A Seat at the Table
A Seat at the Table is MFHA’s podcast, hosted by Founder and President Gerry Fernandez. It offers a unique view of Cultural Intelligence and its importance to the workplace. With a goal of understanding the cultural differences and the uniqueness within multicultural communities, each episode takes the listener through first-hand experiences and ends with practical, actionable advice.
Episode 07: April 6, 2023
Panda Restaurant Group Shares About “A Culture of Giving”
Philline Zitin, Executive Director, Workplace Legal, Co-Lead of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council
While DEI efforts are usually known for cultivating opportunities and engagement within the workforce, extending a company’s values into the communities they serve can greatly impact relationships with guests and employees. Today’s guest, Philline Zitin, explores how the DEI pillars at Panda Express work together to foster belonging and unity in our greater society.
Episode 06: November 24, 2020
Addressing Issues of Diversity and Racial Equity in the Restaurant Industry with Tom Bené
How do you encourage more people of color to join your company in a leadership capacity? According to Tom Bené of the National Restaurant Association, it all starts with education and amplifying the message that your company values diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). This week on A Seat at the Table, Tom discusses diversity at the corporate level and why DEI is important to long-term business success.
Episode 05: November 10, 2020
How Cultural Competency Helps Your Bottom Line with Seema Jain
When Seema Jain worked for Marriott, she started an innovative program called Culture Day. The premise was to train employees on the customs and needs of customers from various cultures. Culture Day was a huge hit and helped Seema and Marriott realize that cultural competence leads to cultural confidence. Today, Seema joined Gerry for a discussion on how cultural knowledge can drive sales and improve the guest experience. Tune in for more.
Episode 04: October 27, 2020
How to Be a Good Ally to LGBTQ+ Colleagues with Isaac Rocha
LGBTQ+ people are the least protected class in terms of civil rights and employment. To be LGBTQ+ is an exercise in constantly second guessing how you present yourself to the world and whether that image is detrimental to your work or relationships. Isaac Rocha identifies as a Hispanic gay man. He is our guest this week on A Seat at the Table and discusses what it’s like navigating business as a gay man as well as how others can be good allies.
Episode 03: October 13, 2020
Dispelling the Myths of Franchise Ownership with Aicha Bascaro
Ever wonder how brands like McDonald’s and Dominos have so many locations? It’s all thanks to franchising. Franchising is a great way to enter the food service industry, but many people don’t understand how it works. Aicha Bascaro is the founder and CEO of American Franchise Academy and stopped by A Seat at the Table to discuss how franchising works, how you can run a successful franchise, and how minorities and people of color can become franchise owners.
Episode 02: September 29, 2020
How Businesses Can Become Anti-Racist with Dr. Kerry Mitchell Brown
Dr. Kerry Mitchell Brown
Racism is an uncomfortable word for many people. But to dismantle racism, we must understand and define it. Our guest this week on A Seat at the Table is Dr. Kerry Mitchell Brown, a racial equity consultant who specializes in organizational transformations. Dr. Brown joined Gerry to define racism and anti-racism as well as to offer a starting place for organizations looking to adopt anti-racism practices. Listen to this episode to learn why companies should strive to eliminate racism from within by challenging systems.
Episode 01: September 15, 2020
Cultural Intelligence And Why We Need To Understand It
Dr. Sandra Upton
Cultural Intelligence, or CQ, is the capability to function in multicultural situations. People with high CQ are effective leaders, good decision makers, and have a high degree of creativity. It takes commitment, training, and dedication to acquire this skill – not just one class on unconscious bias. Dr. Sandra Upton is the VP of Educational Initiatives at the Cultural Intelligence Center and joins us on A Seat at the Table to discuss CQ and how it can help your business’ bottom line. Listen for her insights on training, policy, and hiring.
A Seat at the Table Trailer
People with multicultural backgrounds make up the majority of the food service industry, yet few have a voice in the boardroom. A Seat at the Table is a podcast dedicated to highlighting the importance of cultural intelligence in the workplace.
Every episode, we’ll dive into topics such as anti-racism behaviors for businesses, why diversity and inclusion matters, and Black leadership perspectives. A Seat at the Table always ends with practical, actionable advice on how you can communicate effectively with people from multicultural backgrounds.
An inclusive business is a profitable business so join us and take your seat at the table.
The views expressed in this podcast are solely those of the speaker and do not necessarily represent the opinions of the Multicultural Foodservice & Hospitality Alliance (MFHA) and its affiliates. The MFHA does not warrant or guarantee the accuracy or suitability of any information offered, and the listener is encouraged to do their own research, and where appropriate, obtain the advice or guidance of legal counsel or the input of other experts with respect to their practices and/or applicable laws.