How do restaurant workers live on some of the lowest wages in America? And how do poor working conditions -- discriminatory labor practices, exploitation, and unsanitary kitchens -- affect the meals that arrive at our restaurant tables? Saru Jayaraman, who launched the national restaurant workers' organization Restaurant Opportunities Centers United, attempts to answer these questions by following the lives of restaurant workers in nine major U.S. cities.
Blending personal narrative and investigative journalism, Jayaraman shows that the quality of the food that arrives at our restaurant tables depends not only on the sourcing of the ingredients but also on the attention and skill of the people who prepare and serve it. Behind the Kitchen Door explores the political, economic, and moral implications of dining out. Jayaraman sets out a bold agenda to raise the living standards of the nation's second-largest private sector workforce and to ensure that dining out is a positive experience on both sides of the kitchen door.