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Only 33 percent of restaurant majority owners are women

Posted at 6:32 PM, Mar 01, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-01 20:23:57-05

There's a big gender gap in the restaurant industry. Only 33 percent of restaurants are majority owned by women.

Food delivery service GrubHub wants to bring awareness to that issue throughout the month of March. Their main push for this, it's Women's History Month. 

GrubHub crunched the numbers and put together a national list together, totaling more than 23,000  women led restaurants, meaning the owner, co-owner, or chef is a woman. The company is encouraging its customers pay money to these establishments in an initiative is called RestaurantHer.  

In return for buying from these restaurants, GrubHub will contribute $1 up to $1 million for every pledge to dine in or order from those restaurants. The first $100,000 will be contributed to the Women Chefs & Restaurateurs organization to advance women in the culinary industry. 

Part of the list is Milwaukee's own Urban Beets Cafe & Juicery. Urban Beets is one of more than 80,000 restaurants on GrubHub, here in Southeast Wisconsin, it's one of 150 women-led businesses.  

Dawn Balistreri is co-owner of Urban Beets and has been running the cafe with her General Manager Nicole Cornejo for almost two years. The vegan restaurant is constantly gaining new customers and plans to open another location this spring. 

According to Grubhub's Jessica Burn's in the restaurant industry women only make up about 20 percent of chefs, head chef only 7 percent. 

Hearing this Urban Beets regular Tiffany Campbell agrees this is a problem we need to fix. 

"I think the culinary arts is definitely something that women should strive to go and grow into. So that they can have their own businesses," said Campbell. 

However, neither Balistreri or Cornejo believe there's a major gender gap in the food industry. 

"I feel like if, it shouldn't stop a woman. Anybody can open any business they want," said Balistreri. 

"We're both here because we're passionate about plant-based eating and spreading that message," said Cornejo.

First-time customer Andy Schneider likes the energy of Urban Beets Cafe & Juicery. He thinks combining the importance of history with the lack of representation in the restaurant industry, ends up bringing a positive message about small businesses to light. 

Click here for the link to the women-led restaurants.  GrubHub also says you can add businesses that may be missing.