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Coast-to-Coast: A Conversation with Dame Jesse Cool in San Francisco and Patti Simpson in New York: Rethinking Fair Wages & the New Restaurant Paradigm, moderated by Dame Kimberly Belle

  • Wednesday, March 24, 2021
  • 4:30 PM - 6:00 PM
  • Zoom Conference


Join LDEI-SF and your hosts, Restaurateur and Founder of the Heart of House fair wage model, Dame Jesse Cool, Chief People Officer at Union Square Hospitality Group Patti Simpson, and Dame Kimberly Belle of Salt & Roe, as we discuss the coast-to-coast rethinking of wage equity in the changing restaurant paradigm.

With a focus on the development of Whole Employees and why wage equity matters during this time of industry-wide crisis that invites us to reckon with the structural inequity in many of our food & beverage businesses, we will have a frank, wholehearted discussion on the opportunity and difficulty both industry pioneers have experienced leading fair wage programs at Flea Street café and the Danny Meyer family of restaurants, respectively. We will explore possibilities for program implementation, overcoming barriers to success, and creating cultures of belonging as we brainstorm how our industry might come together to support this call to action. 

This is a public event open to anyone interested in exploring possibilities for wage equity in the hospitality industry, including SF Dames, Dames worldwide & their guests.

The first hour of our talk will be in an interview format, followed by a half-hour Happy Hour Q&A to answer questions and share experiences. 

Together, let’s raise the bar (and our glasses) to creating equity in our industry!

Ticket Price: $10
All proceeds will benefit the LDEI-SF Etoile d'Escoffier Culinary Scholarship, supporting outstanding female culinary students to achieve their professional aspirations and become the next leaders of our industry and the Karola Saekel Craib Excellence in Food Journalism Fellowship, honoring Bay Area female food journalists with our encouragement for their essential work.

Jesse Ziff Cool has been dedicated to sustainable agriculture and cuisine since the mid 70’s as a writer, restaurateur, spokesperson, and consultant for eco conscious food service, waste management, social and corporate responsibility in the food industry. She is the author of 7 cookbooks and has opened and still operates 2 restaurants in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Patti Simpson is the Chief People Officer of Union Square Hospitality Group and oversees all Human Resource operations. In her role, Patti implements key systems and benefits that align with USHG’s Family Values (excellence, hospitality, entrepreneurial spirit, and integrity) to further enhance USHG’s philosophy of Enlightened Hospitality, the belief that putting employees first is the key to running a meaningful and sustainable business. Patti joined USHG with a deeply rooted background in HR, where she has led HR operations for various domestic and international foodservice brands such as TGI Fridays, Ignite Restaurant Group (Joe’s Crab Shack, Brick House Tavern + Tap), Au Bon Pain, and most recently Ruby Tuesday. Having grown up in Wayne, Pennsylvania, a small town outside of Philadelphia, Patti holds a bachelor’s degree in special education from Cabrini College and is certified by the HRCI (Human Resource Certification Institute), SPHR (Senior Professional in Human Resources), as well as SHRM – SCP (Society for Human Resource Management – Senior Certified Professional).

Kimberly Belle is a development coach and partner at Salt & Roe supporting hospitality leaders in developing their careers and concepts. She works with owners and operators to guide them as they create new food and beverage ventures, grow existing restaurant operations and lead lives of purpose. Kimberly previously worked as Co-owner and Executive Chef at her NYC-based catering company, The Dinner Belle, before moving on to become a hospitality executive charged with developing the F&B programs at both Restoration Hardware and Crate & Barrel. She lives in Sonoma with her family, where she is in ever eager search for Early Girl tomatoes.

Les Dames d' Escoffier Int'l-San Francisco

Les Dames d’Escoffier International, San Francisco Chapter, is a 501 (c)(3) (EIN 20-5341764) Your contribution is tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.

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