BRG's Commitment to Equity & Inclusion.

We, as Boka Restaurant Group, try to hold ourselves accountable for our actions and show up for our people. We constantly think of ways to uplift and support our teams, particularly BIPOC and the LGBTQ+ community

Meet Michelle Herndon, Director of Diversity & Community.

Michelle is leading our efforts to assess and improve company practices and policies, ongoing company-wide training, mentorship opportunities, giving initiatives, and internal communications.

Michelle joined BRG in 2011 as Director of Events for Balena. She has since navigated the events world as part of the opening team for Dutch & Doc's and most recently The Hoxton. Before joining BRG, Michelle had an illustrious career including time spent in HR staffing as well as diversity and inclusion training for Limited Brands. Outside of BRG, Michelle spends time as a professional lifestyle coach.

Safe welcoming & thoughtful spaces.
We work with all facets of BRG to ensure we are providing safe, welcoming and thoughtful spaces for People of Color/ LGBTQ+ community to thrive.

Providing mentorship with People of Color/ LGBTQ+

Leading conversations with People of Color/ LGBT+ within the company as situations occurred where facilitation was needed to help people feel safe and heard within their environments

Facilitating meetings with BRG Leadership to create better work relationship/environment and communication, understanding of each other for their teams

Collaborating with the HR team on policies and practices on how they can impact people of color and in the LGBTQ+ community

Participating in all exit interviews with employees sharing their experiences

Working with HR team and Restaurant Leadership to lead employee conversations/ investigations when sensitive HR issues arise

BRG's COMMITMENT
TO EQUITY & INCLUSION

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We, as Boka Restaurant Group, try to hold ourselves accountable for our actions and show up for our people. We constantly think of ways to uplift and support our teams, particularly minorities, People of Color and the LGBTQ+ community. Our efforts are focused on the following:

Working with all facets of BRG to ensure we are providing safe, welcoming and thoughtful spaces for People of Color/ LGBTQ+ community to thrive: 

Providing mentorship with People of Color/ LGBTQ+

Leading conversations with People of Color/ LGBT+ within the company as situations occurred where facilitation was needed to help people feel safe and heard within their environments

Facilitating meetings with BRG Leadership to create better work relationship/environment and communication, understanding of each other for their teams

Collaborating with the HR team on policies and practices on how they can impact people of color and in the LGBTQ+ community

Participating in all exit interviews with employees sharing their experiences

Working with HR team and Restaurant Leadership to lead employee conversations/ investigations when sensitive HR issues arise


Developing and facilitating identity and diversity trainings for all BRG members: 

Working with leaders of the DEI field to create custom Diversity Training for company leaders and company-wide

Attending various DEI programs (LinkedIn, Courageous Conversations, Taft, McKinsey) to further education and professional development

Educating and developing pronoun usage as well as Gender Identity within BOKA and establishing a clearer understanding of pronouns

Leading orientation and trainings for all new BRG managers to speak on culture and expectations for creating safe, welcoming, and nurturing spaces for our teams


Implementing more recruiting, professional development, and opportunities for People of Color and from the LGBTQ+ community in all positions, including Leadership Positions:

Developing intentional partnerships with schools and community organizations that serve People of Color and those in the LGBTQ+ community for recruiting and educational partnerships:
- Washburne
- Center of halsted
- Greater chicago food depository

Identifying Boka Alumni with new positions and opportunities to bring them back to the company


Partnering with community organizations that support People of Color and those from the LGBTQ+ community for the Boka Gives initiatives to provide financial support and resources: View our Boka Gives page for more info.

We know this these are small steps and we have a lot of work to do. We encourage you to leave feedback and hold us accountable as we roll out long term plans to weave racial equity into the fabric of Boka Restaurant Group. Please email us directly at community@bokagrp.com.⁣⁣