Young African American lady sitting in restaurant with cup of coffee in hand and thoughtfully looking at menu.Pretty girl in white shirt drinking coffee in cafe.Portrait of lady with dark curly hair
The Alarming Fine-Dining Practice Of 'Women's Menus'
By Angel Albring
The 1980s were a time of political uncertainty and upheaval, with women entering the workforce in higher numbers than ever before and setting off a chain of social developments to put women on equal footing as their male counterparts. One of those changes happened in a small restaurant over a small menu, but it had some big players involved.
Some fine-dining restaurants in the 1980s used women's menus that didn’t include the prices of meals under the assumption that the male was paying for the meal. This, of course, led to issues since women were earning more than ever and ready to spend like never before.
In 1980, Kathleen Bick and her business partner Larry Becker sued a small restaurant for discrimination after only Becker received a menu with prices on it. They hired well-known discrimination lawyer Gloria Allred to represent them, and while the lawsuit was eventually dropped, the restaurant did agree to put an end to the practice of women's menus.
Today, women's menus are a thing of the past in the U.S., but in 2019 a famed restaurant in Peru was sued for engaging in the practice. So, while it may be rarer, the practice is still in place in some high-end, expensive restaurants worldwide.