Downtown Madison Restaurant
Employment Standards Guide

In 2012 The Workers’ Rights Center (WRC) started a project in partnership with The Interfaith Coalition for Worker Justice (ICWJ) focused on working conditions in central Madison restaurants.  We have produced a guide to central Madison restaurants that informs customers and workers about the wages, benefits and working conditions for people who cook, prepare, and serve food.

The guide highlights employers who are going the extra mile to provide good quality, family supporting jobs in our community.  It makes it easy for customers and workers to be able to compare and contrast the various restaurants in downtown Madison.  The 2012 guide was our first attempt at producing an employment standards guide.  We are now on our fourth edition of the JUST DINING GUIDE and have made many improvements.  We have also produced a short list in English and Spanish which is available below.  There is an iPhone App available for free download at the iTunes Store, look for ‘Just Dining’.  We hope you find it useful.  Please let us know, we value feedback and suggestions!

In this guide, we rate restaurants based on various criteria concerning wages, benefits, and working conditions which help inform the community of how restaurants treat their employees. We want to recognize those restaurants that go above and beyond minimum labor standards, and also encourage sub-standard employers to improve.

We recognize that the restaurant industry is challenging and competitive. To those businesses that provide good jobs we say “You have built up a good business and you should be rightfully proud of your high standards and positive impact on the community.  Don’t keep this a secret.  Let the community know that not only are you preparing wonderful food, but also providing good jobs!”

Just Dining Guide cover 2016 DOWNLOAD OR ORDER THE GUIDE (New Edition available beginning December 15, 2015).

 To view the 2016 Just Dining guide (English) click Just_Dining_Guide_Online
To view or download a condensed list of the 2016 Just Dining guide (English) click JUST DINING LIST
To view or download a condensed list of the 2016 Just Dining guide (Spanish) click HERE
To view last year’s  Just Dining guide (English 2015) , click JUST DINING GUIDE Online Final 2014-15
To get a condensed list of the 2014-2015 Just Dining Guide, click JUST DINING 2014-2015 LIST
To get a condensed list in Spanish, click spanishJUST DINING GUIDE Final Print 2013-2014 (1).

To order copies of the guide, clickJust Dining Guide Order Form 4th edition.

If you are a restaurant worker and you want to participate in the survey call 608-255-0376 or take a minute to participate in the confidential JUST DINING SURVEY by clicking HERE.

Si Usted trabaja en un restaurante en el centro de Madison, por favor tome un momento para participar en esta encuesta en línea confidencial AQUI.

We distributed information about the Just Dining project throughout central Madison.  We used a variety of methods to gather information about employment standards from both employees and employers.  Employee information came from in-person surveys conducted throughout central Madison.

For the Updated guide, we started with the information from 2014, then did outreach to workers and employers to identify any changes.  We also contacted new establishments to add them to the list.  Workers were given the option of completing an online survey in either English or Spanish.  In addition, we monitored employment advertisements for information pertaining to wages and benefits offered at the targeted establishments.

Hundreds surveys from restaurant employees were completed, representing 228 restaurants in the target area.  Employers were mailed equivalent surveys.  These mailings were followed up with a visit or phone call or both.  In an effort to clarify and verify the accuracy of both sets of our survey data, employers were also sent a draft of the information to be published.  We received surveys and/or corrections from 104 employers.  For more details on what information was included see the information about protocols below.

To view the employee survey click 2013 Survey Downtown Madison Restaurant Employment Standards- ENGLISH

To view the employer survey click 2013 employer restaurant survey.

For the protocol used for determining what information was included, click HERE.