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Welcome!

Where’s My Food?! is a new documentary film that serves up the surprising truth about waiters and waitresses, the powerful restaurant industry, and the real reasons we tip.

Now Available

You can rent or own "Where's My Food?!" online, or you can own the documentary on DVD.

Expert Insight

Featured experts in the film include Cornell University’s Michael Lynn, Ph.D., who describes how tipping works from psychological and socioeconomic perspectives.

Back of the House

Executive chef Michael Shafer shows how he (sometimes eccentrically) runs the restaurants he owns with an iron fist and a soft heart.

Your Motivations

Surprising revelations about what motivates restaurant customers to leave a tip. (Hint: The quality of the service you received accounts for only a small part.)

Same Since 1996

Americans spend half of their food dollars eating in restaurants, which fuels the industry’s ability to lobby lawmakers through the National Restaurant Association, sometimes referred to as ‘the other NRA.’ In 1996 the NRA successfully convinced Congress to keep the federal minimum wage for tipped workers at $2.13 per hour. It’s been that low ever since.

On the Big Screen

The documentary "Where's My Food?!" recently premiered at a theater in Long Beach, California.

A Powerful Lobby

The NRA doesn't only support laws that favor highly profitable restaurant chains, they also WRITE those laws. Do those laws protect the rights or the health of the one-in-ten Americans who work in the restaurant industry? No.

Personal Stories

For many waiters and waitresses, this is their career and they love what they do. One of the nine restaurant workers featured in the film is a single mom raising four children on waitress wages. Another is a champion mixed martial arts fighter who’s also a waiter at BJ’s Restaurant. One waitress has worked at the same diner for over twenty years. Another waiter lives in his car, but arrives at work every day looking clean and energetic.

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Serving Up the Surprising Truth About Waiters and Waitresses
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Serving Up the Surprising Truth About Waiters and Waitresses

Where’s My Food?! is a new documentary that serves up the surprising truth about waiters and waitresses.

One-in-ten Americans currently work in food service. We spend half of our food dollars ($660 billion per year) in restaurants. Fifty years ago we spent only 20% of our food budget eating out. That kind of revenue empowered the National Restaurant Association (a.k.a. "the other NRA") to successfully lobby Congress in 1996 to keep the federal minimum wage for tipped workers at $2.13/hour. It's been that low ever since.

Viewers of Where’s My Food?! are introduced to nine food servers who represent a diverse mix of ages, backgrounds and incomes. The film highlights their often-hidden struggles with the NRA, poverty-level wages, discrimination, substance addictions, and serious health issues that impact coworkers and customers. 

Frequent restaurant customers candidly admit how they sometimes “punish” servers by leaving very low tips. However these same customers show little awareness of how waiters and waitresses actually earn their living. Where’s My Food?! takes viewers behind the scenes into the "back of the house," where chefs and cooks rule.

Academic and industry experts explain how tipping works from psychological and socioeconomic perspectives, how one executive chef runs his restaurants with an iron fist and a soft heart, and how consumers can drive positive change through awareness and political action.

premiere photoWe recently held the big-screen premiere of "Where's My Food?!" at the LBPL Theater. It was an amazing evening! You can see photos of the premiere here.

This new documentary is now available to rent or own (online or on DVD) by clicking here.

 

 

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