Forked is the exploration into restaurants and the people that work inside them. Saru Jayaraman has made it her mission to expose the plight of the American restaurant worker with thorough research and storytelling from actual employees. Each chapter includes ratings pages from several restaurants in different categories (casual dining, fine dining, Mexican food, burgers, subs, coffee, and diners) plus a high performer and poor performer in each category. The basic premise of the book is how profits override the worker – an all too present struggle in the American, and perhaps global, economy.
Jayaraman finds many personal stories of individual workers and litters them throughout the chapters. These stories really bring to life how these restaurants impact the worker. There are tales of sexual harassment, poverty, and sickness all happening while these workers are expected to make and serve our food. The book is well researched and the facts are straightforward. The ratings charts are primarily unfilled, so there seems to be much more information that needs to be gathered, or that individual restaurants need to reach in order to achieve more fairness for their workers. Forked is an eye-opening, informative read that is worth digesting, getting angry about, and demanding some change in an industry focused, seemingly, just on profits.
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