#FairKitchens, powered by Unilever Food Solutions, Helps “ELEVATE” Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Restaurant, Foodservice, and Hospitality Industry
Washington, D.C. – October 18, 2022 – The Multicultural Foodservice & Hospitality Alliance (MFHA) announced today that #FairKitchens, a campaign created by Unilever Food Solutions, has contributed $50,000 to support MFHA’s new DEI Initiative ELEVATE – a Menu for Change. ELEVATE provides restaurant, foodservice and hospitality operators with guidance on how to develop a best-in-class culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
ELEVATE was launched this summer with a landmark DEI survey conducted by MFHA, the National Restaurant Association, the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF), and Cornell University Nolan School of Hotel Administration. The survey and report showed that strong DEI initiatives positively impact job satisfaction, engagement, and retention. Insights from the report along with MFHA’s 25 years of diversity leadership informed ELEVATE.
Similarly, Unilever Food Solutions’ 2017 research found that a third of chefs feel under-appreciated on a daily basis, and more than 60 percent believe their mental health is negatively impacted by their work. In response, Unilever Food Solutions founded #FairKitchens in 2018 to emphasize the importance of creating a healthy kitchen culture based on open communication, passion, support, and teamwork. #FairKitchens offers tools that acknowledge and address underlying issues contributing to unhealthy kitchen cultures.
“Both MFHA and #FairKitchens are providing solutions to improve employee engagement by fostering healthy, inclusive workplaces,” said Gerry A. Fernandez, President of MFHA. “Unilever’s contribution helps us demonstrate the power of diversity in the restaurant and hospitality industry.”
#FairKitchen’s support helps MFHA, NRAEF, and the National Restaurant Association distribute the DEI Report to the industry for free. Additionally, #FairKitchens will make ELEVATE available to 100 of its restaurant partners to help them adopt effective DEI strategies and initiatives.
“Over the last few years, #FairKitchens has come a long way in addressing, without fear and complacency, a lot of underlying issues in our kitchens, including diversity, equity, and inclusion,” said Christos Dinopoulos, Vice President of Unilever Food Solutions North America. “#FairKitchens has been well accepted and embraced by chefs around the world by offering tools to find step-by-step ways out of unhealthy kitchen habits and cultures, allowing them to do what they love.”
MFHA will also support industry execution of the ELEVATE framework by offering supplemental resources, expert-led educational sessions, management coaching and other customized learning opportunities.
About the Multicultural Foodservice & Hospitality Alliance:
The Multicultural Foodservice & Hospitality Alliance (MFHA), as an affiliate of the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF), is dedicated to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) across the restaurant, foodservice, and hospitality industry. More than 14.5 million people work at nearly 1 million foodservice outlets in the U.S. Founded in 1996, MFHA serves as a leading resource for companies large and small seeking to improve DEI and cultural competency across their organizations. MFHA provides tailored solutions and guidance that draw from a broad range of best practices, research, DEI partnerships and expertise in current and emerging social issues. For more information, please visit mfha.net.
About Unilever and #FairKitchens:
The #FairKitchens movement was founded by Unilever Food Solutions in the summer of 2018 in response to a heightened need to address health and wellbeing issues at the heart of the foodservice and hospitality industry. Research by Unilever Food Solutions in 2017 had uncovered that 74% of chefs were sleep deprived to the point of exhaustion, 63% of chefs felt depressed, and more than half felt pushed to breaking point.
This inclusive industry-wide and global movement aims to better the lives of foodservice professionals around the world. We connect and create community in the industry to open a conversation around the unhealthy working conditions and call for change, because a healthier kitchen culture makes for a healthier business. We aim to raise the standards of our industry to better retain the talent we have today and attract the talent we need for the future. https://www.fairkitchens.com
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