Feeling like Thai tonight? More in the mood for Italian? Perhaps you’re craving gender equality in the food industry? This March, you can have all three, thanks to a Women’s History Month-timed program from a popular online food delivery service.
Using an interactive map, the platform’s customers can easily locate and select dining establishments run by women. (Pizzeria Paradiso, Lebanese Taverna and Soupergirl are just a few of the participating restaurants that populate the map in the D.C. area. Women-run franchises are also included.)
Grubhub diners can also choose to round up the total on their order to the nearest dollar and “donate the change” to benefit the James Beard Foundation’s Women’s Leadership Programs.
“We have just over 450,000 orders per day, so you can imagine that even a little bit of change can add up really quickly on our platform,” said Natalie Gerke, a trends expert at Grubhub, which works with more than 105,000 restaurant partners and reaches more than 17 million diners nationwide.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, women make up 20 percent of chefs and head cooks in the restaurant industry and earn significantly less than their male counterparts. Recent criticism also points out that female chefs are more likely to be overlooked in food media and in national and international awards.
These facts, coupled with a handful of high-profile harassment allegations that came to light in the #MeToo movement, have placed more of an emphasis of supporting women who work in the kitchen. The 2018 James Beard Awards had the most female nominees ever; the list of 2019 semifinalists showed a similar pattern.
“People are excited to celebrate women in the industry and excited to celebrate especially the women in their communities and support their local restaurants nearby,” Gerke said.
As part of the RestaurantHER initiative, Grubhub also partnered with Women Chefs and Restaurateurs to develop a tool kit for aspiring female chefs and food professionals.