White Castle celebrates 100 years in business this year, but its CEO Lisa Ingram is not looking back, only forward. After a year of closed dining rooms and social unrest, Ingram is making sure the quick-service burger chain is in line with the times.
Part of that was ensuring that her employees felt represented during the Black Lives Matter protests over the past year and that their voices are heard at the company. According to Ingram, 81% of the company’s general managers are women and 44% are people of color.
“As a white woman, it’s challenging for me to say the right thing so I wanted to make sure, since we have so many diverse leaders, that they got the opportunity to talk and share their story about what racism has meant to them, how its impacted them and how we can do more,” Ingram said.
One step White Castle took in 2021 was a new uniform collection the brand designed in partnership with Telfar that had durags for employees — a first for the company — after receiving employee requests.
“We’re not going to undo 400 years of social injustice if we don’t try to make it better even in our own worlds.”