TOTCF Unveils National Policy Initiative
by David Klemt
Yesterday, the Tales of the Cocktail Foundation announced the launch of their Policy Initiative, intended to update outdated labor standards and pay.
Along with advocating for both bartenders and servers, the initiative seeks to raise the subminimum wage to $2.13.
This news comes on the heels of the completion of an in-depth survey. The TOTCF surveyed more than 510 bartenders and other hospitality industry professionals about pay and other compensation.
In particular, more than half of bar workers want employers to provide health insurance. On the restaurant side, servers want to say increases in pay.
There’s much more, of course. Please visit this link to discover the finer details of the TOTCF Policy Initiative. Additionally, you’ll find TOTCF’s press release in its entirety below.
INTRODUCING THE TALES OF THE COCKTAIL FOUNDATION® POLICY INITIATIVE
TOTCF introduces a national initiative aimed at policy change in support of the hospitality community with first priority centered on improving labor standards for bar professionals
NEW ORLEANS, LA (February 13, 2024) — Tales of the Cocktail Foundation® (TOTCF) is pleased to announce the launch of the Tales of the Cocktail Foundation Policy Initiative, a multi-faceted effort designed to amplify and advocate for improved benefits and resources for hospitality professionals in the United States. The TOTCF Policy Initiative – which includes a robust nationwide survey and research project, coupled with support from the initiative’s advocacy committee members and partners – will catalyze an extensive campaign to create policy reform and positive change within the food and beverage community.
“Supporting an industry that has been historically underserved – from lack of industry research, common resources to educate and inform, and funding for coalitions – is crucial in breaking the cycles that have made it difficult to build a lifelong career in hospitality,” said Tales of the Cocktail Foundation CEO Eileen Wayner.
Intended to shift antiquated and subpar labor standards through industry support of positive policy action, the TOTCF Policy Initiative’s objectives include providing resources for employees and employers on labor standards and protections, conducting research and supporting efforts toward effective policy changes, information on healthcare access and benefits, sexual harassment training, and youth worker engagement – all with an emphasis on diversity and inclusion. The TOTCF Policy Initiative, along with its Bar Professional Policy Network Hub, will assist with the organization of grassroots development and advocacy efforts in industry professionals’ local communities, providing opportunities for advocates to be directly involved in policy and reform in their own communities.
“Given our unique position within the industry, we want to offer platforms and resources for productive conversations between policymakers, industry executives, bar owners and operators, and bar professionals, to ensure existing and future policy changes are reflective and inclusive,” said Tammera Catchings, Government Affairs Manager for Tales of the Cocktail Foundation. “For TOTCF, the process begins with supportive research data and intricate data analysis of bar industry professionals and their work.”
The Policy Initiative is centered around improving labor standards for hospitality professionals around the country and supporting increased protections that will help ensure bartending and serving are viable, long-term careers. One of the first priorities of the TOTCF Policy Initiative is to support efforts to increase the subminimum wage of $2.13 for bartenders and servers. Since 1990, employment in the hospitality industry has grown over 85%, while overall private-sector employment grew by only 24%. With more than one in ten U.S. workers employed in the hospitality industry, increasing the wage floor and improving labor standards would significantly improve the well-being of millions of Americans and their families and help reduce long-standing race and gender-based wage inequities.
Launched in spring 2022, Phase One of the Policy Initiative consisted of a robust research project, which culminated with an industry-specific data collection completed by more than 500 bartenders and servers nationwide, targeting topics such as job quality, compensation, tip culture, health benefits, and more. This research, which was analyzed by Dynata, the nation’s largest first-party data company, resulted in a compilation of data that highlights key trends in the hospitality community. By effectively utilizing the survey data to start a progressive dialog amongst hospitality executives, politicians, and advocates, the TOTCF Policy Initiative will encourage significant changes in the economic and labor standards for all bartenders and servers in the country. Research results will be published as analyzed on the Tales of the Cocktail Foundation Policy website in April 2024. In Phase Two of the initiative to support positive policy reform, TOTCF is partnering with Florida International University Chaplin School of Hospitality and Tourism Management to conduct further research and analysis into industry labor standards, culminating in research publication at the end of 2024.
TOTCF Policy Initiative Committee Members
- Zen Castro: New Orleans, LA – Espiritu Mezcaleria Restaurant, Bartender; BeachBum Berry’s Latitude 29, Bar Back
- Jayanthi Daniel: Los Angeles, CA – Restaurant Workers Community Foundation, Executive Director
- Lauren Darnell: New Orleans, LA – Made IN New Orleans, Executive Director
- Amanda Gunderson: Los Angeles, CA – Another Round Another Rally, Co-Founder
- Kaiden Hope: New York, NY – Beam Suntory, Multicultural Portfolio Associate
- Alex Jump: Denver, CO – Focus on Health, Co-Founder and Director of Operations
- Jesse Maguire: New York, NY – Beam Suntory, U.S. Trade Engagement Manager
- Lynnette Marrero: New York, NY – American Bartender, Mixologist, and Philanthropist
- Robin Nance: Albany, IN – Strategic Branding Expert
- John Reyna: Dallas, TX – Texas Hospitality and Non-profit Law Center, Managing Attorney
Government Affairs Manager
- Tammera Catchings, J.D., M.S.: Ridgeland, MS – Tales of the Cocktail Foundation
About Tales of the Cocktail Foundation