What is Unconscious Bias?

Unconscious biases are social stereotypes about certain groups of people that individuals form outside their own conscious awareness. Working in the hospitality industry, it is critical to understand how we may be affected by these biases and how we can become more aware of them. Unconscious bias (sometimes referred to as implicit bias) includes snap judgments and stereotypes. In the hospitality business, our unconscious biases are something we should examine, for the sake of our relationships with co-workers and in the interest of providing our guests with the best possible experience.

Once you make people aware of their unconscious biases, they are no longer “unconscious.” Once there is awareness, people can make decisions about how they are going to interact with both guests and co-workers, preferably in respectful and positive ways.

For those of us in the hospitality business, it’s easy for our unconscious biases to allow us to jump to conclusions that can lead to stressful situations. While foodservice companies, for example, often pride themselves on addressing diversity in hiring and serving their customers, the industry harbors a high level of unconscious racial bias, researchers have found.

Understanding Unconscious Bias in Restaurants provides online training for managers and employees to provide awareness, increase fairness, and help businesses take action to reduce bias in the workplace.

How Managers Should Handle Sexual Harassment Complaints

It’s the conversation no manager wants to have. An employee has requested a meeting to make a sexual harassment report.  Just remember, as uncomfortable as this may be for you, it is likely even more uncomfortable for them—it takes a lot of courage to come forward with a sexual harassment complaint. You need to do everything you can to handle this meeting calmly and professionally, starting with reviewing your company’s sexual harassment policies and alerting your human resources and legal departments.

Why do you think employees might hesitate to report inappropriate sexual conduct? There are many possible reasons. They might be worried that the harasser will make their lives more difficult; that coworkers will single them out or treat them poorly; that a supervisor or manager will dismiss their complaint or punish them in some way for bringing it up. They may worry that they will lose money (in tips or more desirable shifts) or lose their jobs entirely, or that everyone will find out and they will be ridiculed.

Managers play an important role in transforming their workplace culture and creating a safe and positive work environment free from sexual harassment for all employees. Your company’s own policies and procedures are the foundation of this process. Take your commitment to the next level by bringing ServSafe Workplace’s new sexual harassment prevention training for managers and employees to your organization.  Visit https://www.servsafe.com/ServSafe-Workplace to learn more.