In response to the sexual harassment that is rampant in the hospitality industry, a group of bartenders in Dallas is working together to formulate a plan to address the issue.
The Dallas chapter of the United States Bartenders Guild gathered in Deep Ellum on Tuesday to “start a conversation” on harassment in the industry, according to Fox 4. The organization teamed up with Dallas Area Rape Crisis Center co-founder Monica Urbaniak to train bartenders on recognizing sexual harassment and how to handle it, along with discussions on how to intervene when a bartender sees harassment from a patron or fellow employee.
As Urbaniak noted during the meeting, which was also live-streamed on Facebook, the fact that restaurant industry employees receive a significant portion of their wages from tips makes it more difficult for bartenders and servers to address harassment when it occurs. “People in the service industry can because of the way the pay structure is and because customers are actually paying for the services,” Urbaniak said. “So they’re actually ‘the boss’ of the staff person. They can be at greater risk.”
Sexual harassment has been the biggest topic in the restaurant industry over the past year. With the rise of the #MeToo movement and high-profile chefs being accused of misconduct across the country, it’s not surprising that local bartenders are looking for ways to address the issue collectively.
USBG Dallas president Naomi Ayala tells Eater that the group doesn’t have any future trainings on the schedule at present, but that they will consider adding sessions to the schedule after reviewing the success of this initial meeting. In the meantime, the organization has encouraged anyone who is experiencing sexual harassment at work or needs resources on how to intervene to contact the group through its Facebook page.