We are heartbroken. The horrendous act committed against George Floyd, and many, many others that came before him, is unacceptable. The systemic racism in our country perpetuates inequality and constrains mobility for people of color and underserved communities. But it is not enough to just point out what went wrong.
First and foremost, we intend to listen. We must hear and amplify the voices of those who are hurting. We will take a deep look at truths we may not have realized before and even make us uncomfortable. We must acknowledge that it is not enough to simply be “not racist” and this idea must be replaced with the act of being anti-racist.
It is no secret the past few months have been particularly rough for almost everyone. Billions in lost sales and lost jobs amid the pandemic we continue to experience have greatly tested the restaurant industry. Additionally, the grief from lives lost and deep-seated racism is affecting our restaurants, our people and our communities.
It is our belief that restaurants will play a huge role in making a difference. The word restaurant is derived from the French word restaurer, which means ‘to restore.” Restaurants have always been places that facilitate restoration, even in trying times when the industry has its own healing to do. We stand with you and our nation to end racism and will continue to do our part to use our voice for good.
As a small team, we are focused on finding the right way to help. We are encouraging unfiltered discussion among our staff and continuing to foster an environment for open dialogue. We are leaning into our core purpose and values, which is to ultimately do good and enrich lives. We will do whatever it takes to help and heal each other, the restaurant industry and our nation.
Through our work, we will continue to track and benchmark workforce demographics, because it is not only a key component of restaurant performance, but critical to making sure we, as an industry, are prioritizing diversity and inclusion initiatives at all levels. As a team, we will continue to support the causes that move us forward and address inequality in underrepresented communities through our longstanding partnerships with organizations such as Bonton Farms, No Kid Hungry, City Year Dallas, and Café Momentum among others. And we will never stop looking for new ways to support.
It is with a great sense of pride that we continue to serve you in this way, so that you can continue to do your part in fighting this battle. We are fighting it with you. We are fighting for you. It hasn’t been easy, and it may not ever be. We don’t claim to have all the answers. But we do have the capacity to continue to ask questions, seek truth and push for positive change. Lasting change will happen when we unite in shared commitment and bold action.