Duke's Commitment to Inclusive Community

A message to our customers:

We are heartbroken by the senseless deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Manuel Ellis and too many others, and by the deep pain and division we’re seeing across the country. Their lives mattered.

Black Lives Matter.

Please don’t take our lack of communication on this matter as indifference. We have needed time to reflect, to listen, and to understand.

We have needed time to take a hard look inside ourselves. To have difficult conversations with our management to comprehend the role each of us plays in racial inequality, not just in our restaurants, but in our lives, our communities.

We have needed time to research ways that we, as a company, can do better.

Because we have been closed for business since March 18th, these conversations haven’t happened overnight. 100% of our employees are out of work. Many are just trying to survive.

Over the last 100 days, we’ve faced the reality that our business may not survive the COVID pandemic.

A response to such an important issue as the safety and justice of Black and Indigenous Americans is not something we can rush.

What we are doing now is investigating our business practices, reviewing our hiring process, our company policies, our staff education, even the businesses we buy from. We are committed to changing any way that our operations contribute to racial inequality or injustice.

We are researching causes that we can support with donations. This process takes time as there are many nonprofits and volunteer organizations doing important work. When we join with them, it won’t be just a one-off contribution, but a long-term partnership.

We have many unanswered questions and have few concrete answers so far, other than the certainty that we want to be a part of positive change for the lives of Black, Indigenous, and all people of color.

This is an ongoing and critical dialogue for us, and we deeply apologize if our silence has been seen as acquiescence.

At Duke’s, our primary mission has always been to create a space where guests feel at home, accepted for who they are regardless of where they come from, their beliefs, or the color of their skin.

This remains our goal.

We are about to re-open our doors after months of waiting. We hope to see you when you feel comfortable. We welcome your feedback, your ideas, your questions regarding how we can make Duke’s more inclusive for all.

Thank you.