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Why cultural intelligence matters for restaurants

Gerry Fernandez, president and founder of the Multicultural Foodservice and Hospitality Alliance, joins this week’s episode of the RB podcast “A Deeper Dive.”

For restaurant companies, diversity in management can be good business.

This week’s edition of the Restaurant Business podcast A Deeper Dive features Gerry Fernandez, the president and founder of the Multicultural Foodservice and Hospitality Alliance.

Fernandez has worked in the hospitality industry for decades and founded the alliance in the 1990s to help build and sustain a multicultural workforce, in part by showing the return on investment companies get from such efforts.

Protests around the country the past two weeks, stemming from the death of George Floyd while in Minneapolis police custody, have highlighted the need not to just have a diverse workforce but a diverse management team.

Nearly half of the employees in the restaurant industry are Black, Hispanic/Latino or Asian, and yet the vast majority of management teams are white.

Fernandez discusses these issues, talks about how companies can build a more diverse pipeline of managers and executives, and why this is vital for restaurants’ long-term health, given consumer trends.

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