Racism In Restaurants Discrimination Has Long Been Essay

Length: 3 pages Subject: Race Type: Essay Paper: #5455610 Related Topics: Racial Discrimination, Discrimination, Race And Ethnicity, Jewish Studies
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Racism in Restaurants

Discrimination has long been an issue when it comes to people and immigration. Whether immigrants came of their own free will or were brought in through slave ships, intermingling of races and ethnicities have led to hard struggles. Although some may say racism is not as troubling or as severe as it was in earlier times, it is still manifests in subtle ways throughout society. For instance, the service industry has shown through several studies that racism exists and can influence the behavior and comments of wait staff and servers. This may come as a consequence of expectation, as servers anticipate non-white people, especially blacks, tip poorly, or it could be the negative stereotypes often attributed to non-white races like anger, rudeness, and frugality. Needless to say, most of what servers anticipate of their non-white customers is baseless (and especially as it pertains to race and ethnicity, wrong).

Understanding discrimination in the service industry is a daunting task. Little

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Furthermore, the research that exists is inconclusive or outdated. Regardless, Bewster's study explains the need for continuing research as findings are frequently not enough to form a logical conclusion and answer on whether or not true racism exists in restaurants and other areas within the service industry. "Taken as a whole, findings suggest that while a statistical discrimination framework toward understanding variability in servers' discriminatory behaviors should not be disregarded, the framework's explanatory utility is limited" (Brewster, 2011, p. 3). What Brewster is trying to say is, the framework in which one can understand the reasons behind such behavior is absent as there is no real information out there that can truly explain this phenomenon aside from the way people feel and their preconceived notions.

Brewster further explains by stating the inferences of the servers do not provide enough context nor clarity to clearly examine and comprehend the reasons behind the inappropriate attitudes or behaviors. "Servers' inferences about the potential profitability of waiting on customers across racial groups explain little of the overall variation in subjects' self-reported discriminatory behaviors, thus suggesting that other factors not explored in this research are clearly operating" (Brewster, 2011, p. 3). Some factors could be related to economic expectancies; often people assume blacks and other minorities like Hispanics are perceived as having less money than their white counterparts and would consequently leave a smaller tip. Other factors…

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Often servers assume the worst in people because they are faced with daily interaction. This daily interaction fuels preconceived stereotypes and then the behavior the servers create often perpetuate their own negative beliefs. "Findings reveal substantial server negativity toward African-Americans' tipping and dining behaviors. Racialized discourse and discriminatory behaviors are also shown to be quite common in the restaurant context" (Brewster & Rusche, 2012, p. 359). As many will notice, the media depicts blacks as being angry, negative, and lacking capital. Obviously most black people are not like this and should be respected like everyone else, but there is a larger bias towards treating blacks poorly in restaurants than any other race and ethnicity other than simply lower tips. Additional studies reveal some of the potential reasons why servers may behave poorly when it comes to waiting on black patrons and customers.

Among the negative behaviors is the lack of desire servers have to wait on black parties. "Among other things, servers attempt to negotiate with other white employees to avoid having black parties seated in their sections and actively try to trade off such "undesirable" parties" (Dirks & Rice, 2004, p.30). The logic behind the servers' actions in regards to tipping is self-perpetuating because the servers avoid black customers since they expect poor tips. So the question is whether or not black customers/patrons tip lower on average than whites and non-blacks because of the way they are treated. Thus the relationship based on stereotypes might led to behaviors that perpetuate the actual stereotype itself in a dynamic fashion by wait staff providing inferior service and dissatisfying the black customers.

The study continues stating the results provide signs of racial tipping differences that should be viewed carefully in the service background in which they perpetuate and that the service industry, in particular restaurants, should take distinctive care to guarantee that when waiting staff serves black Americans, they should deliver service that validates a good tip. People are all


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