Last week on Good Works Chicago, Greg Christian of Beyond Green, joined us to talk about pay, benefits and working conditions at his company. Beyond Green provides food services for schools without kitchens and provides consulting to schools looking to offer healthier food to students. Beyond Green is a certified B-Corporation, which means their company strives to help the environment and community.
Greg works to make sure Beyond Green prioritizes serving local, organic and hormone-free food. The challenge, he says, is to serve real food that kids like. Greg said that the key is to make healthy food tasty. Greg has been cooking for 34 years, mostly as a chef. At one point he aspired to work a high-end job, but his perspective changed when his child became ill. He learned about the health benefits of organic foods, and he saw how much that improved his child’s life. Now, his philosophy now is to serve the world by serving food. Greg started his work 11 years ago in Chicago Public Schools. He now works with private schools, but hopes to shift back to working with public schools because he knows it is essential for all children to eat well.
Beyond Green tries to do right by its employees. Many food service companies are often shortsighted in externalized costs, and squeeze out their workers. Greg says he's found that when workers are treated well and are happy at work, they stick around and provide better and more consistent work. Beyond Green runs a sustainable kitchen and employes a small diverse staff. Greg views his employees as his family and makes sure to pay them all above minimum wage. He remarked he would have no problem with mandated raise in the minimum wage, because he thinks it is important to pay workers well, especially in the food industry. In the future, Greg hopes to provide health insurance for his employees as an added benefit.
If you believe you are a not being treated fairly by your employer or are a victim of wage theft and are being paid unfairly, please call IWJ's Wage Theft Legal Clinic at (773) 998-1320. The hotline is open on Mondays from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. The Wage Theft Clinic is located at 19 W. Jackson Blvd. at the John Marshall Law School. All messages will be answered within 24 hours.