Stung by criticism that it has worked to tear down the restaurant industry and the millions of jobs it provides, the union-founded Restaurant Opportunities Center has launched a restaurant lobbying group that supports its labor agenda. This week it’s even holding a “High Road Restaurant Week” in New York to trumpet restaurants that have embraced ROC-approved wage and benefit levels.
ROC holds these restaurants out as the model for the entire restaurant industry. But a look at the dinner menus of the Manhattan restaurants being promoted by ROC shows ROC’s celebration should rightly be called High Price Restaurant Week.
The average price for a hamburger and fries at ROC’s “High Road” restaurants totals $20.50. The cheapest salad averages $12.90. A bowl of soup averages $10.70. And a chicken entree would set you back $24.70 — you could buy 16 pounds of supermarket chicken at that price!
This is the model ROC believes should be copied nationwide? ROC is out of touch – which might explain the failure of ROC’s own Manhattan restaurant.
But the labor activists at ROC seem even more clueless when you consider some of the other menu items selling at its “High Road” partners that restaurants nationwide are supposed to emulate.
There’s the $26 order of alligator tacos. The $18 mac and cheese. And the $33 asparagus and rhubarb.
ROC’s wage and benefit demands can’t even be replicated throughout New York City, let alone statewide or nationally.
Here is the Manhattan Institute’s take:
The consumer watchdog ROC Exposed examined the prices and menus at the 27 Manhattan restaurants chosen by the Restaurant Opportunities Center.
The average price for a burger and fries at these restaurants is $20.50. For that price at McDonald’s, a person could buy a Big Mac, Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese, Cheeseburger, Grilled Onion Cheddar Burger, Bacon Habanero Ranch Quarter Pounder, McDouble, Mac Snack Wrap, and a BLT Quarter Pounder—or just buy 20 McChickens.
If you are a vegetarian, you are still in for an expensive meal—the average price of a soup and salad is nearly $24.
… Ninety-seven percent of American workers make more than minimum wage, not out of the kindness of employers’ hearts but because this is the only way that employers can retain employees. Low-skill workers need jobs, wages, and work experience too, and if the minimum wage rises, these people will be priced out of a job. Eat at a “High Road Restaurant” this week if you want to—but only if the food tastes delicious at the right price, not to cave in to ROC’s pressure tactics.
ROC’s “High Road” dead-ends at higher prices for consumers, less employment, and signs like the one at ROC’s own restaurant: “Closed.”