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This Secret Menu Reveals the Hidden Human Costs of the Food on Your Table


Migrant Workers Alliance for Change gathers over 700 petition signatures using a secret QR menu created by Sid Lee

This Secret Menu Reveals the Hidden Human Costs of the Food on Your Table

Made to resemble a regular restaurant QR code menu, Migrant Workers Alliance for Change (MWAC) created The Secret Menu in collaboration with creative agency Sid Lee, unveiling the exploitative working conditions faced by Canada’s migrant agricultural workers. These QR code menus were covertly installed in various popular restaurants, bars, and other eateries in Toronto and Ottawa, in a guerilla marketing stunt.

“Most of the food we eat every day comes from the backbreaking labour of migrants, this is the secret behind all our menus,” says Syed Hussan, executive director, Migrant Workers Alliance for Change. “With this collaboration, Sid Lee helped us convey the issue to new people by garnering media attention.”

MWAC aims to not only inform the public but also to support migrant organizing so that migrants can themselves fight for full permanent resident status for migrant agricultural workers.

Launched in February, the mysterious QR menus brought viewers to a menu page that introduced the hidden human cost behind each food and beverage item, and helped gather over 700 petition signatures. The campaign video quickly became the most viewed video on the social pages of Migrant Workers Alliance, increasing viewership by 1402% compared to their average videos.

“We wanted to help bring the significant issues faced by Canada’s migrant agricultural workers to the forefront of people’s attention”, says Matt Fraracci, Creative Director at Sid Lee. “And since QR code menus have become a staple in restaurants, we saw a perfect fit and opportunity to use the medium to convey the hidden problem and play with the element of mystery on different levels.”

Each year, over 60,000 seasonal agricultural workers come to Canada from Mexico, Jamaica and other Caribbean countries. Unfortunately, they often face exploitation including unsafe working conditions, poor housing, and no medical coverage. Recently, 74% of Mexican migrant farmers reported being given no workplace health coverage or safety information at all. Between January 2020 and June 2021, nine migrant agricultural workers died in Ontario.

Initially executed as a guerrilla stunt, The Secret Menu and the petition can be found at


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Categories: Charity, Corporate, Social and PSAs

Sid Lee, Tue, 28 Mar 2023 15:41:00 GMT