Diversity & inclusion consultant James Pogue and Union Square Hospitality Group executives Chip Wade and Patti Simpson share the struggle of making more welcoming restaurantsArticle published by Bret Thorn on Oct 11, 2020 in nrn.com

It’s a pretty common scenario: A restaurant guest — a good-natured, pleasant guy, and a regular — falls into his normal patter of off-color, sexist jokes. For years, this has been accepted behavior. The guest means no harm and he tips well, but many women around him, and probably a lot of men, feel uncomfortable, and it’s not acceptable anymore.

Neither are ethnic jokes, or treating people of different races, genders or sexual orientations better or worse than others. Those common practices are now recognized as problems. So is having management that’s radically different in terms of race, ethnicity and gender than rank-and-file employees.

Beyond that, being non-racist isn’t enough anymore. Now many restaurant workers and customers expect management to be anti-racist — to actively work for a society that is more inclusive and fair.

To help illustrate how operators can make progress on the difficult journey toward a more inclusive society, James Pogue Jr., a diversity, inclusion and bias consultant and founder of JP Enterprises, shared the stage of Restaurants Rise Powered by MUFSO with two executives from Union Square Hospitality Group: president Chip Wade and chief people officer Patti Simpson. The panel was sponsored by Chobani Foodservice.


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