Unilever subsidiary Unilever Food Solutions and The Culinary Institute of America launched a new leadership training program on Sept. 10 to improve working environments and address staff retention issues by providing leaders with insight and practical tips from others in the industry, the companies announced.
The Leading a Fair Kitchen training, free to any hospitality business, is part of the Unilever’s global Fair Kitchens initiative focused on driving change to secure a healthier and more sustainable foodservice industry.
The free, online program is comprised of a series of short videos and actions to complete afterwards. It’s available for chefs and operators with any level of leadership responsibilities.
“We want to empower industry leaders to build the best possible environment for their teams. That’s why we’re proud to launch this online educational series for #FairKitchens, which captures the insights, learnings, and experiences of kitchen leaders and industry experts from all over the world,” said Einav Gefen, executive chef, Unilever Food Solutions North America, in a prepared statement. “This is the time for us to stop, pause, and think about who we want to be – as chefs, and as people who have the privilege to nurture our staff through their careers.”
Kimberly Brock Brown, executive chef and president of the American Culinary Federation, the largest organization of professional chefs in the country, said that the goal of the training is to “help chefs or operators reflect on their own practices, to grow their skills and develop their team. If you’re in a position of leadership, cultivating open communication amongst your team is vital. The best leaders don’t simply talk and instruct; they listen and respond.”
Brock Brown is one of the creators of the program.
These trainings set out to drive culture change from the top, and to create an open, inclusive, and fair environment for their teams.
“Being a good leader means making the people around you the best they can be, no matter how long they are part of your team. This online program creates an opportunity to show everyone that strong businesses are those where their people come first. When we invest in our teams and our staff members are happy, that shows in our food and it shows to our guests,” said Matt Johnston, director of product and menu experience at Pita Pit Canada, who also contributed to the training.
Leading a Fair Kitchen covers seven modules – one four-minute long introductory module, and six more detailed modules which take between 30 to 35 minutes to complete.
- Module 1 (Introduction): What is Leadership
- Module 2: Self Awareness and Self-Management
- Module 3: Communication
- Module 4: Recruitment and Onboarding
- Module 5: Building Diverse Talent & Teams
- Module 6: Wellbeing
- Module 7: Crisis Management
Each module recommends learning actions for the participants to complete afterwards. Participants may earn a certificate of completion from the Culinary Institute of America. The training is available for free online.
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