1,000 signatures reached
To: CEO of Darden Restaurants
We Won't Apply Until You Pay $15 plus tips on top!
Like every other restaurant company, Darden - which owns Olive Garden, Capital Grill Steakhouse, LongHorn Steakhouse, Seasons 52, Eddie V's, Yard House, Cheddar Scratch Kitchen, and Bahama Breeze - is struggling to find workers right now. So before Christmas, Darden CEO (Gene Lee) announced that the company would be raising wages to $12 an hour as an incentive to recruit staff. BUT IT WAS ALL LIES! Workers who apply to Darden find out that the company is still paying a subminimum wage to tipped workers - as low as $2.13 an hour in many states - and that the $12 an hour they advertised is including tips. MEANWHILE, Darden is reporting an increased sales and earnings forecast of $2.27 billion. Darden has the money to pay its workers livable wages, but it refuses to do so.
We won't apply to Darden Restaurants until the company offers $15 an hour plus tips on top!
Why is this important?
Across the country, restaurant workers are refusing to work for poverty wages. Over a million workers have already left the industry due to low wages and tips. Of those who remain, 54% say they're leaving, and 80% say they won't come back without a full, livable wage with tips on top. In response, thousands of small and medium-sized restaurants are raising wages to recruit staff. But Darden, which leads the National Restaurant Association, not only refuses to genuinely raise its wages, but is also lobbying to keep the minimum wage for tipped restaurant workers at $2.13 at the federal level. As long as they lobby against wages going up, and refuse to pay their own workers, no one should apply.
We should all be getting a fair, regular, hourly wage plus tips on top! Darden makes so much money off of worker backs, and we are tired of it. The company AND the workers can all flourish together. The company can be successful AND it can pay workers fair wages.
In CA, OR, WA, AK, MN, MT, Darden Restaurants are already paying workers a fair wage PLUS tips (because they are mandated to, by law), and they are still making bank! There’s no reason that Darden can’t do this in all 50 states! In many US states, they are paying workers $2.15 + tips and this has got to stop.
Darden CEO Gene Lee said, “Now there may not be enough service workers on the staff of every restaurant in America, but there’s enough service workers out there to staff Darden’s restaurants.” NO THERE AREN’T! PAY US FAIRLY OR WE WON'T APPLY TO YOUR RESTAURANTS!