Learn how to plan your DEI Initiative!

Introducing ELEVATE DEI Framework for the Restaurant Industry

ELEVATE is a new framework to drive positive change in DEI strategies for organizations of any size. Based on landmark research that indicates a gap in how enterprises and employees view DEI policies, ELEVATE provides step-by-step tools that set the foundation for effective program development, implementation and success measurement.



There’s a big gap between how hospitality enterprises view their diversity and inclusion policies and how their employees actually experience them.

ELEVATE is a framework for building successful DEI programs and cultural fluency within organizations of any size in the restaurant industry.

Each step in the ELEVATE framework reflects actions that company leadership should take to assess its current DEI policy, identify stakeholders, and establish a strong foundation for meaningful change to a DEI policy, change that achieves a true culture of inclusion, equity and opportunity.

The ELEVATE framework helps set that foundation by showing how enterprises can create and foster effective DEI policies and practices and measure success.


  • A step-by-step toolkit showing proven best practices of effective DEI programs
  • Direct actions management can take to move initiatives forward
  • Assessments to help enterprises gather data, examine current offerings, and identify stakeholders
  • Stakeholder communication
  • Guidelines to establish goals and set success metrics
  • Guidelines to communicate DEI policies and values to current and prospective employees


2022 DEI Survey Report

MFHA collaborated with the National Restaurant Association, the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation, and Cornell University Nolan School of Hotel Administration to conduct landmark research that measures the awareness and perceived effectiveness of DEI practices among employers and employees in the restaurant industry.

The 2022 DEI Report reinforces the critical importance of effective DEI policies in driving employee engagement and retention in the restaurant industry.


  • When restaurant employees leave the industry, many do not return. Respect and a culture of belonging influence job satisfaction and intent to stay in the industry.
  • 92% of enterprises report having dedicated DEI initiatives, however employees’ awareness of those policies is very limited.
  • While 73% of enterprises believe that a diverse workforce improves a company’s innovation, 54% of enterprises don’t believe the money spent on diversity programs has a noticeable impact.
  • Only 30% of current employees (and 14% of former employees) believe the diversity programs at their restaurants have a positive impact on the workplace.

ELEVATE is available to MFHA members for free and to non-members for $349. If you are an MFHA member and would like your complimentary copy, please contact info@MFHA.net.


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The #FairKitchens movement was founded by Unilever Food Solutions in the summer of 2018 in response to a heightened need to address health and wellbeing issues at the heart of the foodservice and hospitality industry. Research by Unilever Food Solutions in 2017 had uncovered that 74% of chefs were sleep deprived to the point of exhaustion, 63% of chefs felt depressed, and more than half felt pushed to breaking point.

This inclusive industry-wide and global movement aims to better the lives of foodservice professionals around the world. We connect and create community in the industry to open a conversation around the unhealthy working conditions and call for change, because a healthier kitchen culture makes for a healthier business. We aim to raise the standards of our industry to better retain the talent we have today and attract the talent we need for the future.