A website is no longer primarily an organizational window dressing but a potent tool to remain competitive and attract a broad range of diverse talent. In a recent Website Cultural Inclusiveness Assessment, commissioned by the Multicultural Foodservice & Hospitality Alliance (MFHA), overall results showed there is still much to be desired on the websites of the industry’s Top 100 Restaurants* when it comes to communicating their cultural inclusiveness or commitment to diversity. The goal of this study was to assess how well each respective site projected and communicated this message. A website that actively communicates a company’s commitment to cultural inclusion enables that company to: 1. benefit from a better public perception; 2. support the integrity of a brand promise that leverages cultural inclusion; and 3. enjoy enhanced brand attractiveness to a multicultural audience of internal stakeholders, talent, customers, partners, and the public at large.
*as named under Nation’s Restaurant News Top 100
Based on the results of the high scoring restaurant brands, here are 10 WEBSITE Components to Effectively Communicate Cultural Inclusiveness
#1 VISUALS & BRANDING.
The use of multicultural images throughout the website, not simply limited to a Diversity section, preferably featuring employees from underrepresented groups, in leadership roles.
#2 CEO MESSAGE
Including a CEO’s personal Diversity & Inclusion message, plus reasons why she or he believes having a diverse and inclusive management team is critical to achieving business goal, is just Best Practice. The commitment must come from the top.
#3 CAREERS AND EMPLOYMENT PAGE
- A strong statement of your company’s commitment to actively seeking a diverse workforce, aided by images of employees of color, are helpful.
- Written or video testimonials of employees, management and customers, importantly, who have seen first-hand the commitment in practice, are highly recommended.
- Less use of caricature and stock images and more use of real pictures of current employees of color. The proof is in the pudding! Attention must be given to updating this section every two years, if not sooner, to ensure the image does not become dated.
- Career progression anecdotes along with an explanation of key success attributes for candidates reinforce that you are looking for career-oriented individuals and not just job applicants.
#4 DIVERSITY CONTENT – STRATEGY
Diversity messaging should directly tie into overall business metrics. How do you measure business success as related to your Diversity goals?
#5 THE OVERALL EXPERIENCE OF WEBSITE VISITORS
When visiting your site, the overall experience should be consistent on each page. The Diversity section message and visual should be consistently carried across other related sections, e.g., “ABOUT US”, “CAREERS”, and the like.
#6 COMMUNITY & PHILANTROPHY
Your Foundation dollars must tie into your overall Diversity strategy. Evidence of your commitment is translated into giving back and by the organizations you support. Best practice companies establish Diversity Councils or Committees to ensure dedicated commitment is well thought out and monitored.
#7 BRANDING YOUR ALLIANCES & ACHIEVEMENTS
- Showing related organizations you support and including a brief statement of who they are, is important to establish your support for the mission of these organizations.
- Affiliation with relevant organizations like MFHA, WFF, Urban League, NAACP, and the like, are important to list; display the organizations’ logos on your website with a link back.
- Feature any related awards and other recognition.
#8 USE OF KEY WORDS
In your content, there needs to be dedicated information and materials to support finding key words and related phrases as: diversity, diversity statement, CEO statement on diversity, supplier diversity, cultural inclusiveness, multicultural, etc., when searched on your site and not just the use of the words within general copy.
#9 BROAD ACCESSIBILITY
People with disabilities should be able to access and easily navigate your site.
5 Steps to Improving Website Accessibility
#10 “TELL US ABOUT YOUR OVERALL EXPERIENCE”
Encourage feedback from those visiting your site. Include 5 objective questions and ask for feedback that allows you to track demographics.
If your brand has been named under NRN’s Top 100 Restaurants and you want to know more about the research and your score, email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Multicultural Foodservice & Hospitality Alliance (MFHA) is an educational non-profit that helps companies maximize their Return-on-Investment by engaging diverse cultural groups through Cultural Intelligence. Learn more about how MFHA is helping its members in the multicultural market by raising the topline, improving the bottom-line and building cultural authenticity into the brand. Visit www.mfha.net.
Marketing & Communications Manager
The Multicultural Foodservice & Hospitality Alliance (MFHA)
401-461-6344 x 102