Target: Phil Hickey, Chair of the National Restaurant Association
Goal: Encourage more restaurants to create an ambiance that overcomes social barriers.
Restaurants that design their menus and space to welcome all social classes not only tend to be extremely successful, but also help overcome socioeconomic segregation. All too often, however, restaurants target particular classes, giving rise to further segregation by socioeconomic status. As it is, rich and poor are already separated geographically, particularly in urban areas. Restaurant classicism divides people on a cultural level as well. Sign this petition to support restaurants that welcome members of all socioeconomic classes and that do not deliberately try to exclude certain members of society.
Often times, restaurants target a particular demographic: for example operations such as the Waffle House and Taco Bell target populations that have limited amounts of money to spend. By contrast “high end” restaurants have deliberately high prices, not only to turn a profit, but also to exclude certain classes of people from visiting and potentially interfering with the ambiance. While it is understandable that restaurants considering themselves high class desire to be exclusive, it sometimes comes at the cost of insulating the higher echelons of society from the world that they live in. Fostering this type of insulation can breed ignorance and an atmosphere that encourages more affluent people to forget about those who are struggling.
Dear Phil Hickey, Chair of the National Restaurant Association,
This letter wishes to encourage you to show more support for restaurants that welcome all members of society, without targeting one specific demographic. While restaurants of course are free to operate of their own prerogative, it is highly beneficial when they welcome all segments of society as opposed to one particular class. This allows members of all parts of society to see, acknowledge, and interact with one another. This builds a more complete and less insular vision of the world for everyone.
The issue of classicism in restaurants is oftentimes more a symptom of class division than a cause of it. However, there are some restaurants that go to extra lengths to intimidate individuals who are less educated from visiting. This can be accomplished by incorporating foreign words into the menu, or by referring to cooking techniques in unfamiliar terms to the common man. It would be beneficial to make restaurants aware of the subtle social implications that come with their menu decisions and marketing strategy.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: iweatherman via Flickr