Fighting ‘unconscious bias’ at work

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By National Restaurant Association

The National Restaurant Association, in collaboration with the Multicultural Foodservice & Hospitality Alliance (MFHA), introduced a new ServSafe Workplace online training module, “Understanding Unconscious Bias in Restaurants.” The curriculum uses industry-specific scenarios to educate employees and managers about unconscious bias.

“The restaurant industry is as diverse as the communities we serve,” said Sherman L. Brown, Executive Vice President, Training & Certification, National Restaurant Association. “Increasing awareness of unconscious bias and its effects, and equipping our people with the tools they need to manage bias, is essential to the success of our industry.”

Understanding Unconscious Bias in Restaurants aims to heighten awareness of unconscious bias, which in turn helps employees and managers promote a culture of respect with guests and one another. Topics in the 30-minute employee program include:

– Defining unconscious bias and the many forms it can take.
– Understanding the impact that bias can have on interactions with guests and fellow employees.
– Understanding how to conduct oneself with fairness and a greater awareness of others’ perspectives.

The manager training includes an additional 30 minutes of information on:

– Proactively and reactively managing situations in which bias occurs.
– Managing employee interactions to promote a fair, respectful, and inclusive workplace.
– Learning how to deal with difficult situations to minimize impact on the business.

In addition to the online training content, managers can access a variety of complimentary resources, including breakroom posters, videos, and a discussion guide to help them continue training through pre-shift lessons.

“Bias can impact all aspects of American business,” said Gerry A. Fernandez, MFHA President & Founder. “Successful leaders in the industry are ready to learn what bias is, how it works, and how unconscious bias ties into recruiting, leadership development, and customer service.”

Understanding Unconscious Bias in Restaurants offers multiple solutions for businesses, including versions for managers and employees, English or Spanish, volume pricing, and bundling with other programs in the ServSafe Workplace suite. To learn more, visit