Most Undesirable Job In America?

When you were last at The Cheesecake Factory, did you know that the person who scribbled down your order doesn't have any paid sick days? Did you know the person who made your Mud Pie Mojo at Coldstone Creamery is very likely earning under $9 an hour? If she's working 40 hours a week, that's an annual income of $19,000 -- without taking a single weekday off.

The Restaurant Opportunities Centers United, a New York-based nonprofit, tries to raise awareness about the plight of low wage restaurant workers. In its newly updated 2012 Diner's Guide, the group rates some of the country's most well-known chain restaurants on how they treat their employees. And according to the report, almost none of them treat them well at all.

The chains are judged in four main categories.

  • Pay: Do any of the tipped workers earn less than $5 an hour, and are any of the non-tipped workers making less than $9? ROC-United deems both of these to be a non-livable wage, and it's very likely that many of the employees are actually earning the federal minimum wage for tipped workers of $2.13 an hour. This "sub-minimum wage" was originally intended to be half the ordinary minimum wage, but it's plummeted in comparison over the last two decades, frozen since 1991 due to the restaurant industry's lobby, the National Restaurant Association, and the man at its helm, Herman Cain.
  • Paid sick days: Do employees have to forgo wages when they get the flu?
  • Ability for advancement: Have at least half of current employees been promoted in their time on the job? ROC-United argues that this indicates whether these jobs could ever be parlayed into secure, forward-moving careers.
  • Employer ethics: ROC-United deems a restaurant chain is taking the "high road to profitability" if it participates in its "Restaurant Industry Roundtable," which it says is devoted to promoting sustainable business practices.


The list of chain restaurants that fail to make the grade reads like a list of pretty much every well-known restaurant in this here United States. Find out which restaurants are considered great places to work. And read about the four restaurants that are, in the group's view, exceptionally crummy places to work.


1. Applebee's

The lowest tipped wage is under $5 an hour. The lowest non-tipped wage is under $9 an hour. Less than half of current employees have ever moved up.


2. Arby's

The lowest non-tipped wage is under $9 an hour. No paid sick days.


3. Baskin-Robbins

The lowest non-tipped wage is under $9 an hour. No paid sick days. Less than half of employees have ever moved up a position.

More: 7 Part-Time Jobs That Pay Up To $40 An Hour

4. Bob Evans

The lowest tipped wage is under $5 an hour. The lowest non-tipped wage is under $9 an hour. No paid sick days. Less than half of current employees have ever moved up.


5. Bojangles'

The lowest tipped wage is under $5 an hour. Non-tipped wages earn under $9 an hour. No paid sick days.


6. Boston Market

The lowest non-tipped wage is under $9 an hour. No paid sick days. Less than half of current employees have ever moved up.


7. Buffalo Wild Wings

The lowest tipped wage is under $5 an hour. Non-tipped wages earn under $9 an hour. No paid sick days. Less than half of current employees have ever moved up.


8. Burger King

The lowest non-tipped wage is under $9 an hour. No paid sick days. Less than half of current employees have ever moved up.


9. California Pizza Kitchen

The lowest tipped wage is under $5 an hour. The lowest non-tipped wage is under $9 an hour. No paid sick days. Less than half of current employees have ever moved up.

More: 5 New Fast-Growing Careers That Pay Well

10. Captain D's Seafood Kitchen

Tipped wages are under $5 an hour. Non-tipped wages earn under $9 an hour. No paid sick days. Less than half of current employees have ever moved up.


11. The Cheesecake Factory

The lowest tipped wage is under $5 an hour. The lowest non-tipped wage is under $9 an hour. No paid sick days.


12. Chick-Fil-A

The lowest tipped wage is under $9 an hour. Less than half of current employees have ever moved up.


13. Chili's Grill & Bar

The lowest tipped wage is under $5 an hour. The lowest non-tipped wage is under $9 an hour. Less than half of current employees have ever moved up.


14. Chuck E. Cheese's

The lowest tipped wage is under $9 an hour. No paid sick days. Less than half of current employees have ever moved up.


15. Cold Stone Creamery

The lowest tipped wage is under $9 an hour. No paid sick days.

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16. Cracker Barrel

The lowest tipped wage is under $5 an hour. The lowest non-tipped wage is under $9 an hour. No paid sick days.


17. Dairy Queen

The lowest non-tipped wage is under $9 an hour.


18. Denny's

The lowest tipped wage is under $5 an hour. The lowest non-tipped wage is under $9 an hour. No paid sick days.


19. Domino's Pizza

The lowest tipped wage is under $5 an hour. The lowest non-tipped wage is under $9 an hour. No paid sick days.


20. Dunkin' Donuts

The lowest non-tipped wage is under $9 an hour. No paid sick days. Less than half of current employees have ever moved up.


21. Einstein Bros. Bagels

The lowest non-tipped wage is under $9 an hour. No paid sick days. Less than half of current employees have ever moved up.

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22. Friendly's

The lowest tipped wage is under $5 an hour. No paid sick days.


23. Hard Rock Cafe

The lowest tipped wage is under $5 an hour. The lowest non-tipped wage is under $9 an hour. No paid sick days.


24. Hooters
The lowest tipped wage is under $5 an hour. The lowest non-tipped wage is under $9 an hour. No paid sick days. Less than half of current employees have ever moved up.

25. Houlihan's

The lowest tipped wage is under $5 an hour. The lowest non-tipped wage is under $9 an hour. No paid sick days. Less than half of current employees have ever moved up.


26. IHOP Restaurants

The lowest tipped wage is under $5 an hour. The lowest non-tipped wage is under $9 an hour. No paid sick days.


27. Jack In The Box

The lowest tipped wage is under $9 an hour. No paid sick days.


28. KFC

The lowest non-tipped wage is under $9 an hour. No paid sick days. Less than half of current employees have ever moved up.

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29. Legal Sea Foods

The lowest non-tipped wage is under $9 an hour. No paid sick days. Less than half of current employees have ever moved up.


30. McDonald's

The lowest non-tipped wage is under $9 an hour. No paid sick days.


31. Outback Steakhouse

The lowest tipped wage is under $5 an hour. The lowest non-tipped wage is under $9 an hour. No paid sick days. Less than half of current employees have ever moved up.


32. Panda Express

The lowest non-tipped wage is under $9 an hour. No paid sick days. Less than half of current employees have ever moved up.


33. Panera Bread

The lowest non-tipped wage is under $9 an hour. No paid sick days.


34. Papa John's

The lowest non-tipped wage is under $9 an hour. No paid sick days. Less than half of current employees have ever moved up.

More: Would Overturning 'Obamacare' Create More Jobs?

35. Pizza Hut

The lowest non-tipped wage is under $9 an hour. No paid sick days. Less than half of current employees have ever moved up.


36. Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen

The lowest non-tipped wage is under $9 an hour. No paid sick days.


37. Quiznos

The lowest non-tipped wage is under $9 an hour. No paid sick days. Less than half of current employees have ever moved up.


38. Sonic

The lowest non-tipped wage is under $9 an hour. No paid sick days. Less than half of current employees have ever moved up.


39. Starbucks

The lowest non-tipped wage is under $9 an hour. No paid sick days.

More: 7 Part-Time Jobs That Pay Up To $40 An Hour

40. T.G.I. Friday's

The lowest tipped wage is under $5 an hour. The lowest non-tipped wage is under $9 an hour. No paid sick days. Less than half of current employees have ever moved up.


41. Taco Bell

The lowest non-tipped wage is under $9 an hour. No paid sick days. Less than half of current employees have ever moved up.


42. Waffle House

The lowest tipped wage is under $5 an hour. The lowest non-tipped wage is under $9 an hour. No paid sick days. Less than half of current employees have ever moved up.


43. Wendy's

The lowest non-tipped wage is under $9 an hour. No paid sick days. Less than half of current employees have ever moved up.




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Claire Gordon

Staff Writer

Claire Gordon has contributed to Slate's DoubleX, the Huffington Post, and the book Prisons: Current Controversies. While an undergraduate at Yale University and a research fellow at Yale graduate school, she spoke on panels at Yale and Cornell, and reported from Cairo, Tokyo, and Berlin.

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lisa

I would also like to point out that part time retail associates earn minimum wage, get no sick days and depending on where they work are expected to make almost impossible metrics. They work holidays, weekends, and really get treated pretty badly by not only members of management, but also by some of the customers.

June 27 2013 at 9:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Disgusted Pharmacist

OMG--they completely passed over the retail chain pharmacist! How dare they forget about us. Why if it weren't for the wonderful CEO's of those ever present chains throwing money at the pharmacy schools to increase expansion and turn out even more soon to be unemployed pharmacists in record numbers --where would be? I mean who doesn't want to stand for 12 to 16 hours all day long, on their feet, with no lunch or dinner break and of course do it all with no help. Talk about becoming proficient in multi-tasking! Why who doesn't want to have to answer the phone and take MD dictations, do order entry and checking at the same time as well as answer any prescription, medical or insurance questions in between administering any type of immunization you desire? Not to mention take your blood pressure or cholesterol at your request. Why we get to do it ALL while living in fear of being replaced by the newest graduates who are so desperate for work, thanks to the large loans they've accumulated, they will work for much less than you just to have your job. Ah yes--ONLY in America!

November 17 2012 at 7:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Disgusted Pharmacist's comment
denndority

Retail pharmacist over worked? Please. If you want to see the prettiest hands look at a any pharmacist.
Six figures a year to count pills. Now automation does that for them. Pharmacist is a soft job. Great wage, benefits and retirement.
Disgusted pharmacist do don't know what real work is. The workers on the other side of your elevated work area are the real workers. Minimum wage job, no benefits, Lifting and moving literally tons of merchandise a week.
An average pharmacist may get a paper cut opening a 3 pound box of pills.

January 31 2013 at 7:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Mike Fort

Very sad state of affairs here in the USA, with a lot of us still out of work, it's not the Presidents fault. It's the legislation that has been put in place by the founders of out sourcing jobs overseas....."Mr. Romney". they're the ones that are ruining America. I still want to know why he only paid 14 percent tax on all those investments he has? middle class pays more tax than he does. I still though believe there are Employer's out there that do care about the middle class. Middle class American's - we need to do our homework to find out which Senator's in Congress are in favor of out sourcing jobs and which are not, THEN, vote these people OUT OF OFFICE !!!!!!! The only way we get America up and running again is with job CREATION, NOT job EXPORTATION !!!!!!

October 22 2012 at 1:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Mike Fort

We're becoming the Country of extremely poor and extremely rich. No more in between middle of the road wage earners. So, you're either poor or rich, no more middle class.

October 22 2012 at 1:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
salsrook

Some of us have college degrees and don't make much more and don't have paid sick days, medical, dental, vision, or any other kind of benefits. I agree with Irish... this isn't exactly a big news story. Nor will it inspire anyone to do... anything about it. The rich will continue to be wealthy and the poorer folks will continue to be impoverished, while the middle class becomes one or the other. If I were a bettin' man, I'd say the middle class was headed for the poor side of the tracks, in all actuality. Good luck being wealthy these days, because someday, the lesser privileged will rise up against the status quo. Someday (fist shaking in air!)... ;o)

July 18 2012 at 5:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
CuthbertC

Oops, make that over 13 years ago - Herman Cain left the National Restaurant Association in 1999!

June 21 2012 at 12:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
CuthbertC

Um, Claire has her facts wrong about at least one thing in this piece. Herman Cain is no longer the head of the National Restaurant Assocation, he left over 5 years ago.

June 21 2012 at 12:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to CuthbertC's comment
Shane Michaels

Um, she specifies that 1991 as the year in which the National Restaurant Association lobbied for said wages under Herman Cain. Um.

July 18 2012 at 4:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
lilnomadic1

These are common wages, I worked at DisneyWorld and only made 7.25 ..

June 20 2012 at 10:52 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
pop_of_color

I'd say anyone who is a waiter or waitress and makes the average $2.13 per hour and relies on tips is one of the worst jobs. Yeah people, this is what your common sever makes.

June 20 2012 at 10:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
unosis

Fast-food companies don't change because they don't have to. They don't lobby government to pay employees a better living wage .What they lobby for, is to not to have to label the ingredients of your Super -deluxe on each of your styrafoam containers. When last I worked in this type of industry, From the seventies and later in the eighties. Most people were just doing their jobs. Most franchise owners could care less about their employees.But they do love the earnings of such an enterprise-all they care about is the bottom line that's it! No basketball- playing -supercar -racer promoter guy or doll and who might just own stock in such a venture mind you, has changed anything for the workers of this industry. Now they are international.Economies change all the time-why can't they?. Can you think of one fast-food chain that has, on it's own ,after earning billions of dollars of loot off a saturated populace like America, and billions and billions served, cannot do the innovative and profound business practice and offer healthcare
for it's dedicated employees? Is there one that offers childcare? Sure there are half way houses and such-think about it billions and billions...For the most part they have become synonymous with the American culture which means huge, huge! profits (especially in China. Funny the Good colonel's asian heritage just wasn't mentioned in that reel about his life we watched during the hiring process. But check out that logo-The american logo can now be seen from orbit,literally no foolin-brought to you by Virgin) For the most part ,all they seem to be good at is another combo meal deal. Which parents will buy because the kids will scream for it.
Lookit, not everyone wants to go to college,but perhaps they would like to be able to afford to send their children through.We talk so much about prestige of this or that and some of us live with that day to day-that's cool.But man we sure love to look down our noses at the people that serve us our food and empty our garbage-don't we. Where I live it's mostly young Hispanics working those jobs now and most are treated worse than we were on many levels-just within the rules of each state or city of course a lot of managers are good at that. We really think we are so superior because of our paycheck-don't we? This sort of lacksadaisical attitude, we as a populace, have adopted about this sort of industry, is part of the reason it hasn't evolved along with a few other industries I might add but won't. It's looked down upon except the commercials. In a lot of places, these are the only jobs available to a young populace. Sure they can learn responsibilty or it's a summer job-no biggie more power to 'em. In Texas throughout the school term (*that's high school- folks) we would be found working sometimes until 2 or 3 A.M. in the morning. I was absolutley floored when I learned later California had a law restricting businesses holding students age16 past 9PM during the school semester

June 20 2012 at 10:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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