In an attempt to increase awareness of diversity and inclusion, the National Restaurant Association and the Multicultural Foodservice & Hospitality Alliance (MFHA) have teamed up to create “Understanding Unconscious Bias in Restaurants,” a new online training program that teaches managers and their employees how to deal with bias in the workplace.

The program offers two 30-minute training modules – one geared to managers and the other focusing on employees. Both use industry-specific scenarios to instruct on the issue. The goal is to heighten awareness of unconscious bias and help both employees and managers promote a culture of respect among guests and themselves.

“The restaurant industry is as diverse as the communities it serves,” said Sherman Brown, the Association’s executive vice president of training and certification. “Increasing awareness of unconscious bias and its effects, and equipping people with the tools they need to manage bias, is essential to our industry’s success.”

Topics featured in the employee module include:

  • Defining unconscious bias, and the forms it takes
  • Understanding the impact of bias on interactions with guests and fellow employees
  • Understanding how to conduct oneself with fairness, and having a greater awareness of others’ perspectives

The managers’ training module offers information on how to:

  • Proactively and reactively manage situations in which bias occurs
  • Manage employee interactions to promote a fair, respectful, and inclusive workplace
  • Deal with difficult situations and minimize impact on the business

Besides the online training content, managers also have access to complimentary resources, such as breakroom posters, videos, and a discussion guide that could help continue training through pre-shift lessons.

Gerry Fernandez, the MFHA’s founder and president, said bias impacts all aspects of business and that understanding diversity makes sense culturally and financially.

“Successful leaders in the industry are ready to learn what bias is, how it works, and how unconscious bias ties into recruiting, leadership development, and customer service. This industry of hospitality has the opportunity to bring people together by embracing inclusion and helping its workforce, especially the next generation, build successful, rewarding careers.”

The program, part of the Association’s ServSafe Workplace training suite, is available in English and Spanish. To learn more, visit