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The Foodservice & Hospitality Industry

Offers Good Career Opportunities for People of Color In an Era of High Unemployment and Economic Instability PRESENTED BY



About MFHA.......................................................................................................................................1 Introduction: Perception vs. Reality................................................................................................ 3-4 Overview of the Multicultural Market.............................................................................................. 4-5 A Snapshot of the Foodservice & Hospitality Industry........................................................................6 A Record of Achievement in Foodservice & Hospitality................................................................ 7-10 Real World Success Stories..............................................................................................................11 Quick Service and Casual Dining........................................................................................... 11-12 Foodservice and Concessions.....................................................................................................12 Lodging and Manufacturing.........................................................................................................13 Conclusion........................................................................................................................................14 Notes and Resources.......................................................................................................................16

About MFHA Who We Are MFHA is an educational nonprofit that builds Cultural Intelligence to deliver better business results.

Whom We Serve Members and the Industry

Our Approach “Build culturally intelligent brands and leaders”

Definition of Cultur al Intelligence Cultural Intelligence (CI) is having the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to effectively and appropriately engage people from different cultural backgrounds to deliver better business results.

Benefits of Cultur al Intelligence n n n n n

Increased employee engagement Increased innovation and flexibility Attract better quality talent Improved sales and reduced costs at unit level Reduced multicultural risk

Our Model The Dinner Table of Opportunity

Engaging Stakeholders - Driving Results!










• Increased Productivity • Diverse Recruiting Success • Improved Communication • Better Retention







Suppliers M CO Y










• Improved Image • Quality Relationships • Strategic Partnerships • Cultural Understanding

• Better Dining Experience • Better Lodging Experience • Improved Industry Image • Increased Business

• Increased MBE Volume • Wider Participation • Reduced Costs • Product Innovation 1

Where We Add Value Our solutions focus on four key audiences: 1. Workforce: attracting, retaining & developing diverse talent 2. Customers: selling and marketing to multicultural markets 3. Community: building relationships that add brand value 4. Suppliers: attracting diverse suppliers & franchisees

Our Solutions Help Members 1. Raise the Topline Sell, Market and Serve Multicultural Markets 2. Improve the Bottom-line Attract, Engage & Develop Multicultural Talent 3. Build Brand Value Establish culturally authentic community connections


Introduction: Perception vs. Realit y There are many negative perceptions of the foodservice & hospitality industry that are embedded in the minds of the public and the media. Unfortunately, this paints a very unfavorable picture of the industry, and the existing misperceptions prevent many people of color from becoming aware of the breath of foodservice & hospitality opportunities that are available. Foodservice & hospitality is one of the most diverse industries in America, and restaurants employ more minority managers than any other industry. Fourty-four % of assistant managers, and 31 % of general managers are people of color. 1 According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, ethnic/racial minorities represent 50% of all hourly employees at the restaurant level, in comparison to only 36% of the total hourly workforce. 2

Unemployment rates by Race/Ethnicity Seasonally Adjusted, 1990–2014

In this time of high unemployment rates amongst Blacks and Hispanics, it is more important than ever to make them aware of the many career options that exist in the foodservice & hospitality industry. This is especially important given that the industry represents an easy entry point for anyone starting their careers. The overall U.S. unemployment rate has recently declined, and is currently 5.1%; however, unemployment rates have always been higher for most minority groups. In the past 42 years that unemployment rates have been measured, the unemployment rate for African-Americans has always been two to three times higher than the overall unemployment rate. 3


Results from the 2013-2014 Diversity Study conducted by MFHA and People Report indicate that some companies, particularly larger ones, are paying attention to multicultural growth trends and are investing in hiring, developing and promoting people of color. For example, the number of companies having a sole diversity function has changed significantly in the past decade. This is definitely a move in the right direction. In order to promote a fuller and more accurate understanding of the industry, MFHA is launching a communications and image-building campaign that will tell a more inclusive and complete story about the career and business opportunities that exist in foodservice & hospitality. Facts from various respected research sources will be utilized, and “real world� examples of a diverse group of people who are working in the industry in various capacities will be highlighted. The stories will demonstrate how the foodservice & hospitality industry does offer upward mobility, even for those without a college degree, and limited to no work experience.

Overview of the Multicultur al M arket The multicultural population is growing at an astounding rate, and based on current trends, after the year 2040, the multicultural population is projected to be larger than the Caucasian population. It already represents a significant pool of current workers, given that a large number of Hispanics and AfricanAmericans are Millennials. Research has shown that many Millenials prefer to work in environments that are diverse, and that many multicultural customers prefer to spend their money with companies that do a better job of promoting diversity & inclusion. Numerous external research studies have validated that there is a strong correlation between increased diversity & inclusion and higher performance. These facts are a strong indication that those companies that invest in diversity & inclusion, and who market, serve and sell to multicultural customers in an effective way will increase their company growth and have better bottom line results. Multicultural population growth is projected to outpace Caucasian population growth in the next 40 years.4



The Multicultural population is younger than the Caucasian population 5 - The median age of Americans is 36.9 years - The median age of Hispanics is 27 years; 65% are under 35 - The median age of African-Americans is 32; 54% under 35 - Asians are 1.5 years younger


They currently represent more than 1/3 of the U.S. population 6 - Hispanics make up 16% percent of the U.S. population, representing 53 million people - In the last decade, Hispanics accounted for 1 out of every 2 people added to the U.S. - African-Americans represent 13% of the population, representing 42 million people - Between 2010 and 2015, African-Americans will grow 38 people/hour - Asians make up 5% percent of the U.S. population, representing 19 million people - Asian Indians are currently amongst the fastest growing minority groups




Black/African-American owned restaurants increased 188% between 1997 and 2007. 7 Hispanic owned restaurants increased 80 % between 1997 and 2007, and Asian-owned restaurants increased 60%. 8 17% of first line supervisors/managers in the foodservice industry are Hispanic/Latino, and 14% are African-American. 9


A Snapshot of the Foodservice & Hospitality Industry The restaurant industry is the nation’s second largest private sector employer, and a leading job creator in the U.S. economy. This year, restaurant-industry job growth is projected to outpace the overall economy for the 15th consecutive year. 10 According to the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation’s (NAREF) “Who Works in the U.S. Restaurant Industry” survey, half of American adults have worked in the restaurant industry, and the first job experience for one in three was in a restaurant. The survey results also show that the vast majority of current restaurant owners and seasoned employees started in entry level restaurant jobs, and nine out of ten are proud to work in a restaurant. Not surprisingly, it was found that among restaurant owners and operators, the majority started in the industry when they were teens, and they have held a variety of positions including: dishwashers, crew persons, shift supervisors, and managers before becoming business owners. The data indicates that the foodservice & hospitality industry provides unlimited opportunities for growth as an employee and entrepreneur. 11

Source: NRAEF “Who Works in the U.S. Restaurant Industry”


Restaurant sales are projected to be $683 billion in 2014, which is a 3.6 percent increase over 2013.12


13.5 million people are employed by the Restaurant industry, and it is projected to employ 14.8 million people by 2024. 13


The restaurant industry has kept pace with the hourly wage rate for all industries, and is slightly higher (2.9 vs. 2.7) 14


Wage ranges vary by occupation 15 - Restaurant managers earned a reported median annual base salary of $47,000 - Salaried chefs and cooks received a median base of $50,000. - Hourly workers such as waiters earned a median $16.13 per hour when employer-paid wages and tips were combined.


Six of 10 restaurant employees said their first paid job was in the restaurant industry, which indicates that the foodservice & hospitality industry has staying power.16


A Record of Achievement in Foodservice & Hospitality Consider that between 1999 and 2010, only fourteen Black CEOs were appointed by Fortune 500 companies.17 Two of those were in the foodservice and hospitality industry. While corporate executive ranks are always changing as accomplished people seek new opportunities, it is worth noting that there have been as many as six black CEOs in our industry at one time. This is a little known fact as well as a significant achievement in the history of business in America. It is clear there are opportunities to rise up through the ranks in our industry, even to the highest levels of management. Yet, there seems to be a misconception that our industry, particularly foodservice, is a “dead end� option. One that offers low pay and where employees, particularly people of color, cannot get ahead. But is this an absolute truth? Yes, foodservice and hospitality has its share of challenges like any other industry yet the record of achievement for Black Americans here is a powerful indication that our industry still offers tremendous opportunities despite these odds.

The following are just a few examples of people of color who have built an enviable record of success in the foodservice and hospitality industry.

James White CEO, Jamba Juice Co. When he was named CEO and President of Jamba Juice, James White took on the management of a company that employs about 8,000 people throughout the United States, and also has stores in Canada and Asia. He started his career with Jamba Juice in 2008, at the beginning of the recession. White was instrumental in getting the company back on track by making decisions that focused on building the long-term health of the brand. Prior to coming to Jamba Juice, he served as a leader in several diverse industries, including: Safeway, The Gillette Company, Ralston Purina, and The Coca-Cola Company. James is a product of old-fashioned Midwestern values, and in a 2010 interview he gave to the San Francisco Chronicle, he stated that he always strives to do work that makes his parents proud.


A Record of Achievement in Foodservice & Hospitality

Aylwin Lewis CEO and President, Potbelly Sandwich Works Aylwin Lewis worked his way up through the ranks to become President and Chief Executive Officer of Potbelly Sandwich Works, a Chicago-based restaurant chain with more than 200 stores in 13 states. Prior to coming to Potbelly, he held several leadership positions, including CEO of Sears, President of Kmart, and Chief Multi-brand and Operating Officer at Yum! Brands. Lewis has been widely praised for his effective yet personal leadership style and was honored for his achievements by the Multi-Unit Foodservice Operators conference in 2014.

Leonard (Lenny) Comma Chairman, President and CEO, Jack In the Box Lenny Comma was named Chairman, President, and CEO of Jack-in-the-Box, Inc., in 2014. Before that, he had become Chief Operating Officer in May 2012, a role where he was responsible for restaurant development as well as the operations of all corporate and franchised Jack-in-the Box fast-food restaurants.. Comma began his career as a Regional Manager with Exxon Mobil and joined Jack-in-the-Box in 2001 as Director of Convenience-Store and Fuel Operations for the company’s proprietary chain of convenience stores called Quick Stuff. In 2006 he joined the restaurant end of the business. When he was appointed to the Director of the Boys and Girls Club, Comma said, “Jack-in-the-Box supports and encourages our employees and franchisees to take active roles in supporting their communities.” San Diego-based Jack-in-the-Box operates or franchises 2,200 of its namesake restaurants in 19 states, as well as about 550 Qdoba Mexican Grill units in 42 states and the District of Columbia.


A Record of Achievement in Foodservice & Hospitality

Don Thompson Former CEO, McDonald’s Corp. Don Thompson, a Chicago native, began his career as an electrical engineer and rose up through the ranks in the foodservice industry to become CEO at McDonald’s. While there, he was responsible for 35,000 restaurants in more than 100 countries around the world. Don was employed at the company for 24 years. He held a variety of leadership positions, including U.S. Chief Operating Officer, Executive Vice President, Division President, President of McDonald’s USA, and President and COO, prior to becoming CEO. Thompson’s resume includes serving on the boards of Ronald McDonald House Charities and, Catalyst, and Northwestern Memorial Hospital.[9He is also a member of Purdue University’s board of trustees.[5] He was also named ”Corporate Executive of the Year” by Black Enterprise. Thompson has earned the respect of his peers through a record of exceptional achievement, and remains a valued counselor and leader in our industry.

Clarence Otis, Jr. Former Chairman of the Board and CEO, Darden Restaurants Clarence Otis, Jr., has been one of the most prominent and influential business leaders in the industry over his successful career. He was named CEO and President, and Chairman of the Board of Darden Restaurants in 2004 and 2005, respectively. Otis has had a long career in the foodservice and hospitality industry, and served at the helm of the largest publicly traded casual dining restaurant company in the world. He served as the Executive Vice President of Darden Restaurants, Inc., and President of its Smokey Bones Restaurants division, from December 2002 until December 2004. He also served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Darden Restaurants from April 2002 to December 2002, and Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer from 1999 to 2002. Darden employs nearly 170,000 people and serve more than 350 million meals annually at 1,700 restaurants in the U.S. and Canada including Olive Garden, Longhorn Steakhouse, The Capital Grille, Bahama Breeze and Seasons 52. Otis currently serves on a number of corporate boards and continues to be a prominent voice in our industry. 9

A Record of Achievement in Foodservice & Hospitality

Steven (Steve) Davis Former CEO, Bob Evans Farms Steve Davis was named Chairman of the Board of Bob Evans in September, 2006, and CEO from May, 2006 to December 2014. Prior to joining Bob Evans Farms, he held a variety of positions at Yum! Brands, including: President of Long John Silvers and A&W All-American Food Restaurants from 2002 to 2006, and Senior Vice President of Concept Development at Pizza Hut, Inc. from 2000 to 2002. Steve believes in supporting employees and making sure that the voices of people of color and women are heard. Bob Evans Farms owns and operates 562 full-service restaurants in 19 states, primarily in the Midwest, Mid-Atlantic, and Southeast regions of the United States.


Real World Success Stories Quick Service and Casual Dining Ashley Derby

Franchise Operator | Chick-fil-A at USC

“Hire the best talent available, even if you don’t have an opening. In this business, you will always need bench strength.” Ashley is a bright young woman who has worked in the foodservice & hospitality industry since she was 15 years old. The college graduate is currently is Chick-fil-A’s youngest franchisee, and one of the youngest in the foodservice & hospitality industry. Her restaurant is located near the University of Southern California (USC) campus in Los Angeles, and is in its fourth consecutive year of sales growth. She employs a total of 40 diverse team members. Most of her team members are high school or college students, ranging in age from 18 to 25. Ashley gained a real appreciation for sacrifice at an early age and learned the importance of having a good education and working hard. She watched her father raise her as a single parent when her mom passed away. Her greatest learning has been to understand that she can’t do it all, and that she is only as successful as her team allows her to be. When asked why the foodservice & hospitality industry is a good place for people of color, she replied, “I guess I am the poster child for the statement why the sky is the limit. I started off as a back of the house employee at age 15… now I own the place less than 15 years later.”

Abel Maldonado

Owner Operator | McDonald’s

“I love foodservice because it gives me the opportunity to develop people for greater responsibility.” Abel, a Venezuelan native and college graduate, is the owner/operator of three McDonald’s restaurants in Philadelphia, where he employs 150 employees who come from diverse cultures and backgrounds. He is a self-described workaholic who has worked in the foodservice & hospitality industry for 17 years. He purchased his first McDonald’s in Venezuela after completing the 1 year training program there in only 6 months. He purchased his second restaurant in Venezuela 8 months after opening his first one; however, an economic downturn there, along with an opportunity to buy a friend’s restaurant in the U.S., led to him coming to America. Abel feels that foodservice can be a great career for the right person, if they are dedicated and have the desire to constantly improve. He is devoted to helping people succeed, and rarely has to fire anyone. His advice to anyone working in the foodservice & hospitality industry is as follows: “always look to improve yourself; give 100% all the time – even when you don’t think anyone is watching; dream big, and don’t get stuck on job titles, especially when you first start your career.”

Michael Thompson

Managing Partner | Longhorn Steakhouse; a Darden concept

“Darden has helped me to see that the opportunity to advance in this organization is not just a dream. It can be a reality.” Michael is an industry veteran who started his career 25 years ago and has been with Darden for about 9 years. Currently, he is the Managing Partner of Longhorn Steakhouse located in Hollywood, FL. At the restaurant, he is responsible for managing daily operations, including ordering food and supplies, managing the staff, scheduling, and the financials. His career in foodservice was inspired by helping his dad at his soul food restaurant at an early age. Michael was a young father, so he always strived to make the best of his foodservice career so that he could support his family. Everything he has learned from the “back of the house to the front of the house” has been from on the job training, hard work, learning from his mistakes, and listening to knowledgeable people who also took a strong interest in his development. He continues to be inspired and supported by his wife, and a Darden work environment that allows him to flourish in professional integrity.


Manny Sarduy

Regional Director of Operations | Starbucks Corporation

“I’m proud Starbucks encourages me to leverage my differences to benefit our organization as well as my own growth as a manager.” Manny has had the unique experience of living in Cuba and Spain before coming to South Florida at the age of 10. After graduating from college, he spent many years in the retail industry. About 9 years ago, Manny started his foodservice & hospitality career at Starbucks as a Partner Resources Director for the Florida Region. In that position, he was responsible for the recruitment, selection, training, development, creation and formation of the region, consisting of more than 400 stores and 8,000 employees, which prepared him for his current position. Manny is inspired by family members as well as Colin Powell, who also beat incredible odds to become successful in life. He feels that as a person of color, he is open to understanding the importance of seeing differences. This gives him the ability to relate to people with diverse backgrounds and allows him to more effectively accommodate the needs of his employees and customers.

Real World Success Stories Foodservice and Concessions Denita Price

Director Human Resources | ARAMARK, Leisure

“Keep an open mind – don’t get stuck on job titles. Especially when you first start your career.” Denita has been in the foodservice industry for 14 years and with Aramark for the past 9 years. She is a Director of Human Resources for a $370 million business, and serves up to 1,000 people during peak periods. Her first job as a teenager was an entry level position at Taco Bell. After graduation from college, she returned to Taco Bell as an Assistant General Manager. At a very early age, Denita had a passion for her career and always saw herself as a successful business woman. The Chicago native is an avid reader who loves exploring Seattle, where she currently resides with her family. She gets inspiration from her work environment, family members, and friends. She believes that being visible in the foodservice industry paints a positive image that lets other people of color know that they can also work there. She feels that the foodservice industry offers many options, and once you have mastered an area and feel you are ready to move on, the sky is the limit.

Samir Gupte

Senior Vice President of Human Resources | OTG Management

“Knowing who you are and what your natural gifts are will take you far in your career” Samir is a world traveler and food enthusiast who works for OTG Management, an award winning New York City-based company with more than 200 restaurants and retail outlets in 10 airports across North America. Samir’s educational background is diverse, and includes degrees in Finance, Industrial Relations, Religion and Philosophy, and Culinary Arts. He has held a variety of Human Resource positions in the foodservice & hospitality industry. His first position was at Choice Hotels, where he assisted with the company’s first international brand expansion. In that position, he directed Human Resource planning, Internal Communications, Organizational Development, and Employee Relations. Samir is an active volunteer in underprivileged communities, and loves to give back. He has been inspired by the sacrifices his father made when he emigrated from India to the U.S.


Real World Success Stories Lodging and Manufacturing Matt Felix

Resident Manager | Marriott

“Have a long-term view of your job and ask yourself how you can be the absolute best in your current role.” Matt has spent 24 of his 30 years in the hospitality industry as a Marriott employee. He is currently the Resident Manager at the new state of the art J. W. Marriott, the headquarters hotel for the Washington, DC Convention Center. He is responsible for 300 employees, and oversees the day-to-day operations of the hotel, including security, housekeeping, guest services, and front office functions. His first job in the foodservice & hospitality industry was at Red Lobster where he was a 16 year-old busboy. He continued to work in foodservice when he attended college, and after graduating with a degree in Marketing, he began his career at Marriott in a sales function. He was inspired by his parents who helped him establish a strong work ethic, and demonstrated that if you work hard, you will be rewarded. He also had a strong mentor and former manager at Marriott who taught him to empower his team to do their jobs, and to “inspect what you expect.”

Priscilla Guasso

Regional Talent Acquisition Manager | Hyatt Hotels Corporation

“Be open to new challenges. Sometimes you need to push yourself to a point of being a little uncomfortable.” Priscilla is a proud Mexican American who grew up in the Midwest, but currently resides in South Florida. She has been in the hospitality industry for 8 years, and has spent her entire career at Hyatt, a Chicago-based company. In her job as Regional Talent Acquisition Manager for Latin America and The Caribbean, Priscilla’s primary role is to look for the “best and brightest” for Hyatt. She started her career as an Administrative Assistant. Through inspiration drawn from her mother, the hardest working woman she knows, and a former boss who guided her early in her career, she sought out new opportunities as they became available. She worked in her family’s catering business as a youngster, which taught her early values of hard work and customer service, which she still uses today. Priscilla believes that the large variety of career options in the lodging industry allows a person to never have to leave the industry to gain new expertise and experiences, which makes it a great place to build a career.

Juan Lantigua

District Manager | Frito Lay

“Always be a person of service.” Juan is a former professional basketball player who has been employed by Frito Lay for 14 years. He spent the first 5 years of his career in the Dominican Republic, where he grew up, and has been in the United States for the past 9 years. He has spent his entire foodservice career at Frito Lay. He started as a sales representative, and quickly moved up the ranks, becoming a trainer and district manager before heading to the United States. Since he has been in America, he has been successful at bridging the communications gap with Hispanic/Latino customers who speak Spanish as their first language. Juan draws his inspiration from his hardworking parents, and a former teammate, Vinisio Muñoz, the “Michael Jordan of the DR.” He feels that the foodservice industry is a great place for people of color because it welcomes all cultures and ethnicities. He believes that working hard and never giving up will get you far in your career, and in life. 13

CONCLUSION Due to the many misperceptions and general lack of information, it is understandable that some people of color may not consider the foodservice & hospitality industry for employment and career opportunities. The data and success stories in this document confirm that the foodservice & Hospitality industry can be a satisfying and rewarding place to have a career with longevity. Although there are opportunities for improvement like any other industry, it is evident that most people who work in the industry are proud to work there. Half of American adults have worked in the restaurant industry at some point in their lives, and one in three got their first job experience in a restaurant. Not all of these individuals ultimately choose a career in the industry, but those who do feel good about that choice and see a bright future ahead. Among restaurant owners and operators, a majority started their industry careers as teenagers and has held a variety of positions — including dishwashers, crew persons, shift supervisors, and managers — in several different restaurants before settling down with their own business. About half left the industry at some point and then came back to fulfill the American Dream of business ownership. 19 Results from the recently released “NRAEF’s Who Works In the U.S. Restaurant Industry” survey indicate that the vast majority of current restaurant operators and seasoned employees started in entry-level positions, and a strong majority say they are likely to continue working in the restaurant industry until they retire. In addition, a significant portion of both operators and current employees returned to the industry after leaving at some point to pursue studies or other career options. Among former industry employees, a majority who moved in and out of the industry did so while pursuing education in high school or college. 20 People of color sometimes face major challenges when it comes to finding employment, establishing careers, and starting businesses in this country. Despite recent falling overall unemployment rates, African-Americans and Latinos still face high unemployment rates, and are in dire need of solutions to address this long-standing situation. A career in the foodservice & hospitality industry is one possible solution that addresses the challenges many people of color face when looking for employment because it provides a variety of opportunities from entry level jobs, to management, to ownership for people from all walks of life. The foodservice & hospitality industry continues to be a place where almost anyone with drive, determination, a passion for customer service, and good basic skills, can move up the ranks, even without a college degree. There are not many industries in America that provide that kind of upward mobility, and in these challenging economic times, the foodservice & hospitality definitely represents unlimited possibilities as a career choice, especially for people of color.


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Notes and Resources 1 MFHA and People Report 2013-2014 Diversity Study 2 NRA Factbook 2014 3 Bureau of Labor Statistics 4 Nielsen 5 U.S. Census Bureau 6 Ibid 7 National Restaurant Association (NRA) Factbook 2014 8 Ibid 9 Ibid 10 NRA Educational Foundation’s (NRAEF) “Who Works In the U.S. Restaurant Industry” 11 NRA Factbook 2014 12 NRA Educational Foundation’s (NRAEF) “Who Works In the U.S. Restaurant Industry”

13 Ibid 14 NRA Factbook 2014 15 MFHA and People Report 2013-2014 Diversity Study 16 NRAEF “Who Works In the U.S. Restaurant Industry” 17 Richard L. Zweigenhaft, Guilford College, “Diversity Among CEOs and Corporate Directors: Has the Heyday Come and Gone?” 18 19 NRA Educational Foundation’s (NRAEF) “Who Works In the U.S. Restaurant Industry 20 Ibid


Multicultural Foodservice & Hospitality Alliance (MFHA) 1144 Narragansett Blvd. Providence, RI 02905 Phone: (401) 461-6342 Fax: (401) 461-9004

MFHA Brownpaper  

The Foodservice & Hospitality Industry Offers Good Career Opportunities for People of Color In an Era of High Unemployment and Economic Inst...

MFHA Brownpaper  

The Foodservice & Hospitality Industry Offers Good Career Opportunities for People of Color In an Era of High Unemployment and Economic Inst...