How is your cultural inventory?
The post pandemic shift in the restaurant industry has given us a unique chance to identify opportunity areas in branding and company culture. The restaurant industry has always been a very diverse industry, however, that certainly does not mean that we are without challenges. It is the responsibility of every owner and manager to ensure the culture within their restaurant is one of acceptance and equality. Take a moment to review your employee handbook, your mission statement, your operations manual, and hiring and orientation practices. Do these truly reflect who you are as a company? Do you and your management team live these core values? If you can’t answer yes to these questions, it may be time for an update. The world has changed and will continue to change.
This is not only important to your internal culture, it is crucial to communicate these values to your guests as well. Make sure your customers know that you are a company of inclusion, equality, and kindness. You do not need to staff your restaurants with one gender, one race, or a single background, but should build a staff that reflects your mission statement, community, and core values.
To understand diversity in the restaurant workplace, consider these statistics from the National Restaurant Association web site:
The restaurant industry is home to a diverse workforce. Four in 10 restaurant managers and supervisors are minorities, as are six in 10 chefs.
The restaurant industry boasts more minority managers than any other industry. Between 2007 and 2012, the number of Hispanic-owned restaurant businesses increased 51 percent, African American-owned restaurant businesses increased 49 percent, and the number of Asian-owned restaurants rose 18 percent.
Restaurants also provide opportunities to women of all ages and at all stages of their careers. In fact, sixty-one percent of women have worked in a restaurant at some point in their lives, and 37% got their first jobs in a restaurant.
The industry of hospitality is what we are, and the industry of opportunity should be in the fabric that mirrors this opportunity for each and every food service operation.