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What Are America’s Worst Restaurants for Workers?

Cheesecake Factory

It appears that no matter how delicious the food at your favorite restaurant seems to be, it has nothing to do with how the business operates on the inside. Recently, a pro-worker group called Restaurant Opportunities Centers United produced a guide–mentioned in NY Times Columnist Mark Bittman‘s column–that lists many of America’s most popular restaurants with the purpose of letting you know just how badly the employees of that restaurant are treated.

The guide ranks the restaurants on a number of criteria. For example, does said restaurant pay a minimum wage to their tipped and non-tipped workers? Do they give sick pay, and how much of a chance is there of advancement within the restaurant? You’d be surprised at some of the establishments made the list. Even worse, some of our favorites received a “0″ rating or an “unknown” in several major categories. This means that the restaurant didn’t achieve even the slightest check mark for the minimal standards of treatment of their employees.

Let’s take a look at just some of the worst restaurants for employees.



Buffalo Wild Wings

California Pizza Kitchen

Cheesecake Factory

Cold Stone Creamery



Friendly’s (ironic, isn’t it?)



Morton’s Steakhouse

Olive Garden

Panera Bread

Red Lobster

Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse


TGI Friday’s

Uno Chicago Grill


We know what you’re thinking. We love quite a few of those places too. Check out the full guide and try to decide whether or not you’ll continue to go.

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