To receive this recognition businesses need to receive at least two points in the categories of wages, paid sick days, and upward mobility. A bonus point is given for being a RAISE member as all members are required to make a commitment to improving wages and working conditions. Due to the scale of annual sales for top-grossing companies we elected that recognition for High Road would need to receive at least three points in the categories of wages, paid sick days and upward mobility.
Restaurant Grading Criteria
We see the High Road as a journey not a destination and in this spirit in mind we seek to provide recognition to those that have made clear commitments to improving wages and working conditions. At a minimum, this means operating above the minimum expectations mandated by law and committing to improving operations with respect to wages and working conditions. Those that are on the Low Road have not made a clear commitment at scale, meaning they do not have a standard above mandated laws that matches their financial ability to do so. Simply stated, they often do the minimum required by law.
To understand this difference in operations, we graded restaurants by the following:
The wages they paid tipped and non-tipped staff. The baseline standards for points in wage is having higher minimum standards than the minimum required by law. This may be city, state, or federally applied depending on which is higher. Due to the scale of annual sales for top-grossing companies, we elected to use a minimum standard of $10 for non-tipped staff and $10 for tipped staff for companies that had tipped staff.
Paid Sick Days
Providing earned sick time for all employees regardless if they were part or full time staff. The baseline standards for a point in paid sick days was to have a higher minimum standard than the highest standard of the applicable law. This may be city, state, or federally applied depending on which is higher.
This is offered through internal promotions. Our baseline standard is that at least 50% of open positions are filled by internal promotion. We gave a point to those who either filled open positions with 50% internal promotion or 50% of their higher waged positions were filled by people of color.
RAISE (Restaurants Advancing Industry Standards in Employment)
Through RAISE, business owners meet peers who champion living wages, basic benefits, and fair promotion policies, among other high road employer practices. Participating restaurants work together to sort through the business models for an industry good for our communities, our economy, and their bottom line. By participating in RAISE they commit to and advocate on behalf of improving wages and working conditions across the nation. We assigned a bonus point to businesses who are a RAISE member.
To receive this recognition businesses need to receive less than two points in the categories of wages, paid sick days, and upward mobility. Due to the scale of annual sales for top-grossing companies we elected that recognition for Low Road would receive less than three points in the categories of wages, paid sick days and upward mobility.
In some cases we did not acquire the necessary information to assign points for recognition. This could be from inconsistent responses or refusal to respond to questions. More often than not, those with insufficient information are businesses who prefer not to subject their practices to public scrutiny.