Behind the Kitchen Door: - Promise and Denial in Boston’s Growing Restaurant Industry
24 October 2016
The industry includes more than 170,451 workers in 9,852 establishments.1 Over the last decade, the industry has grown to 8.5% of the local economy (see Figure ES1),2 contributing to the region’s reputation as a tourism, hospitality, and entertainment destination, and generating over $9.8 billion in revenue and $717 million in sales tax for the state and local economy.3 However, the benefits of th. [...] 1 OUR KEY FINDINGS INCLUDE: TIPPED WORKERS • Women make up 52% of the industry’s overall restaurant workforce, but comprise 68% of the industry’s tipped restaurant occupations, and 71% of servers.4,5 • Tipped restaurant workers in the Boston Area earn a median wage of $12.63 per hour, ac- cording to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.6 • Thirty-five percent of tipped workers in Greater Boston reported. [...] Chapter II Overview of the Restaurant Industry in Greater Boston Boston is a vibrant eclectic food city with lobster shacks a few steps from trendy dining experiences and white tablecloth fine dining restaurants, and “food trucks in front of historic brownstones.”10 Both a historic mainstay of the city, and a symbol of the city’s economic health, the restaurant industry is a key driver of the city. [...] Thirty-eight percent of restaurant industry workers are between the ages of 16 and 24, nearly three times the rate of all Boston Area workers in the same age category, and the share of workers between the ages of 45 and 64 is 23%, or less than two thirds of the 39% among all workers. [...] However, 37% of all restaurant workers are between the ages of 25 to 44, compared to 43% of workers in the broader economy.19 Among tipped restaurant workers, the age difference is even more striking, with nearly four times as many workers under age of 25 in tipped restaurant occupations and fewer than half as many between the ages of 45 and 64, compared to the total workforce.20 TABLE 2 OCC_CODE.