Doing Business Responsibly: ROC United and Restaurant Workers.

Figart, Deborah M.

In Stories of Progressive Institutional Change, pp. 69-79. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham, 2017.


Colors Restaurant & Bar in New York City has made a name for itself by serving as a role model for the equitable treatment of workers in the traditionally low-paid restaurant industry. As described in this chapter, this cooperative enterprise also illustrates that businesses can operate with multiple motivations beyond profit maximization. Colors Restaurant is an unanticipated byproduct of Restaurant Opportunities Centers-United (ROC-U), a membership organization initially formed by restaurant workers displaced from jobs in the World Trade Center after 9/11. ROC-U operates Colors as part-restaurant, part-training facility, and part-exemplar of “high road” employment practices. ROC-U’s other campaigns (such as “One Fair Wage”) and litigation have secured pledges for better wages and working conditions from some larger restaurant conglomerates in the United States.

Much of what is available in the Library is publicly available and can be accessed through a link on this website. However, most academic journal articles reside beyond a paywall and only the abstracts are included here.