Grubhub spotlights gender inequality at restaurants

Photo Credit: CNN

CHICAGO (CBS) — The popular delivery service Grubhub wants to tackle the issue of gender inequality.

Their plan is to give users the option of ordering from women-led restaurants across the United States. The company’s hope is the “RestaurantHER” initiative will raise awareness about the significant long-term gender gap in the industry.

“If you didn’t know, only 20 percent of head chefs are female,” said Jessica Burns, Grubhub’s senior director of brand marketing. Beyond that, Burns said female chefs earn 28 percent less in base pay than their male counterparts.

“Is it right? No. Is it something we can change? Yes.”

On Grubhub’s new site, users simply have to enter their zip code to view restaurants in their area owned or co-owned by a woman or a kitchen led by a woman head or executive chef. This includes franchisee owners.

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“Grubhub recognized these issues and saw the need for serious change. So it started RestaurantHER to champion and support restaurants, and raise awareness about inequality in the restaurant industry and help change things for the better,” the company said in a statement.

Chicago knows a thing or two about women-led restaurants. From the Eastman Egg Company to the Warm Belly Bakery, women are not only hosting or serving, they are also holding down the grill, supervising the kitchen and excelling in management positions.

In fact, Eastman Egg Company only employs women. Laurel Freidenberg is second in command, running the restaurant’s operations. “Something that we look for, really strongly, is attention to detail, and you do see that in a lot of women,” she said.

Karianna Soulsby, “diva chef and mistress of operations” at Warm Belly Bakery, said, “We run homes. It’s a lot of the same skill set — organization, timeliness.”

Through this initiative, Grubhub is partnering with Women Chefs & Restaurateurs (WCR), an active resource for women seeking to advance culinary education and gain recognition in the food and beverage industry.

Through the RestaurantHER initiative, GrubHub is contributing $1 for every pledge to dine in or order delivery from women-led restaurants through the end of Women’s History Month in March. The first $100,000 of this pledge will be contributed to WCR.

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