In an industry not necessarily known for progressive, or even existing, paid parental leave, Union Square Hospitality Group is leading the charge to make that reputation a thing of the past.
At the front and center of the initiative is Erin Moran, USHG chief culture officer and, fittingly, a single mother working in the restaurant industry.
Danny Meyer’s New York-based company said last September that starting next year, it would expand paid parental leave companywide to full-time employees with tenure of more than one year. It’s a move that is sure to shine a bright light on an important conversation and influence other restaurant companies to revisit their practices.
“As a single mom myself, I have a tremendous amount of empathy,” Moran told Eater New York last September. “I am so passionate about this program.”
While Moran is new to the industry, her extensive experience as a human resources consultant and executive focusing almost entirely on improving workplace cultures and environments has proven invaluable to USHG, which is no stranger to shaking things up. You may recall USHG spearheading the movement to eliminate tipping — a restaurant custom as old and unchanged as oysters Rockefeller.
Moran, who has a personal connection to the issue, is churning the waters in a similar fashion, and she isn’t shy about calling on her peers to do the same.
“I am passionate about people having a full life inside and outside of work,” Moran said. “I’m hopeful that other hospitality peers will follow suit.”