#FairKitchens promotes the importance of inclusive workplaces to recruit and retain talent

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.