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Kansas City Jobs With Justice Demand An End To Low Wages At Darden Restaurants

Capital Grille

On Friday, October 10, members of Kansas City Jobs With Justice held an action at the Capital Grille to demand dignity for restaurant workers as part of a national day of action. The day of action, coordinated by the Restaurant Opportunities Center United, or ROC-United, is demanding dignity for workers at Darden-owned restaurants throughout the country, including Capital Grille.

While Jobs With Justice members stood outside the restaurant handing out leaflets to customers, a small group went inside the restaurant to deliver a grade of an “F”, telling the owner that the Capital Grille earned a grade of 65% or below due to low wages, no sick days, and reports of wage theft and sexual harassment at Darden-owned restaurants. The delegation asked that the owner improve these conditions to receive a higher grade.

Darden, which owns seven restaurant chains, including Capital Grille, as well as Olive Garden, Longhorn Steakhouse, Bahama Breeze, Seasons 52, Yardhouse, and Eddie V’s, has a total of 150,000 employees and makes $8.7 billion in sales. Darden’s CEO makes as much $6.9 million.

Meanwhile, Darden’s employees make as little as $2.13 an hour, and receive raises as low as 5 cents per hour. ROC-United says that it would only cost Darden 10 cents for every $5 spent by customers to pay a $15 per hour minimum wage across its restaurants. As part of the national campaign called “Dignity At Darden,” ROC-United is asking that Darden “spare a dime so employees can make ends meet and support their families.”

ROC-United is a national partner of Jobs with Justice. We work together on raising the minimum wage, and fighting for workers’ rights in the restaurant industry, an industry that rarely gives workers a voice on the job.