Shake Shack and Tender Greens Aim To Bolster Diversity, Move Women Into More Leadership Roles
Shake Shack and Tender Greens Aim To Bolster Diversity, Move Women Into More Leadership Roles

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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