The Nation’s Worst Restaurant Chains to Work For

<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/manthatcooks/52414321/sizes/m/in/photostream/">manthatcooks</a>/Flickr

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Last December, a group called Restaurant Opportunities Centers United came out with a new kind of restaurant guide—one that ranks eateries not on the deliciousness of their food, but the way they treat their workers. It was about damned time, because restaurant employees form a vast part of our nation’s workforce, and they largely get treated like dirt. We welcomed it here at Mother Jones—Jaeah Lee mashed up its findings with quality rankings from Zagat and Yelp, and I weighed in with anecdotes from my own youthful stint as a line cook.

Now the ROC guide is back, updated, and freshly heralded by Mark Bittman. (Hat tip, Gawker’s Hamilton Nolan.) For a broader look at conditions face by the workers who feed us—the people who work in restaurants, farms, slaughterhouses, supermarkets, etc—see this post from Mother Jones‘ Maddie Oatman on an important new study.

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WE CAME UP SHORT.

We just wrapped up a shorter-than-normal, urgent-as-ever fundraising drive and we came up about $45,000 short of our $300,000 goal.

That means we're going to have upwards of $350,000, maybe more, to raise in online donations between now and June 30, when our fiscal year ends and we have to get to break-even. And even though there's zero cushion to miss the mark, we won't be all that in your face about our fundraising again until June.

So we urgently need this specific ask, what you're reading right now, to start bringing in more donations than it ever has. The reality, for these next few months and next few years, is that we have to start finding ways to grow our online supporter base in a big way—and we're optimistic we can keep making real headway by being real with you about this.

Because the bottom line: Corporations and powerful people with deep pockets will never sustain the type of journalism Mother Jones exists to do. The only investors who won’t let independent, investigative journalism down are the people who actually care about its future—you.

And we hope you might consider pitching in before moving on to whatever it is you're about to do next. We really need to see if we'll be able to raise more with this real estate on a daily basis than we have been, so we're hoping to see a promising start.

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