Colors opened in an area with little foot traffic and near New York University -- so it struggled to attract customers to its high-end restaurant.
When the high-end service that the Windows on the World employees were accustomed to changed to a casual dining atmosphere with less pay and fewer tips, workers left in droves.
Just as things began looking bleak, Colors got a new lease on life. The union stepped in, turning Colors into a training ground for future members, who receive a stipend for their training. Here, the students are learning how to prepare the perfect cup of espresso.
The union pays Colors for use of its space and the trainees complete their studies by serving lunch – a meal not initially part of Colors’ business scheme. Here, students are discussing the differences in types of tea in this class devoted to front-of-house duties that include waiting tables, greeting guests.
Juan Carlos Ruiz helps orchestrate outreach for the training programs for the Restaurant Opportunities Center.
The restaurant was open by former workers of Windows of the World.