The Daily Rail: Anthony Bourdain Speaks Out on Sexual Harassment

Monday, October 30, 2017


Today's Specials: 


TECH: The Truth of Why Restaurants Need Digital Signage

We know they can be a pain, but restaurant digital signage is a restaurant operators best friend when it comes to informing and entertaining guests.




The Worst Year for Retail Yet

The explosive boom in online shopping has caused the retail industry to deplete this year. 2017 has just set the record for the most retail store closings with more than 6,700 stores going out of business. Retail chains including Sears, JCPenney, Gap, Banana Republic, Michael Kors, and many others are some of the names struggling to keep their doors open. 


Coffee with a Side of Grime

A study by Men’s Health found that Starbucks’s door handles are the second-dirtiest surface in New York City. Number one was communal Citi Bike handles testing positive for the most germ-ridden surface as it was 45 times germier than handlebars on subway trains. Do you know the five grimiest places inside restaurants?


Arkansas = Waldo

Halloween is tomorrow and restaurants are preparing accordingly. Thrillist is here to help with costumes choices on their list of the perfect Halloween costumes for every state. What’s your states costume?



Why it matters to you: Is Anthony Bourdain the leader our industry needs to combat sexual harassment?

Did you know that Anthony Bourdain’s girlfriend, Italian actress Asia Argento, has claimed she was raped by Harvey Weinstein? Well, neither did Bourdain until all these allegations became public. To say that he has an opinion is a typical understatement of this outspoken chef’s willingness to weigh-in on the issues of the day.

In a recent interview, he said, “I mean, look, obviously I’ve been seeing up close—due to a personal relationship—the difficulty of speaking out about these things, and the kind of vilification and humiliation and risk and pain and terror that come with speaking out about this kind of thing. That certainly brought it home in a personal way that, to my discredit, it might not have before.”

Baldly put, our industry needs to address these issues of harassment, coercion along with the uneven power dynamic…and we need to do it now. What we don’t want is more regulation that attempts to control our business practices. “Houston, we have a problem” as Bourdain’s comments, on his book Kitchen Confidential, explain, “I’ve had to ask myself, ‘To what extent in that book did I provide validation to meatheads?’” It’s time you asked yourself, am I facilitating this behavior? What is the damage, if I am? What can I do to address it?

The sooner we all acknowledge the problem, the faster we can attempt to improve the circumstances in which over half of our employees work.



Why it matters to you: Isn’t the labor market tough enough without cutting out over 50% of the population?

The news for restaurants is pretty much all bad when it comes to the explosion of sexual harassment claims. To be sure, Chef John Besh won’t be the last executive called out for fostering an environment that is hostile to anyone not male, and it’s high time we saw this for the stupidity it really is! We have all see the impact of dropping unemployment and rising wages on operations. Does it make sense to create an atmosphere in our kitchens that makes more than half the labor pool uncomfortable?

Our business has always been a meritocracy. Isn’t that how so many chefs, with no formal culinary training, have become successful? If you can read this story from Eater on the experience of women and LGTBQ folks in restaurants and not be frustrated by the total lack of humanity, then at least see it for the reminder it is -- we don’t have enough qualified candidates for any position to make it harder to recruit, train and retain over 50% of the population. If that self-interest doesn’t force you to re-examine the environment in your place, then likely nothing will.