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.