How we serve is as important as what we serve here. We can not make our guests truly happy if it is being done at the expense of those who are cooking for you, serving you or pulling your produce out of the ground. We pledge to protect the Earth and promote sustainable growth in Austin with all our choices.
In Texas, it is legal to pay $2.13/hr to a tipped employee. This is not acceptable and Austin pays for it as tipped employees are disproportionately living below the poverty line and on various forms of government assistance. L’Oca d’Oro’s 20% hospitality charge guarantees all our employees atleast $15/hr (plus any tips), membership to a Direct Primary Care Clinic, subsidized mental health counseling and paid time off.
We believe that our employees are trained professionals and should be treated as such. When you come back in to L’Oca d’Oro, you should recognize the faces and we’ll remember you. That’s the experience a neighborhood Italian restaurant should provide and that’s who we are.
And, if providing your employees with the wages and benefits to live in our increasingly unaffordable city, you should also read how tipping originated in America during Reconstruction, a podcast relating the fascinating story of the anti-tipping movement in the early 20th century or contemporary studies of the links between tipping and sexual harassment. L’Oca d’Oro must be as hospitable to employees as it is guests and this is where we start.
With City Council, we championed Austin’s paid sick leave ordinance and fought for it at the State legislature. Through our work with Good Work Austin, a small business association that we co-founded to provide support and resources to local small business owners who want to implement progressive benefits for their employees to promote a more sustainable Austin, we have gotten to work with so many non-profits and city agencies to address Austin’s food insecurity.
L’Oca d’Oro couldn’t exist without it’s friends at AISD, for whom we prepared meals throughout the pandemic. We love the opportunity to work with the industrious culinary students from Clifton Career Development School and judging the middle school cooking competition is one of our favorite days of the year.
Independent restaurants need allies. This is a pillar of the Roadmap to the Post-Pandemic Food System. We are grateful to be part of a supportive Austin community that prioritizes success for all.
The farms are the heart of L’Oca d’Oro. If Farmshare and Milagro and Barton Springs Mill were not tending to their animals and crops with love, we would not have such beautiful products to celebrate in the simple, Italian way that Chef Fiore best expresses himself.
It is there that our ethic of non-exploitation starts. The best food comes from a healthy Earth where organic and sustainable agriculture are being practiced and where the folks who are working there are making a living wage in safe jobs that provide them with the kinds of benefits that all workers deserve. This is also one of the reasons that our menu is plant forward. Meat and corn production is hard on the planet and a principle cause of Climate Change. We take pride in our ability to use the freshest, local ingredients to put healthy and satisfying dishes in front of you that support green values. Some of our regular partners (Eden East, Hi Fi Mycology, Peeler Farms, Steelbow Farm) are available via CSA boxes or at the farmer’s market. Please support them even when you’re not at L’Oca d’Oro.