‘That could have been my mom, my auntie’: Lien Ta after the Atlanta shootings

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As indoor dining restarts, restaurateur Lien Ta reflects on growing up in the service industry and answers questions about the value of labor. Photo by Joyce Kim.

Lien Ta, the restaurateur behind All Day Baby and co-founder of Regarding Her, grew up in nail salons operated by her mother, who worked for tips. In the wake of the Atlanta shootings that killed six Asian women, Ta responded with the realization, “That could have been my mom, my auntie.” Decades later, as a small business owner herself, she grapples with questions such as “How do we change the hospitality industry so workers are valued?” and “Will we ever get rid of tipping?”