Diversity is a Driving Force in the Restaurant Industry in 2018 Says Abraham Zaiderman

Diversity is a prominent concern in many industries. Many technology companies in Silicon Valley, such as Google, have been taking new measures to improve racial and gender diversity metrics. The restaurant industry is already very diverse, but it is also striving to make improvements, especially at the executive levels.

Many restaurant owners are starting to evaluate the benefits of diversity. According to Don Sweeney, the CEO and president of the National Restaurant Association, diversity helps improve the bottom line. Sweeney says that the demographics of restaurant owners have become more diverse in recent years, but there’s still a lot of room for progress.

At the same time, it is worth noting the strides that restaurants have made. Abraham Zaiderman, a well-known restaurant consultant who works with restaurants and franchisees, and has listed some things to consider.

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The number of minority owned restaurants has surged in recent years

Last month, the National Restaurant Association published an article on black restaurant owners. The article discussed three prominent African American restaurant owners:

  • Don Thompson
  • Junior Bridgeman
  • Philip Holloman

All of these minority entrepreneurs have inspiring stories. Thompson was born into deep poverty and grew up in Chicago housing projects. He rose from his humble beginnings and became a respected executive with the McDonald’s Corporation. Thompson served as the president and CEO of McDonald’s from 2012 to 2015. He was the first African-American to hold the position. After working at McDonald’s for 25 years, he left to start a venture capital firm that specialized in restaurants and food service products.

Bridgman is another legend that left a prominent career to be an entrepreneur in the restaurant industry. He was one of the most promising NBA players in the 1970s and 1980s. After retiring from the NBA, he went on to purchase nearly 300 Wendy’s and Chili’s restaurants.

Bridgman has built far more wealth as a restaurant owner than he did as a legendary basketball star. He has a net worth of $600 million as a restaurant franchisee.

Female owned restaurants are also becoming more common

Back in the 1970s, it was very difficult to find a woman that owned a restaurant. The number of female owned restaurants has increased considerably in the 21st-century. Data from the Census Bureau shows that a third of all restaurants are owned by women. Women also account for nearly half of all restaurant managers.

Surprisingly, most of the growth in female owned businesses occurred between 2013 and 2018. The number of women on businesses actually increased 40% during that time period.

Sweeney said that this trend is very encouraging. However, she feels that there is still a long way to go to achieve true gender parity. She recently announced a partnership with the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association, Women’s Foodservice Forum and International Foodservice Distributors Association to develop a new initiative to draw more women into leadership and entrepreneurial roles in the food service profession.

Diversity is taking hold in the restaurant industry in surprising ways

Abraham Zaiderman and other restaurant industry experts predict that diversity will transform the restaurant industry in the coming years. A number of factors are playing a role in the shift. This will have many benefits for restaurants from coast to coast.