ROC Michigan is located at 311 E. Grand River Ave, Detroit, MI. 48226
Phone: 313-962-5020

Who We Are



Founded in June 2008 and based in Detroit, the Restaurant Opportunities Center of Michigan (ROC-MI), is an affiliate of Restaurant Opportunities Centers United. Our mission is to improve working conditions and opportunities for advancement of Michigan restaurant workers.

ROC-MI uses a unique, tri-pronged model to achieve systems-change that includes: (1) workplace justice campaigns to move restaurant companies that take the low-road to profitability; (2) promoting the high-road to profitability through partnerships with responsible employers and workforce development programs that move low-income workers into living wage jobs; and (3) participatory research and policy work that lift standards industry-wide.

We have over 1,600 low-wage restaurant worker members, with the majority of our low-income membership base living in Detroit.  ROC-MI operates COLORS Detroit Restaurant (a non-profit social enterprise) which houses the Colors Hospitality Opportunities for Workers (CHOW) Institute and the Colors Co-Op Academy.  ROC-MI also convenes the local tables for Restaurants Advancing Industry Standards of Employment (RAISE) and Diners United (a group of ethical diners).

The "High Road"

Taking the High Road to Profitability is an ethical, pragmatic and, we believe, profitable approach to doing business that benefits employers, employees, consumers and the community.
ROC promotes sustainable best practices that positively impact industry employees’ wages and working conditions to the benefit of all by promoting the High Road to Profitability

Gain Insights through Recommended Reading:

Author Undercover?

Check out our Founder Saru Jayaraman's investigative look into common restaurant practices via this video.
Then Subscribe to the ROC-United YouTube Page to keep up with all of our Videos!

Get the NEW BOOK



"Paints a grim picture of the food business today: Millions of service industry employees live in poverty, most big restaurants are not great employers, and many still pay servers $2.13 an hour, the federal minimum for workers who receive tips. But the book also makes the case that restaurants can survive and even prosper while paying workers well and offering them generous benefits."
"Well researched. Jayaraman investigates the employment practices of a wide range of restaurants, from fine dining establishments to fast-food chains; the issue that riles her most is the federal minimum wage for tipped workers."

Previous Titles:

Check Out this Critically Acclaimed offering:

Watch the Promo Trailer Above to get a preview of what the book is all about!


"For all its talk of organic foods and sustainability, the restaurant industry pays little mind to the health and welfare of its own low-wage employees. In this persuasive volume, Jayaraman draws attention to servers, bussers, runners, cooks, and dishwashers across the country 'struggling to support themselves and their families under the shockingly exploitative conditions that exist behind most restaurant kitchen doors.' . . . Jayaraman champions employee causes and argues fervently against discrimination, giving restaurant owners, diners, and readers considerable food for thought."

Publishers Weekly - (11 February 2013)
"The author reveals . . . [how] many restaurants steal workers' wages and tips, and put white workers in the best jobs out front while assigning those of color to the worst kitchen work. Women are harassed and not promoted. Few food workers have insurance or even sick leave, which is a problem not just for the workers; patrons also suffer when ill workers prepare and serve meals. . . . This book will leave readers angry at the injustices detailed within, queasy about eating out, and much better tippers."

Library Journal - (15 February 2013)
"With Behind the Kitchen Door, Saru Jayaraman has introduced a fresh and essential perspective on our culture's food obsessions and dining habits.  By highlighting the lives and circumstances of workers who are often unseen and unheard, she has helped us see that labor is a key ingredient of authentic sustainability, and greatly enriched our understanding of those people who have―whether we have recognized it or not―been part of some of the most important celebrations of our lives."

Danny Glover - Actor, Producer, and Co-Founder of Louverture Films

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