At Focus Brands, diversity and inclusion have always been core values for our company.
With recent world events underscoring the importance of commitment and action to these ideals, we want to go on record with exactly what we believe as a company; why diversity and inclusion are not only good for humanity but also are rock solid business strategies for attracting and retaining the very best talent; our declaration of commitment to promoting these ideals in our company; and the steps we’re already taking or plan to take to back up our promises with action.
Ultimately, we are in the business of providing great food experiences to customers and profits to the owners of our restaurants. While we recognize there is much in the world we cannot change, we can control our values, behaviors and practices in running our business.
We firmly believe the best way to promote social change is to change the world from within our company. And that’s exactly what we aim to do.
We recognize that our company can be a force for good and is strongest when we embrace all humanity, regardless of what we look like, our origin, our beliefs and politics, or whom we love. We are committed to an inclusive culture where individuals can bring their full, authentic selves to work. This is not only what customers and employees want and expect, it’s also just good business: Research shows diverse teams drive greater financial outcomes and better returns for shareholders.
Each of us has a role to play in advancing this mission. For some, it means summoning the courage to stand up and speak out—sharing experiences and perspectives. For others, it means listening with patience and empathy, creating an environment conducive to dialogue, learning and changing behaviors. For all of us, it means asking questions, respecting answers and, most importantly, appreciating one another’s contributions to our Focus Brands family.
We hold ourselves accountable for actions in progress in these areas, as we believe what we do (not just what we say) is who we are. Our stance for equality and against racism and discrimination, along with our aligned efforts, will ensure that Focus Brands will thrive now and in the future.
Here are some of the ways we promote diversity and inclusion at Focus Brands:
We are currently designing a mentoring program at the Focus Brands corporate office to pair high-potential team members with members of our executive team and senior vice presidents. We know that by recognizing our high-potential team members and investing in them through this program, we will build healthy relationships that bridge experience level, background, race, gender, sexual orientation, physical abilities, religion and political views. The common goal will be to support, guide and learn from each other through a mutually beneficial mentorship.
We have also created a Diversity Team (inclusive of Black leaders and other leaders) to ensure diversity and inclusion work is woven into the culture of our company and to create a review committee for the many issues and opportunities that arise for the business.
In addition to our already-existing Women’s Leadership Network (which provides professional opportunities and hosts content to help women be successful within Focus Brands), we are launching a new Black Resource Group and an LGBTQ Resource Group.
Through targeted training, we’re tackling head-on the need to address respect in the workplace, racism and opportunities to improve our diversity and inclusion. The Focus Brands executive team and all of our corporate associates have taken or will soon take this training, and our brand franchisees will soon be offered the training. We have extended opportunities for training to store managers and their teams as well, as we recognize most customers experience our brands through interactions with team members at our locations.
These are just a few ways Focus Brands is bringing our company and, ultimately, our world closer to the ideals of equality and inclusion for everyone. While there’s still work to do, we’re proud of our efforts and accomplishments to date. We respectfully challenge you to find your own ways to help move our world towards these same ideals and put the power of those ideals to work for your own organization.