There may not be a better way to begin a new year — especially this new year — than with a commitment to come together, lead with purpose and champion change.
While the calendar year has shifted, we still find ourselves in an environment filled with challenges, both professional and personal, and at a time when our actions as leaders matter greatly. Restaurant operators are a special unit, as we’ve seen with countless actions to feed front-line workers, build relief funding for those in need, and hold difficult but needed conversations surrounding our country’s racial reckoning in the hopes of building a better and more inclusive future for foodservice.
At Nation’s Restaurant News our mission is to lean into the challenges foodservice professionals across the entire industry face, and to provide intel, inspiration, and recognition around what’s working, who’s leading, and why it’s important. There was no larger theme in 2020 than impactful leadership, and we are using our annual Power List program not only to shine a spotlight on some of the most influential leaders in our business, but also to ask those leaders to join us in widening that spotlight.
While the restaurant industry is deep with diversity across its huge footprint, it is no secret that diversity lessens as we look at ownership or C-suites. There are no Black CEOs of large, public restaurant chains; and there are just a handful of women leading large restaurant companies. As we look at independent operations, we see a bit more diversity among chef owners, and as we look at franchisees, we see an improved number of people of color at the helm – but still in small numbers and not nearly enough.
We believe it is past time to build a more inclusive leadership pipeline. The executives on this 2021 Power List agree, and they have readily selected power players within their own organizations with an emphasis on identifying people of color, women and members of the LGBTQ+ community. Throughout the year we will continue to follow the Power List and these emerging leaders with videos, webinars, and toward the end of the year, a special gathering at our new CREATE conference and festival, where we set out to create a new future of foodservice.
I couldn’t be prouder of our editorial team and partners for leaning in and stepping up to champion change as the best leaders do.
We are powerful when we come together. Join us.