On Thursday December 11th, Dawn Sweeny, President and CEO of the National Restaurant Association, unveiled an open letter to policymakers regarding the various opportunities provided to women by the restaurant industry. The open letter is signed by more than 600 women stakeholders applauding the value of restaurant jobs and careers.
Unlike other industries, restaurants offer indispensable opportunities to women such as flexible hours, valuable skills and a career path without limitations. The letter, signed by women from around the country at all levels within the industry, and those who got their start in the industry, also tells the story of how women contribute to the economic recovery and growth of economies small and large.
“When the 114th Congress convenes in January, it will include, at a minimum, a record 101 women in its ranks,” Sweeney said. “That’s good news, but even more impressive numbers can be found in the restaurant and foodservice industry, where the real-life success stories show there is no limit to personal dreams and hard work.
Restaurant jobs provide opportunities for women of all backgrounds and experience levels, helping them gain the experience they need to jumpstart careers or the ability to advance toward management or executive positions more quickly than most other industries.”
The restaurant industry encourages diversity and is a place where women advance to management and leadership roles in large numbers. In their letter to policymakers, individuals across the industry and beyond highlight the important ways restaurants are working for women. Letter highlights include the following:
- 61% of women have worked in the restaurant industry.
- 37% of women say the first job they ever held was in a restaurant, providing a first start and career advancement for millions of people.
- 45% of restaurant managers are women compared to an average of 38% in other industries.
- More than half of U.S. restaurants are owned or co-owned by women.
- Women-owned businesses are growing at a faster rate than the overall restaurant industry.
- 92% of women who have worked in a restaurant say the industry is a good place to get a first job and learn valuable skills.