Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion: How does it Relate to Event Catering?

Eating at a Meeting Podcast Episode #133

Woman pointing to the message written on her left arm.Event Catering and DEI…how are they connected?

How do equity, diversity, and inclusion relate to event catering? In this episode of Eating at a Meeting, Tracy chats with Zoe (pronounced ZOH) Moore, an independent equity, diversity, and inclusion consultant in the hospitality, events, and tourism industries. Hint…DEI (and belonging) have a lot to do with event catering.

From staffing in the front- and back-of-house to vendor sourcing, service methods to what’s being served, inclusive food and beverage experiences are opportunities to invite people to learn, celebrate and honor diversity as well as create a sense of belonging.

Listen to Tracy and Zoe’s conversation to learn how event professionals as well as corporate diversity and human resource managers can leverage food and beverage at events and in the workplace to enhance their DEI programming and employee wellness programs.

Zoe Moore

Zoe (pronounced ZOH) Moore, founder of Grow with Zomo is an independent Equity, Diversity and Inclusion consultant helping leaders in the hospitality, events and tourism industries develop strategies to improve workplace culture and the hospitality ecosystem.

What do safe, sustainable, and inclusive food and beverage experiences look like to you?

Inclusive food experiences must be about culture appreciation not appropriation. It’s an opportunity to invite people to learn, celebrate and honor diversity.

Sustainable & Beverage experiences must begin with Supplier Diversity. Vendors and Suppliers especially small, under-resourced companies that are not practicing proper environmental guidelines need education not exclusion from preferred vendor lists. This will result in experiences that are diverse, benefit the local economy and contribute to improved behaviors.

Do you have an example of a situation that negatively affected you and/or other individuals or groups’ food and beverage experience?

Over the years I’ve experienced several events during Black History Month that have boxed in what it means to celebrate the rich culture, history and talents of the Black Diaspora.

An example is a stigma around serving fried chicken. Instead of exploring history and being creative around celebrating that history correctly people get uncomfortable or get defensive when held accountable for going about it poorly.

I’ve been negatively impacted when stereotypical foods are served just to check the box or when Black Chefs are reduced to cooks that only prepare one type of cuisine.

Food is a universal language that connects all of us. We must leverage F&B experiences to achieve reconcile, support, and invest in the welfare of our communities.

What is a best practice you use/or have seen to create safe, sustainable, and inclusive F&B experiences?

The Free Breakfast for School Children Program by Black Panther Party.

When I lived in Oakland I learned so much about the linkage between the environment and food. Environmental & Food Justice illuminates the challenges in urban communities that disproportionately impact Black & Brown families.

Through Bay Area Organization for Black-Owned Businesses founded by YaVette Holts, I learned about Communities for a Better Environment (CBE).

A best practice is comprehending that the environment is just as much lush greenery, waterways, and rolling landscapes as it is city buildings, highways, and urban communities.

One of the events I use to do, Life is Living by Youth Speaks helps preserve the history of the Free Breakfast program.

What do you wish people knew about what you do?

The comfort of my clients is not a measurement of my success. Instead, I focus on strategic change that is measurable. I measure my success by the impact and application of what my clients, course participants, and colleagues learn.

Just for fun…What are your favorite food and drink?

Chicken Arepas & Agua de Fresa


Connect with Zoe:  Website  |  Facebook  |  Instagram  |  LinkedIn  |  Twitter

Check out other featured guests on the Eating at a Meeting podcast

Eating at a Meeting is part of the Nitty Grits Podcast Network.


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