The two fast-casual chains are among an increasing number of foodservice brands looking to close the gender gap, especially among executive positions.
Popular fast-casual brands Shake Shack and Tender Greens recently announced initiatives to promote gender diversity and gender parity within their respective organizations, according to an article on Restaurant Dive. “Tender Greens, a health-focused fast casual chain, announced last week that it aims to fill half of its leadership positions with women by 2020, according to a company release. Leadership includes executive chef, sous chef and restaurant management positions,” the article said. Similarly, Shake-Shack is spearheading an ‘All-In Initiative,’ a company-wide diversity and inclusion program, according to Nation’s Restaurant News. Per Restaurant Dive: “Last year, 60% of promotions within the company were awarded to women. The Human Rights Campaign awarded the burger chain a 100% score for its 2019 Corporate Equality Index assessment.”
"As a collective industry, no one is doing a good job identifying and cultivating female talent. The industry is in a labor crisis and most of the jobs are dominated by men, especially in the kitchen. I want Tender Greens to do better," Tender Greens CEO Denyelle Bruno said in a statement, according to the article. The article also said: “Diverse leadership teams can do more than simply brighten a restaurant's brand halo, too. They can lead to improved workplace innovation and a 19% increase in revenue, according to a recent study from Boston Consulting Group.”
Such changes are taking place at a time of increasing corporate support for diversity in the workplace, especially among dominant-player franchisors like Starbucks and McDonald’s. Buoyed by the initiatives of such major brands, it seems likely that brands will continue to publicly declare their support for diversity initiatives.
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