Cover Photo: photograph of a young woman working behind the counter at a restaurant
Photograph by Patrick Tomasso/Unsplash

“Just a Waitress”: On Abuse Faced by Women of Color in the Restaurant Industry

Abuse and harassment within the restaurant industry is very much intertwined with other forms of racial and economic oppression and violence.

This is Exit Interviews, a new column by Nadia Owusu on the experiences of women of color in the workplace.

The New York Times 

Harvard Business Review

bottle service girl

The New York Times

Seeking attractive hostesses. Seeking elegant cocktail waitresses.We like girls with a funky fashion sense. Look expensive. Red lips are encouraged.

NADIA OWUSU is a Ghanaian and Armenian-American writer and urbanist. Her first book, Aftershocks, topped many best book of the year lists, including  Vulture, TIME, Esquire, and the BBC. It was a New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice.

Nadia is the recipient of a 2019 Whiting Award. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in The New York Times,  The Guardian, The Wall Street Journal, Slate, Bon Appétit, Travel + Leisure, and others.

She is Director of Storytelling at Frontline Solutions, a Black-owned consulting firm working with social change organizations.  She  lives in Brooklyn.