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The Waitress Workforce


Blend Images - Hill Street Studios/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images
Blend Images - Hill Street Studios/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images

Waitresses are a cornerstone, though often underappreciated and underpaid, of the food industry. Cristen and Caroline serve up a history of this female-dominated service sector and why gender is always on the menu.

Episode Sources:

"Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2014" http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes353031.htm

"Living on $2.13 an hour, plus tips" http://money.cnn.com/2014/05/05/news/economy/tipped-worker-minimum-wage/

"The Minimum Wage Loophole That's Screwing Over Waiters and Waitresses" http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/05/minimum-wage-tip-map-waiters-waitresses-servers

"Black Restaurant Servers Get Smaller Tips" http://www.psmag.com/business-economics/racism-black-restaurant-waiters-service-industry-servers-get-smaller-tips-90121

"How diner waitress uniforms have evolved from scandalous bloomers to gingham dresses" http://www.eater.com/2015/1/30/7934459/the-history-of-diner-waitress-uniforms

"How the West was won ... by waitresses" http://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/how-the-west-was-won-by-waitresses-7575782/?no-ist

Academic Insights:

"Beauty and the Feast: Examining the Effect of Beauty on Earnings Using Restaurant Tipping Data." Matt Parrett. Journal of Economic Psychology. Vol. 49. Pages 34-46. August 2015. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S016748701500046X

"Waitresses' facial cosmetics and tipping: A field experiment." Celine Jacob et al. International Journal of Hospitality Management. Vol. 29, Iss. 1. Pages 188-190. March 2010. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0278431909000619

"Lipstick and tipping behavior: When red lipstick enhance waitresses' tips." Nicolas Gueguen and Celine Jacob. International Journal of Hospitality Management. Vol. 31, Iss. 4. Pages 1333-1335. December 2012. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0278431912000497

"Relationships with waitresses: Gendered social distance in restaurant hierarchies." Eleanor LaPointe. Qualitative Sociology. Vol. 15, Iss. 4. Pages 377-393. December 1992. http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2FBF00989847

"Smiling, deferring and flirting: Doing gender by giving 'good service.'" Elaine J. Hall. Work & Occupations. Vol. 20, No. 4. Pages 452-471. November 1993. http://wox.sagepub.com/content/20/4/452.short

"It is part of the job: Waitresses and nurses define sexual harassment." Lisa C. Huebner. Sociological Viewpoints. Fall 2008. http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.475.6841&rep=rep1&type=pd

"Appetite for America: Fred Harvey and the Business of Civilizing the Wild West -- One Meal at a Time." Stephen Fried. Mary 2011. http://www.amazon.com/Appetite-America-Business-Civilizing-West-One/dp/0553383485

"Waitress Strikes." Dorothy Sue Cobble. The Encyclopedia of Strikes in American History. January 2015. https://books.google.com/books?id=2mxsBgAAQBAJ&dq=waitresses+history&source=gbs_navlinks_s

"Dishing It Out: Waitresses and Their Unions in the Twentieth Century." Dorothy Sue Cobble. 1991. https://books.google.com/books?id=I9QSkzgZMEoC&dq=waitresses+history&source=gbs_navlinks_s

"Organizing the Postindustrial Work Force: Lessons from the History of the Waitress Unionism." Dorothy Sue Cobble. Industrial and Labor Relations Review. Vol. 44, No. 3. April 1991.

Topics in this Podcast: gender, history, women in the workplace, culture


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