Is Gender Bias on the Menu?

Is Gender Bias on the Menu?

Food & Drink

Is Gender Bias on the Menu?


By Cari Martens

Is there gender bias on the menu at your favorite restaurant? Very possibly – and, just as possibly, you’ll be OK with it. According to research reported in The New York Times, men and women approach eating out in different ways. And, the restaurants are working hard to balance equality with quality.

Think about your own experiences. Are you a female who usually picks up the check, or do you like traditional behaviors? Are you a man who eats more and therefore tends to leave a proportionally larger tip? Are you a server who just wants someone to tell him/her who wants what? The article points out, “They’ve learned that ignoring gender is risky, and often foolish, because men and women approach and respond to restaurants in different ways, looking for different things.” Restaurateurs have to make sure that their staff are balancing more than trays of food here, folks! As a result, they are using new training techniques and even software programs to help servers get it right.

According to the research, women want comfort; men want a hearty greeting and a quick meal, but in each case no assumptions should be made. It’s a world in which all of the traditional habits are topsy turvy, so even if you are a fan of equal treatment, give your server a clue now and then. In many cases, they know what women (and men) want, and you can happily let them treat you according to your gender. At least a little.

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