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Diversity and Discrimination in Restaurant Industry


This paper addresses how diversity is important for an organization and how companies can reduce allegations of discrimination at the workplace.

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Diversity as a Good Business Practice

Diversity at work is a mix of the population from across cultures, religions, sects, disabilities, and gender. Having a diverse workforce is a good business practice since diversity breeds creativity. The message of Martin Luther King is not meant for American Civil War, but it has a meaning in life. According to National Public Radio (2007) study, diversity spurs workplace creativity by adding different ideas and attitudes to the workplace. People from different backgrounds get to meet, exchange ideas and build up a huge pile of ideas which wouldn’t be possible without diversity. Since every business needs to be innovative in our economic turmoil to survive, a diverse workforce would help achieve this innovation.

Above all, having a diverse workforce makes sense since the law requires it. Rather than suffering from lawsuits that are not only costly for the company in an economic sense but also in its reputation, it is much better to keep a diverse workforce so any chances of these lawsuits are diminished. Its best for an organization to go for diversity before the government’s affirmative action sweeps the organization while destroying its reputation. (Mathis & Jackson, 2008)

Showing that the organization is a minority caretaker, builds a positive reputation. Starbucks is now becoming known for its proper treatment of diverse employees, thus raising its standards in the people’s eyes and becoming more likable.

Another reason for keeping a diverse workforce is that conflicts tend to get solved. Although diversity tends to create conflicts and misunderstandings in the beginning, later on, these conflicts die down and an organizational culture emerges that is more conducive to work and achievement of organizational goals. (Mathis & Jackson, 2008)

Reducing Discrimination

Large organizations like Cracker Barrel and Denny’s, which have plenty of stores nationwide, it becomes increasingly difficult to enforce corrective measures to improve the diversity of the area. Therefore when one location out of 500 locations gets a complaint, the management finds it hard to rectify the problems and may even decide to overlook this issue. However, this may be the worst decision any management can make since one problem is spread onto 20 people while a good deed is only reported to just one person. Based on these statistics, a complaint at even one location can reduce the customer base by plenty. (Mathis & Jackson, 2008)

To solve these issues, the management needs to be preventive rather than corrective. This means to start a recruiting campaign for the minority group before any lawsuits are filed. This means doing just like what Starbucks is doing for the disabled workers.

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A proper strategic direction must be set in motion that describes the company policy to hire people from across cultures and religions. The management must stringently observe the working environment for any tangible indicators of discrimination like sexual harassment or cultural bias. Training should be imparted to the management and the employees so that when hiring is being done, no discriminatory words are spoken or written in an advertisement. Each employee must be put through sensitivity training so that every employee not only understands each other’s differences but also appreciate them. (Mathis & Jackson, 2008)

The only problem with such initiatives is that management keeps its bias in the background while paying for only lip service to show that they are equal opportunity employers. Therefore the top management must be truly committed to providing an equal competitive environment for its employees so that creativity and business goals can be achieved.

Works Cited

Mathis, R. and Jackson, J. Human Resource Management. Chapter 5. 12th Edition. South-Western/Thompson Publishing, 2008. Web.

NPR. “Studies: Diversity Spurs Workplace Creativity” National Public Radio. Web.

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