Are You Being Served?
How Applebee’s NYC Establishments Are Responding to the Great Resignation With Racial Inequity
May 12, 2022
One Fair Wage
UC Berkeley Food Labor Research Center
On May 12, 2022, shareholders of Dine Brands have a historic opportunity to end the subminimum wage for their tipped workers. In the midst of the pandemic, Dine Brands responded to the Great Resignation of workers by raising wages for wait staff inequitably across Applebee’s restaurants in New York City. One Fair Wage documented workers’ earnings over a two week period in April and found that Applebee’s is exacerbating race and gender wage gaps by offering higher wages for their employees in predominantly white areas such as Midtown Manhattan while paying servers significantly less in Harlem and the Bronx, where the majority of residents are non-white. By allowing Applebee’s to pay a subminimum wage to servers in communities of color, New York State is permitting inequity in the restaurant industry when it should be passing policy to provide all workers a full minimum wage with tips on top in an effort to rise above discriminatory practices.