Forward Thinking Hospitality

by Mikey Knab, Ponce’s Mexican Restaurant

On Friday April 5th, a group of 20 restaurant owners and operators got together at City Heights Coffee House to discuss strategies for improving working conditions for employees in the hospitality industry. The group included current Business for Good members, as well as others interested in taking a high road approach to hiring, training, and supporting our teams.

Owners of some of San Diego’s favorite restaurants joined the conversation. A quick glance around the room was quite an impressive list :

We were joined by Saru Jayaraman, President and founder of the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United (ROC), an organization founded in New York after 9/11 in order to support restaurant workers effected by the attacks. ROC now has over 100,000 worker members, and almost 800 restaurant owner members across the country.  Saru brought two members of her team, as well as a restaurateur partner from San Francisco to offer guidance and testimony on how changing our approaches, perspectives, and systems can improve the lives of our employees, while benefiting our bottom lines.

The discussion was lively and informative, and in the end, it was just really nice to have all of these San Diego restaurant heavy hitters sitting in the same room, completely committed to investing in our employees’ well-being.

There was a lot of interest in starting a chapter of RAISE (a part of the ROC work dedicated to high road employment practices) in partnership with Business for Good here in San Diego, with those in attendance acting as the vanguard of the movement here. Stay tuned for news on that front in the next few months.

In The New Economy, Everyone Is An Investor

by Alan Haghighi, owner of FruitCraft Fermentery & Distillery

There is something about the desire to get reacquainted with what it means to be human that drives the next generation of business owners we see today. We want our businesses to serve our clients’ needs while advocating social justice, a clean environment, and compassion for each other.

Most of all, we strive to return to a sense of community. A place where we know and trust one another and actually care about our shared fate.

But ironically, in order to bring these social enterprises into existence, business owners like me — who had little start-up capital — often have to turn to funding sources whose values couldn’t be further from our own. Continue reading “In The New Economy, Everyone Is An Investor”