Biden urged support for High Road Kitchens program for restaurants and their employees

Calls are being made for President Biden to embrace a program that will raise the wages of restaurant workers.

Nadia Velazquez, chair of the House Small Business Committee, along with 15 members of Congress sent a letter to the president asking them to support a broader rollout of the “High Road Kitchens” program.

The initiative provides training and funding to restaurants that commit to pay a living wage and follow fair recruiting and employment practices.

Biden urged support for High Road Kitchens program

For restaurant business owners, knowing about and participating in programs like the High Road Kitchens can be invaluable for essential training and funding. The High Road Kitchens scheme affirms the importance and value of a fair employer and the payment of a living wage for employees.

Paying and treating employees fairly is vital to ensuring loyal employees and running an honest and reputable business. The High Road Kitchens program helps increase wages while preserving profits, an essential feature in today’s business environment, where workers demand higher wages and fairer working conditions.

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Millions of workers no longer willing to work for poverty pay

In the letter to the president, lawmakers wrote: “We are writing to you at a critical time when millions of workers are no longer willing to work for poverty and low wages, thousands of small and medium-sized businesses are raising wages to hire, and the policy landscape to Heeding your call to raise the minimum wage and end sub-minimum wages for tipped workers is more beneficial than ever.

“At this pivotal time, we ask that you support the widespread adoption of High Road Kitchens, a program shown to increase wages for restaurant workers while preserving the profitability of restaurants in multiple states and localities.”

High Road kitchens launched in 2020

The High Road Kitchens scheme was launched in 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. So far, it’s running in three states – California, Michigan and West Virginia, and in three cities – Chicago, New York and Boston.

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Since its launch, the program has provided grants to hundreds of restaurants. In addition, it has supported restaurants with technical assistance and training on how to increase wages profitably. The scheme also continues to provide restaurant owners with information on how to improve and increase gender equality in the workplace and provide career advancement opportunities for employees.

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