This week, restaurant professionals gathered at the Colorado Convention Center in beautiful downtown Denver. They discussed trends and issues, including supporting women, affecting restauranteurs nationwide.
Amanda Cohen, founder and chef of New York City’s Dirt Candy kicked off the event. She delivered a keynote and subsequent panel discussion about the issues facing women in the industry. Cohen shared her journey of ups and downs, victories and challenges. She relayed her experiences experimenting on new flavors and dishes and setting up her first restaurant. Finally, through it all, she remained tenacious.
Lee Goodfriend from Racines Restaurant, and Stephanie Turner from KM Concessions joined Cohen for the panel discussion. Goodfriend has no tolerance for harassment and commented several times about standing up against it and making sure your voice is heard.
#MeToo in Restaurants
For decades, women have experienced gender inequality. As a result, they often experience unfair and unjust treatment. Also, they report feeling excluded and overlooked when it comes to promotions.
The #MeToo movement sparked a fire in virtually all industries. Women came forward about their experiences with sexual harassment. The restaurant industry was no different. Cohen shared that she has been approached by numerous reporters to get her take on the #MeToo movement within the restaurant industry. It is commendable that the movement inspired journalists to shine a spotlight on women in the restaurant industry. However, it begs the question — will the spotlight remain after the movement has taken a backseat in the headlines? We certainly hope so. That is to say, the women we met at the Colorado Restaurant Show were powerhouses who are shaking things up.