Welcome to The Women of Food, Resy’s ongoing celebration of women in the restaurant industry. Since 2018, Resy has spearheaded Women of Food initiatives in cities across the globe, with the goal of honoring the myriad women who power the restaurants we love, from Los Angeles to London.
Much has changed in the restaurant world since that inaugural 2018 moment, with massive shifts like the #metoo movement and a life-altering pandemic. But, there’s still so much work to be done when it comes to the gender gap in the restaurant industry. As we look at the state of women in restaurants, some numbers to consider:
- Women are underrepresented as owners. Even though women hold a majority of restaurant jobs (56%, to be precise), only 33% of independent restaurants are majority owned by women, according to the National Restaurant Association.
- Women are underrepresented in management positions. In an industry survey, the James Beard Foundation found that only 30% of respondents in management positions were women, compared to 64% of men. Furthermore, women are the majority of restaurant labor, and make up 70% percent of server positions — yet consist of only 20% of head chef positions, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
- There’s still a real gender pay gap in America. Across industries in America, women overall still only make 82% as much as their male counterparts. In the 1980s, this number jumped from 64% to 70%. In the 1990s, it jumped to 77%. It’s basically stayed the same since 2004. It’s been essentially flat for the last 20 years
Resy is here to educate and raise awareness for gender equality, to connect diners to women-led restaurants, and to rally the masses. And, of course, we’re here to recognize and celebrate those that have been doing the work.
Because women that power the restaurant industry continue to inspire us. In Savannah, that’s Mashama Bailey, rethinking how a restaurant can be run. In Oakland, that’s James Beard Award nominee Crystal Wahpepah fighting for Indigenous ingredients and cuisine. In New York, that’s Amanda Cohen speaking out about female chef erasure. In Los Angeles, that’s Niki Nakayama as one of the country’s only female sushi chefs. In San Francisco, that’s Pim Techamuanvivit, who created Nari (from the Sanskrit-derived Thai word for “women”) as a showcase for her female staff.
We believe that every day is a chance to discover a restaurant to love. And we want to bring more people to the table. The more, the merrier. It’s not just our job, it’s our mission. That includes supporting things we love, such as women-led restaurants.
We hope you join us in celebrating the women of the restaurant industry: Support women-led restaurants in your hometown; use the “Women of Food” filter when searching for restaurants on Resy. Buy from women-owned companies. Experience the myriad ways in which women power a dinner at your favorite restaurant. Because it’s time to turn the table.