Blog

How the Bar Industry Plans to Deal With Harassment in the Workplace—Including Unruly Guests

Though bars are known for offering refuge to many, their reputation as a house of worship with better tasting holy water is not celebrated the same way as a religious institution. Bars and restaurants have been stigmatized as places where bad behavior is tolerated—both backstage as well as in public. While the #MeToo movement helped exposed several popular celebrity chefs and owners for their predatory personalities, the next phase of cleaning up an industry built on creating comfortable atmospheres will be to actively participate in sexual harassment identification and prevention.

Awesome story in Fortune Magazine :

Though bars are known for offering refuge to many, their reputation as a house of worship with better tasting holy water is not celebrated the same way as a religious institution. Bars and restaurants have been stigmatized as places where bad behavior is tolerated—both backstage as well as in public. While the #MeToo movement helped exposed several popular celebrity chefs and owners for their predatory personalities, the next phase of cleaning up an industry built on creating comfortable atmospheres will be to actively participate in sexual harassment identification and prevention.

And there’s plenty of work to do. A recent study from the nonprofit organization Stop Street Harassment revealed that 71% of women have faced harassment in a public setting, which encompasses restaurants and bars, in their lifetime.

Talking About It: Don’t Blame It on the Alcohol

At the Tales of the Cocktail conference in New Orleans last month, the seminar “What’s My Role? Responding to the Rising Need for Sexual Violence Prevention in Nightlife and Hospitality Spaces” examined how the hospitality industry can identify and prevent sexual harassment. Moderated by trauma therapist and community mobilization strategist Chauntel R. Gerdes, the panel discussed strategies and tactics that create a supportive environment for victims of harassment.

A key element of this conversation: acknowledging alcohol is not explicitly to blame for causing dangerous behavior. “This correlation between alcohol and violence has often been conflated to causation, thus we often associate industries that work with alcohol as having a moral gray area or ambiguity,” said Gerdes.

By building a supportive community that acknowledges the true underlying causes of human behavior, individuals like Gerdes as well as fellow panel members like Amy Northup of OutsmartNYC and Side Duties founder Christina Veira have been able to convey strategies that can help make hospitality businesses better for humankind. “We need to move away from the idea that to be hospitable means to never hold bad behavior accountable,” explains Northup. So, what is a bartender, server, or patron to do when trying to navigate potential situations in which harassment might be evident?

How Hospitality Is Curbing Harassment: Tricks of the Trade

One of the most popular nonconfrontational strategies to stop unruly customers is to cut them off. By taking away a customer’s ability to pay, it sends a message that no amount of buying power is worth dealing with offensive advances. Some bars even instruct guests who feel uncomfortable to order a specific drink, which cues that a guest isn’t feeling comfortable and needs someone to intervene.

For bartenders, being present means strategic eavesdropping on conversations and paying attention to guests’ verbal and nonverbal cues. “We got some really amazing feedback, people coming into the seminar thinking, ‘I don’t really experience sexual harassment at my bar’ and 10 minutes in going ‘Oh… I absolutely do,’” Northup says.

Some restaurants developed entirely new systems for recognizing and addressing harassment. At Homeroom in Oakland, owner Erin Wade worked with employees to create a management alert color system (MACS), in which servers are instructed to use three colors to categorize incidents. A creepy vibe or stare is flagged as yellow, while verbal comments of a sexual nature are marked as orange. The color red is used if there’s physical contact, lewd language, or continuous advances. Homeroom even developed its own antiharassment policy poster, which it sells to other businesses. House of Yes in Brooklyn employs individuals known as consenticorns to observe interactions between guests and serve as a resource for anyone who might need help while at the venue.

READ MORE ONLINE :

https://fortune.com/2019/08/17/bartenders-workplace-harassment/

Item added to cart.
0 items - $0.00