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National Restaurant Association’s Centennial Event- How kitchen culture can set the tone for employee retention

Concessions International - Wednesday, May 08, 2019
National Restaurant Association’s Centennial Event- How kitchen culture can set the tone for employee retention

In celebration of the National Restaurant Association’s Centennial, more than 50 restaurateurs, industry consultants, media guests, and Association representatives gathered at Unilever Food Solutions headquarters in New Jersey to hear from experts and share ideas on how to enhance the kitchen culture.

With the turnover rate nearing 75 percent last year in the accommodation and foodservice sector (according the Bureau of Labor Statistics Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey), the challenge is on to attract, train and retain employees. The Centennial event is the first of a series focused on looking ahead for the best ways to meet today’s industry challenges while celebrating 100 years of hospitality and service. Unilever is a founding partner.

The opening panel, introduced by Adam LeDonne, president, Unilever Food Solutions North America, delivered a great mix of philosophical and practical advice. Moderated by Chef Einav Gefen, executive chef at Unilever, attendees heard about an effective initiative committed to creating healthy kitchen environments, FairKitchens.

Gefen is heavily involved with the #FairKitchens movement — and Unilever is a leading sponsor — a chef-driven initiative that calls on the restaurant industry to develop kitchen cultures where everyone is respected, no one tolerates abuse, and staff happiness is as important as diner satisfaction (and leads to higher diner satisfaction). Through training, support networks, events and other outreach mechanisms, the movement is helping to effect change in kitchens that fail to attract or keep good employees.


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