DiscoverLink, Inc. and the Multicultural Foodservice & Hospitality Alliance (MFHA) announced a joint initiative to deliver online cultural intelligence training on a restaurant-optimized learning management system (LMS). The combination of MFHA’s “Building Better Relationships with African-American Co-workers and Guests” module and DiscoverLink Talent helps restaurants drive revenue by raising their cultural intelligence and improving relationships with co-workers and guests.
This is the first of a planned series of culture-specific e-learning courses that teach management-level leaders how to interact with, manage, and serve a multicultural community. MFHA and DiscoverLink plan to launch additional courses in the coming months that address other ethnic, racial, and cultural groups.
“Our restaurant teams, and the guests we serve, are highly diverse,” says Gene Lee, chief executive officer of Darden Restaurants. “Therefore, multicultural education plays an important role in the success of our business. MFHA’s Cultural Intelligence products and services offer the type of educational content our industry needs to attract the best talent and to serve our guests with excellence.”
As a top cultural intelligence content provider in foodservice and hospitality, MFHA brings a 20-year track record of engaging multicultural employees and guests successfully. As the leading provider of e-learning solutions to the restaurant industry, DiscoverLink delivers expertise in deploying and tracking completion of online content in restaurant environments. These two foodservice training leaders have joined forces to deliver the most comprehensive, industry-vetted diversity-training program available.
“Restaurants must add cultural authenticity to their brands to succeed in a landscape that is quickly becoming more urbanized and diverse,” says Gerry A. Fernandez, president of MFHA. “Millennials, in particular, value businesses that are culturally responsive. Deploying industry tested cultural content is the best way to drive growth in multicultural communities.”
The first course in the series focuses on fostering better relationships with African-American co-workers and guests. Staged in familiar foodservice and hospitality settings, this interactive course aims to improve understanding and appreciation of the factors that influence relationships with this cultural group.
According to the National Restaurant Association and the U.S. Census Bureau, African-Americans represent 13 percent of the overall population, but 36 percent of the nation’s foodservice employees, and that percentage is projected to grow in the coming years. However, there is a disproportionate number of these employees in entry-level positions compared to management-level positions. According to the 2014 State of the Industry Diversity Report developed by MFHA and People Report, African-Americans account for 16 percent of hourly restaurant employees, but only 7 percent of managers. In an era of flat or declining same-store traffic and rising employee turnover rates, it’s more important than ever to create career paths that develop African-American workers into business leaders.
"Restaurants must compete with every other industry for multicultural talent,” says Jeff Tenut, founder of DiscoverLink. “By building a reputation as a culturally sensitive company and investing in the development of multicultural leaders, restaurants can overcome the challenges of retaining top talent while at the same time improving performance of their business.”
DiscoverLink Talent is a learning management system designed specifically for the hospitality industry to be deployed as part of a comprehensive e-learning program. It combines the ease of use of social media sites with an employee recognition system and a dynamic dashboard for easy administration. Hospitality training departments deploy DiscoverLink Talent to reduce training costs, accelerate competency of their employees and track compliance across brands.