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 candidates 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.