An Open Letter to MFHA Members, Supporters and Industry Colleagues

Dear Members, Supporters and Industry Colleagues, I invite each of you to join me and the MFHA Board of Directors in extending our condolences and prayers to the people of Charleston, South Carolina. We should especially remember the victim’s families, friends, and members of Emanuel AME church. It is moving to see such faith and forgiveness on display in the community during such a difficult time. The killings at Emanuel AME are the latest, and by far the worst, in a series of high-profile tragedies that have occurred over a period of nearly two years. It has become disturbingly common to hear of Blacks being killed or otherwise mistreated, whether by hate-filled individuals, groups, or even officers of the law. I look at these events from the viewpoint of a father, husband,... read more

Our Multicultural Moment: A Challenge to Executive Leadership

For nearly twenty years, the Multicultural Foodservice and Hospitality Alliance (MFHA), in partnership with our corporate members and media partners, has led the effort to promote diversity and inclusion in our industry. We recognize that building Culturally Intelligent organizations – those that embrace the multicultural community, market effectively to it, and draw talent from it – is good for the industry and it is good business. MFHA has made progress in many ways, and we continue to applaud the and innovative programs that some leading, proactive companies have developed. However, as the 2014 State of the Foodservice Industry Diversity Report confirms, our progress on talent recruitment and career development has improved very little in the past twenty years. Even as we have... read more

And Then There Were Three

In just six months from September 2014, the foodservice industry went from having six CEO’s that are Black/African-American, to just three. I emphasize three because according to the Census Bureau and the National Restaurant Association respectively, Blacks make up 13.2% of the U.S. population and 11% of the foodservice workforce. These numbers suggest, as do the data in MFHA’s 2014 Diversity Report:  State of the Foodservice Industry , that the industry is not developing Black employees for leadership opportunities commensurate with the percentage of Blacks that make up our workforce. The departure of Clarence Otis (Darden), Steve Davis (Bob Evans), and most recently, Don Thompson (McDonald’s), illustrates just how quickly the “complexion” of leadership can change regardless of how... read more

In Honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. : Legacy of Hospitality

Legacy of Hospitality As the world celebrates the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., professionals in the restaurant and lodging industries should stop and reflect on the role our industry played in denying Blacks and other minorities access to public accommodations. It wasn’t until 1960 when four Black students from North Carolina A&T University decided to sit at the lunch counter of the local Woolworths that restaurants in the south started to become desegregated. Hotels also routinely denied Blacks full access even as Black entertainers and athletes performed to sold out crowds. Hispanics and Asians faced similar indignities If you were Black you could not stop and eat whenever you wanted like we can today. You had to pack a lunch or use the Green Book, a directory of Black... read more

“I highly recommend MFHA’s Cultural Intelligence Workshop. It is a business must to effectively engage talent and customers in order to achieve growth goals.”

Arie Ball
VP, Sourcing and Talent Acquisition, Sodexo

“The MFHA Suite of Solutions and Services are specific to the challenges of the restaurant, foodservice and lodging industries and will help our industry continue its leadership in multicultural awareness achievement.”

Roy Jackson, SVP, Business Development & Industry Affairs Foodservice & On-Premise, Coca-Cola North America

“MFHA offers innovative programs that strategically position organizations to maximize the multicultural opportunities for today and the future.”

Douglas Allison
VP- Corporate Development & Diversity, PepsiCo Foodservice

“Developing culturally intelligent leaders is critical for innovation
and long-term business success.”

James Fripp
Senior Director – Global Diversity & Inclusion, YUM! Brands, Inc.

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