities in the county are regularly inspected to ensure they meet health codes. A facility loses four points for each critical violation and one to three points for minor violations. An A rating (90 to 100 points) is considered “generally superior”, a B rating (80 to 89) is “generally acceptable” and a C rating (70 to 79) is “generally unacceptable” and requires a follow-up inspection. . A facility will be temporarily closed if it scores less than 70 or has a critical violation that cannot be corrected immediately.

For more information on inspections of these or any other restaurant in San Bernardino County, visit To file a health complaint, go to or call 800-442-2283.

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Three restaurants you must try in Owensboro, Ky.

OWENSBORO, Ky. – Beautiful fall weather means it’s a great time to take a short drive to a nearby town, take a walk downtown, maybe explore parks or trails . Owensboro is just down the road and with Smothers Park and a great view of the river this is a great stopover.

It’s hard to miss one of the classic barbecue restaurants or the famous bistro in Owensboro, but we’ve been hearing about three relatively new places for a while now and wanted to see what they were all about; so, if you haven’t tried them yet, we’d love to introduce you to The Brew Bridge, City Walk, and Niko’s Bakery and Café.

The Brew Bridge is Owensboro’s first brewery. It is owned by Davjd Hayes, William Gomez and Max Garvin and has been around for just over a year.

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“It’s really exciting,” said Hayes. “We tried to get off the ground for about four years without much luck because Kentucky is pretty tough on alcohol-based businesses, but we finally figured it out. It’s a lifelong passion. Breweries are great indicators of community success, it’s not just another bar.

A grilled chicken cobb salad and Specter Mild English ale on the Brew Bridge terrace on Wednesday, September 30, 2021.

The Brew Bridge offers nine of their own brews on tap – currently looking for Specter Infused English Mild Ale, a Harvest Moon Belgian Wit, and a range of homemade seltzer, among others, but a total of almost 25 taps seems almost endless. with everything from Ichabod Pumpkin and Yam beer from New Holland to Ichiban pale lager from Kirin brewery in Japan.

On the menu you will find all kinds of fun pub food. Starters include homemade beer cheese with pretzels or tortilla chips, crispy stickers of fried veggie jars, and a huge quesadilla big enough to feed the whole table.

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Light eaters will enjoy a grilled chicken on the cob or a Caesar salad, and a variety of sandwiches and burgers can be classic or creative.

David Hayes of The Brew Bridge pulls a beer on Wednesday, September 30, 2021.

The Brew Bridge has a full bar, is family-friendly, and even has a kids’ menu.

Site: Brew Bridge is at 800 W. Second St., Owensboro, Ky.

Telephone: 270-215-7742

Hours: Tuesday – Thursday 3 pm-10pm; Friday – Saturday 11 am-11.59pm; Sunday 11 am-8pm; closed on Mondays.

Chef Anthony Tong is a veteran of Owensboro restaurants, dating back to the famous Gabe’s Tower Inn in the 1970s. City Walk of Owensboro, which opened four years ago, is his latest business. Chef Tong runs the kitchen, while his sons Travis and Trevor Tong are the official owners.

Chef Anthony's meatloaf and delicious green beans on the lunch menu at the City Walk of Owensboro on Wednesday, September 30, 2021.

Travis and Trevor also refurnished the building with a rustic wood and exposed brick interior and wall paintings.

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City Walk can be as sophisticated or heartwarming as you want it to be. Stop at lunch for a hearty dish like a warm Kentucky brown or pasta with Cajun chicken and shrimp; or stick with fried chicken or catfish. The flatbreads can be a starter or to share, and the sandwiches include the Philly steak and barbecue pork, among others.

At dinner time, higher fare takes center stage, with hand-cut steaks from Blackhawk and Creekstone Farms in Kentucky.

Start your meal with crab cakes, sautéed scallops or butterfly shrimp in a Sriracha Bourbon sauce. Other entrees include Maple Glazed Salmon, 12 oz Smoked Pork Chop, and Chicken Cord Bleu… but you can always warm up with a plate of fried chicken, meatloaf, or a burger.

The City Walk Restaurant is located on Allen St. in downtown Owensboro, Ky.

We have to recommend the green beans to accompany anything you order – we ate this with our meatloaf at lunch and they were exceptional, with a rich and unusual seasoning that Chef Anthony keeps a secret but we guarantee you will. love.

City Walk has a full bar with Bourbon, and customers can create their own Bourbon flight.

Site: City Walk of Owensboro is located at 222 Allen St. in Owensboro, Ky.

Telephone: 270-478-4958

Hours: Tuesday – Thursday 11 am-9pm; Friday – Saturday 11 am-10pm; Closed on sunday and monday.

This European-style pastry cafe was opened in February 2019 by the Nousiadis family, owners of Niko’s Italian Restaurant, a staple in Owensboro. It has since been purchased by Chef Matt and Jessica Weafer in early 2020, but the European touch and exquisite baking quality has remained the same.

When you walk into the business, you are immediately confronted with two pastry crates full of decadent goodies such as croissants, handmade danishes, scones, ‘cruffins’ and sweet rolls. Trays of huge cookies line the counter.

Customers are greeted with crates full of desserts and pastries when they enter Niko's Bakery & Cafe on Wednesday, September 30, 2021.

Behind that is a wall of bread, made with wild sourdough and daily ciabatta and a rotating range of brioche, ancient grains, baguettes, and flavored bread, among others.

Niko’s Bakery and Café is open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

For breakfast, homemade croissants and breads become the backing for sandwiches like the Florentine Egguf, which includes eggs, spinach, local ham, provolone and sourdough aioli.

More continental-inspired sandwiches include porchetta, pork rubbed in grated fennel and served on ciabatta with pesto aioli, feta cheese, pickled peppers and mixed greens. Even the grilled cheese sandwich is something special, with provolone and white cheddar on Buckwheat Village sourdough bread with aioli. If you’re in the mood for soup, grab one of the flavors of the day like andouille and barley on Wednesday or gazpacho on Friday.

European-style Amoretti cookies at Niko's Bakery & Cafe on Wednesday, September 30, 2021.

For dinner, enjoy a shepherd’s pie, chicken and mushroom cannelloni and more.

Finally, leave enough room for the baklava, tiramisu, chocolate mousse or another homemade dessert.

Site: Niko’s Bakery & Café is located at 601 Emory Drive, Owensboro, Ky.

Telephone: 270-478-4441

Hours: Monday to Friday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday 7 am-2pm; close on Sunday.

Contact Aimee Blume at [email protected]

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Local restaurants bring Hispanic history to the table

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) – As restaurants in western Michigan celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, two Mexican chefs say they are working to preserve old and family traditions.

MeXo is located on Fulton Street in downtown Grand Rapids. The restaurant brings a modern twist to pre-Hispanic dishes prepared by ancient Aztec and Mayan groups.

“Corn is one of the staples of pre-Hispanic cuisine,” said chef Oscar Moreno, pointing to three different varieties of corn they serve. “It’s the restaurant’s mission to show you and save a lot of those ingredients that were used in pre-Hispanic times.”

The restaurant currently offers a full tequila bar, a variety of moles, and several kinds of tacos. Moreno says he grows fresh herbs inside the restaurant and hand-cooks tortillas for the dishes. He says that because most of the pre-Hispanic cuisine didn’t include dairy, MeXo’s menu doesn’t include much either.

Moreno says one of the most interesting dishes they serve is called rock soup. He says it was traditionally prepared by the men in the family.

“The men would go and fish whatever they could find in the river, shrimp or whatever fish he could get,” Moreno said.

Moreno says that in its modern version, it uses shrimp, fresh herbs, and broth. The dish is then served to the chilled customer before the waiter drops a 500 degree stone into the bowl to cook the soup, mimicking a traditional cooking method.

“Basically it’s all raw, and he’ll pick up river stones on the fire and when the kids and family are ready to eat, he’ll drop the stone and cook the soup, then lunch will be ready,” Moreno said. .

Moreno said it is important to preserve this history.

“Not just for the cultural side, but for the health benefits,” Moreno said.

On the west side of Grand Rapids, El Granjero staff say their recipes come from previous generations of the family.

“We are from Mexico. I also lived in Baja California before coming to Grand Rapids in 2005 and when a neighbor took us to a restaurant, because we missed Mexican food, it was a place that was not authentic ”, said Paola Mendivil, vice president of catering at El Granjero. and the restaurant owner’s daughter.

Mendivil says that when the family moved to Michigan, his mother Mercedes López started working at El Ganadero on Bridge Street. When López learned that the restaurant would close permanently, she took over in 2007 and renamed the restaurant El Granjero.

“My mother had very humble beginnings. When she didn’t continue her studies and got married young and had young children, when the time came to find a job, she found it in a restaurant and she started to do the dishes ”, Mendivil said.

El Granjero now serves recipes handed down from generation to generation, including a dish called enfrijoladas, which resembles an enchilada but is topped with a sauce made from black beans, chorizo, and queso fresco.

At every meal, Mendivil says she hopes the community feels like part of her family.

“I think in our culture we like to eat; we love food. We have this passion to always share a meal together and it brings people together, ”said Mendivil.

For more information on the menu and opening hours of El Granjero or MeXo Gr, visit the company’s websites.

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Which Montgomery restaurants have received pandemic funds? What we found.

The Restaurant Revitalization Fund provides funding to help restaurants and other similar businesses keep their doors open during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Alabama has received approximately $ 1.9 billion in funding from the CARES Act to respond to and mitigate the coronavirus pandemic.

We’ve picked out some of the data highlights, but you can review the numbers yourself here.

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Which Montgomery restaurants received the most money?

Full Armor Foods LLC., Chow Town Inc. and 7413 EastChase QSR LLC., Or BurgerFi, were the top three recipients of Restaurant Revitalization Fund dollars.

They received approximately $ 1 million, $ 878,736 and $ 826,538 respectively.

Of the top five recipients, one was designated as a women-owned business; none were from a veteran.

One of the 60 eligible businesses listed was owned by veterans. Thirty-three of the 60 were owned by women.

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What was the fork of money received?

The least money allocated, according to this dataset, was to YJC LLC, which owns Satsuki Sushi on 6534 Atlanta Highway in Montgomery. He received approximately $ 6,107.

Two other Montgomery businesses – H&Y Pretzel Bakery (Tante Anne’s) and caterer Kamisha Coleman – also received less than $ 10,000. Only one company, Full Armor Foods LLC, owner of Martha’s Place Buffet, received $ 1 million or more.

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How can restaurants use the money from the Restaurant Revitalization Fund?

  • Payroll (not including salaries used for employee retention credit (ERC)
  • Principal or interest on mortgage bonds
  • To rent
  • Utilities
  • Maintenance, including construction to accommodate outdoor seating
  • Personal protective equipment, cleaning supplies and products
  • Normal food and beverage inventory
  • Certain operational expenses covered
  • Paid sick leave

The program provides restaurants with funding equal to their lost revenue from the pandemic of up to $ 10 million per business and no more than $ 5 million per physical location.

Recipients are not required to repay funding as long as funds are used for eligible purposes by March 11, 2023.

Molly Weisner is a digital producer for the USA Today Network. Find her on Twitter @molly_weisner.

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Fingers crossed by bar and restaurateurs near Soldier Field Bears – and their joint patrons – stay in town

Owners of bars, restaurants and hotels near Soldier Field, who rely on patrons who flood the area when the Bears play at home, are hoping the city will strike a deal to prevent the team from relocating to Arlington Heights.

“For a lot of reasons, that would be sad,” said Grant DePorter, head of restaurant group Harry Caray, which has a location on Navy Pier that transports fans to and from Soldier Field by boat on game days.

“When the Bears play it brings a lot of business to Chicago, a lot of people travel for the weekend to watch their team play against the Bears and fill hotels and restaurants. It would be a big economic loss. I just hope they decide to stay, ”DePorter said.

“In New York and Los Angeles they have Hollywood actors, but in Chicago your celebrities are sports stars, and the Bears are some of the biggest stars out there,” he said.

“The Bears are great for us,” said Billy Lawless, owner of Gage, a restaurant on Michigan Avenue just steps from the grounds. “A move wouldn’t be good for hotels and restaurants in the area, but in reality it’s only eight days a year,” he said, referring to the number of home games in the regular season which the Bears play.

“I hope they can get through this, though. Emotionally it’s very important to have the Bears in the city, they are part of who we are, ”Lawless said.

Sam Toia, chef of the Illinois Restaurant Association, hopes a deal can be made.

“A move of the Bears out of town would definitely have an impact on restaurants and bars in the South Loop, West Loop and the Central Business District,” he said.

“I hope that the town hall and the Bears can come out of this,” he said. “We also have members (restaurants) in Arlington Heights, but Chicago is the economic lifeblood of the state.”

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Latest coronavirus: British restaurants are recovering from the pandemic

Patients of a private health care provider in Brazil did not know they would be “guinea pigs” in a study of drugs including hydroxychloroquine with no proven efficacy against Covid-19, a parliamentary inquiry has learned.

The lawyer for a dozen whistleblowers, who worked for the medical group Prevent Senior, also told senators in Brasilia on Tuesday that doctors risk being sacked if they refuse to prescribe the combination of drugs to people with the disease. respiratory.

The charges came during hours of testimony at a congressional inquiry examining Brazil’s response to the coronavirus crisis, which has claimed nearly 600,000 lives in Latin America’s most populous country.

Lawmakers on the committee are now focusing on Prevent Senior, after receiving a dossier containing evidence of suspected wrongdoing in its experimental use of the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine with the antibiotic azithromycin in cases of Covid-19.

Jair Bolsonaro, President of Brazil, has promoted the use of such drugs as a form of “early treatment” for respiratory disease, despite the lack of clinical evidence.

Complaints against Prevent Senior include manipulation of data, lack of transparency and cover up of deaths of patients who participated in the study, according to the Senate website. He added that there were nine deaths during the study, but the authors only mentioned two.

Prevent Senior has vigorously denied all of the allegations. “These are unfounded accusations, based on truncated or edited messages leaked to the press and which will be dismantled throughout the investigations,” he said.

Bruna Morato, the lawyer representing the 12 doctors who worked at the company, said on Tuesday that the alleged practices showed a “lack of respect for people’s lives.”

She claimed that the roll-out of the so-called ‘Covid kit’ of drugs within the healthcare group was aimed at avoiding hospitalization of patients and thus reducing costs.

Sao Paulo prosecutors have created a task force to investigate the allegations.

The parliamentary inquiry is expected to deliver a final report in the coming weeks that could include recommendations for criminal charges against Bolsonaro for his conduct during the public health crisis. The right winger denigrated the use of masks, opposed blockades and denounced the importance of vaccines.

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Unions are gaining strength in restaurants. They’ve been here before.

The food and beverage industry has one of the lowest unionization rates in the United States – 3.4% of workers last year, compared to the overall rate of almost 10.8%. But workers at some high-profile stores are hoping to narrow that gap and have tried to organize at Anchor Brewing in San Francisco; Voodoo Donut in Portland, Oregon; and, most recently, a group of Starbucks workers in Buffalo, New York.

While this may seem like a new movement, organized labor in the industry dates back to 1891, when the first restaurant union – now called Unite Here – was formed.

“It was a different world, especially when we entered the turn of the 20th century,” said David Whitford, historian at Unite Here.

A union promotional video shot at the Waldorf Astoria in New York in the 1950s.

When American industry was strong, so were manufacturing unions. And it had a ripple effect.

“If you owned a bar or restaurant in a small town in the Midwest where there was some sort of union factory and you wanted union workers to come and patronize your establishment, then you had to be a union restaurant as well,” said Whitford.

Communities organized “sip-ins” at non-union restaurants, with activists lingering over a single cup of coffee as an act of protest. Unionized bars and restaurants hung signs on their windows as badges of honor. Customers viewed these signs as signals that the quality would be higher.

“So it felt like if you had a union cook you would have better food. If you had a union server, you were going to get better service, ”said Dorothy Sue Cobble, author of“ Dishing It Out: Waitresses and Their Unions in the Twentieth Century ”.

Catering unions were so common that membership was transferable. Workers took their benefits with them from job to job. The unions have not only benefited workers either. Employers turned to unions for hiring, human resource issues and even scheduling when someone was sick.

In the 1950s, almost a third of workers in the private sector belonged to a union. But, remember how many more restaurant workers unionized as manufacturing expanded? The opposite was also true.

When manufacturing declined, unionization in restaurants also declined. Labor laws written in the 1930s were primarily created to protect factory workers, Cobble said. And on the other hand, “there were also provisions in these laws that made it more difficult to organize non-factory workers, especially in small industries where there are small employers and high turnover.”

During this time, the restaurant industry was changing drastically. Chains with the money and power to fight the organization have become neighborhood staples, and cheap fast food has proliferated. Union membership rates in restaurants have plummeted. Salaries have fallen and benefits have mostly disappeared.

In recent years, however, the momentum to organize has grown. Union membership rates increased slightly over the past year. Public support for unions has been at the highest level in nearly two decades, with two-thirds of Americans approving them, according to a recent Gallup poll.

Cobble believes the pandemic could push the trend even further. “There has been tremendous stress on frontline and service workers, so there is a real desire for change,” she said.

Midwestern chain Colectivo Coffee recently became the largest coffeehouse company in the United States to unionize, with approximately 450 eligible employees.

“I think the momentum has really grown with COVID, like people saying, ‘This has been a problem for a while, but it only brought it to light,'” said Zoe Muellner, the one of the organizers.

It was not easy and took years as workers had to coordinate at 20 sites and deal with staff turnover. The union won by seven votes. Since Colectivo workers organized, Muellner said, other cafe workers across the country have called for advice on how to do the same.

“You keep hearing things like, ‘Well that’s just the service industry. If you don’t want things to be like this, find another job. And so I think that’s something people are seeing now, “Oh, there are a lot less people willing to work in the service industry. They get different jobs, ”she said.

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Middletown to Introduce Restaurant Chain Ordinance | Municipal

Middletown will move forward with the formal introduction and public hearing process for an order that would ban new restaurant chains in the city.

City commissioners agreed at a Monday night meeting to move the ordinance proposed by Burgess John Miller to the introduction.

The proposal would ban restaurants that share a name, logo, standardized menu, interior design or exterior architecture with restaurants located in other locations.

It would exempt restaurants in less than 10 locations in the mid-Atlantic region that are locally owned and operated but not franchised, or restaurants without drive-thru that are part of a food court or in the same building as other restaurants.

Formula restaurants at gas stations would also be limited to 26,136 square feet in total site area.

Existing businesses such as the city’s Dunkin ‘Donuts and Subway restaurants would be allowed to stay under the proposal.

Commissioner Jean LaPadula has said she is ready to move forward with the order, while Commissioner Jennifer Falcinelli said the public hearings will give them a chance to see what people think of the idea.

City administrator Drew Bowen said the ordinance would be subject to review by the city planning commission, which will hold its own public hearing, as well as a hearing by the townsman and commissioners.

Follow Ryan Marshall on Twitter: @RMarshallFNP

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Vote for the best burger in Raleigh NC restaurants


Vote for your favorite burger among these tasty 16 in the first round of our Burger Bracket.

There isn’t just one way to have a blissful burger, but you know it when you find it.

The sports bar, the walk-in roadside stand, the gourmet restaurant, it’s often the gooey cheeseburger that unites them.

The News & Observer searches for the best burger in Raleigh. We’ve narrowed down the city’s burger sphere to 16 of Raleigh’s most popular local burgers. Some are icons, some are beginners, some are shattering burgers, some are towering restaurant-style burgers served with a cloth napkin. All of them have made a contribution to the collective joy of Raleigh burgers.

There are plenty of great burgers out of Raleigh, and these burgers will have their time. This rack is only for local burgers in Raleigh, excluding some very popular and very tasty chain burgers from elsewhere. (For example, Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar was not selected because it is a chain from Charlotte. Likewise, Cookout is not there because they started in Greensboro.)

The first round of the Raleigh Burger Bracket will go live on Monday, September 27 and will be open until Friday, October 1 at 11 a.m. You have four days to vote for your favorite burgers. Choose eight favorites from the grid below.

Check back for the second round starting Friday October 1 at noon.

Raleigh Savory 16

Beasley Chicken + Honey

Capital Club 16


Cloo’s Coney Island

Cow burger

Good Folk

High-end burger


Mama Crow’s Burger & Salad Shop

MoJoe’s Burger

Neuse River Brewery

Retirement of players

Square Burger

The train station

Sam Jones’ barbecue

Town hall

This story was originally published September 27, 2021 at 12:59 pm.

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Drew Jackson writes about dining and dining for The News & Observer and The Herald-Sun, covering the Triangle and North Carolina food scene.

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