The Waitress Workforce

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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"

"Living on $2.13 an hour, plus tips"

"The Minimum Wage Loophole That's Screwing Over Waiters and Waitresses"

"Black Restaurant Servers Get Smaller Tips"

"How diner waitress uniforms have evolved from scandalous bloomers to gingham dresses"

"How the West was won ... by waitresses"

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.

"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.

"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.

"Relationships with waitresses: Gendered social distance in restaurant hierarchies." Eleanor LaPointe. Qualitative Sociology. Vol. 15, Iss. 4. Pages 377-393. December 1992.

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

"It is part of the job: Waitresses and nurses define sexual harassment." Lisa C. Huebner. Sociological Viewpoints. Fall 2008.

"Appetite for America: Fred Harvey and the Business of Civilizing the Wild West -- One Meal at a Time." Stephen Fried. Mary 2011.

"Waitress Strikes." Dorothy Sue Cobble. The Encyclopedia of Strikes in American History. January 2015.

"Dishing It Out: Waitresses and Their Unions in the Twentieth Century." Dorothy Sue Cobble. 1991.

"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, waitresses