Fine-dining Restaurants About As Exclusive As You Expected

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“Both conscious and unconscious discrimination pervade the restaurant industry, producing visible occupational segregation and inequity,” says a report released today by the Restaurant Opportunities Center of New York. ROC-NY sent pairs of wannabe waiters — one of color and one white — into 138 fine-dining restaurants from January 2006 through June 2007. The pair was about the same age, gender, and appearance, and they were trained to have equal skills — essentially, they were the same candidate. But “testers of color were only 54.5 percent as likely as white testers to get a job offer, and were less likely than white testers to receive a job interview in the first place,” the report found. A white candidate’s work history was “twice as likely to be accepted without probing.” Further testament to restaurant snobbiness: “White testers with slight European accents were 23.1 percent more likely to be hired than white testers with no accents.”