Operations

Aramark launches new DEI workforce series

Beyond the Plate aims to educate staff about the cultural significance of the cuisines they serve.
Dr. Harris
Dr. Jessica B. Harris is featured in the first installment of Aramark's Beyond the Plate series. | Photo courtesy of Aramark

Aramark has launched an educational workforce series aimed at educating employees about the cultural significance behind the different cuisines they serve.

Beyond the Plate will be available to all Aramark management and provide “ongoing information, explanations and direction on cultural celebrations and related foods,” according to the foodservice provider. The first installment of the series features culinary historian and bestselling author Dr. Jessica B. Harris.

Aramark VP of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Fenimore Fisher sat down with Dr. Harris to discuss different dishes and cuisines from Africa and their role in shaping food in America.

“I have long believed that the driver of innovation and equity is the study of history, and I was humbled to spend time with Dr. Harris learning about the undeniable impact of Africa's influence on America's table,” said Fisher in a statement.  “Our country is so fortunate to have her insight and we thank her for dedicating time to enhance our commitment to education and awareness to best serve our guests.” 

Dr. Harris is also the keynote speaker for Aramark's LEAD (Leaders and Employees of African Descent) Summit, an annual conference held at the foodservice provider’s headquarters and sponsored by the employee resource group whose members self-identify as Black, African American, West Indian or of African descent, as well as allies.

This is the latest DEI initiative by the foodservice provider. In 2021, Aramark launched its Chef Spotlight program which highlights recipes created by Aramark chefs and the stories behind them