Taking action to make equality of opportunity and social justice issues more applicable in restaurants, the James Beard Foundation decided to test the commitment of the restaurants to social justice. The Foundation stated that it will not only evaluate restaurants in terms of food and service, but also consider the contributions of the candidates to “racial and gender equality, society and environmental sustainability.”
Dawn Padmore, vice president of awards, said, “Excellence in your craft, whether you’re a chef or a restaurateur or a writer, that’s still key. It’s an awards program. But it’s aspirational for where we want to go.” The changes in the James Beard Foundation’s assessment criteria are seen as an important step towards greater diversity and equal opportunity in the post-pandemic restaurant industry and society.