National Restaurant Association Seeking Individuals and Companies That Exemplify the American Dream for Second Annual Faces of Diversity Awards

The National Restaurant Association today announced its call for candidates for the second annual Faces of Diversity awards, which aim to raise awareness of the importance of diversity and inclusion, and to inspire others to expand their diversity efforts. The restaurant-and-foodservice industry prides itself on including individuals from a wide range of backgrounds and cultures, which contributes to its continued success and growth. The awards will be presented to individual industry professionals and restaurant companies at the Association’s 2008 Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show, held May 17-20 in Chicago. The deadline to apply is January 8, 2008, and applications/nominations are being accepted online at www.restaurant.org/diversity.

“Workforce diversity is instrumental in building better businesses and incorporating a wider range of ideas and perspectives to encourage growth, follow trends and make our restaurants great places to build careers,” said Association President and Chief Executive Officer Dawn Sweeney. “We look forward to receive this year’s applications from the many industry professionals and companies that help make our industry so successful, exciting and unique.”

“We are proud to be partnering with the National Restaurant Association on this great award,” said Scott Siers, vice president of Industry Relations & Business Development for PepsiCo Foodservice. “The foodservice industry is a great melting pot in our country. Food is a universal language across the globe, but at the same it is rich in unique traditions and cultures. The Faces of Diversity award gives us the opportunity to recognize some truly amazing people and organizations around opportunity and diversity in our industry.”

The Faces of Diversity program-created by the Association in partnership with PepsiCo Foodservice-celebrates the restaurant industry’s successes and proactive efforts to embrace workforce diversity and inclusion. The program has two award categories: the American Dream Award, which honors individuals from diverse backgrounds who have realized the American dream; and the Inspiration Award, which honors restaurant companies that exhibit leadership and vision as advocates of diversity and inclusion through key programs and initiatives. Any restaurant employee or restaurant company can apply or be nominated for a Faces of Diversity award.

The restaurant industry employs more minority managers than any other industry. Women represent 55 percent of the restaurant workforce, and more than one-quarter of all foodservice managers are foreign-born. As one of the largest private-sector employers in the country, the industry provides career and employment opportunities for 12.8 million individuals.

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