BC Dining Service Earns Award for Diversity Programs

BC Dining Service Earns Award for Diversity Programs

By Stephen Gawlik
Staff Writer

A food service and hospitality industry organization has recognized Boston College Dining Service for its efforts to create and maintain a culturally diverse working environment.

Patricia Bando

The Multicultural Foodservice and Hospitality Alliance presented Director of Dining Service Patricia Bando with the organization's first-ever "Strategic Examples of Excellence in Diversity" award at the MFHA annual conference in San Antonio last month. Food service industry corporations attending the conference included McDonald's, Marriott International and Denny's, who sponsored the award.

Among the BCDS initiatives cited were its active recruitment throughout area high schools, vocational schools and community colleges, and of senior citizens in Boston neighborhoods, as a means of promoting age diversity. Dining Service also drew praise for giving persons with special needs the opportunity to work in kitchens and dining rooms, and for supporting community assisted living programs that help men and women rehabilitate their personal lives.

Other BCDS programs include: culinary training for those seeking careers in food service but lacking formal education; developing multi-ethnic menu items; English as a Second Language classes; and formal diversity training programs to broaden cultural awareness.

These programs have helped to create a full-time staff of 245 that is 50 percent AHANA, 40 percent female, 12 percent persons with special needs and 9 percent senior citizens.

"We were really recognized for what we do everyday," said Bando in a recent interview. "Diversity is about respect and that's what we try to promote."


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