March 15, 2018 6:07 pm

Restaurant industry reacts after sexual misconduct allegations shake up Dartmouth café

Thu, Mar 15: The co-owner of a Dartmouth café has been forced out of the business after being accused of sexual misconduct in a damning article by The Coast. As Steve Silva reports, it has happened as efforts are in the works to address sexual harassment in the restaurant industry.

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A well-known café in the heart of downtown Dartmouth has been shaken to its core after sexual misconduct allegations resulted in the store parting ways with one of its co-owners.

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report by the Coast has alleged that Zane Kelsall, the now-former co-owner of Two If By Sea Cafe and Anchored Coffee, created an atmosphere of “manipulation and intimidation” as well as making current and former employees uncomfortable due to harassment and sexual misconduct.

READ MORE: Mario Batali, celebrity chef and ‘The Chew’ co-host, takes leave amid sexual harassment allegations

In an email, the café’s owners declined an interview with Global News.

A Facebook post confirms that both companies have parted ways with Kelsall.

However, at least one person in the restaurant industry isn’t surprised to hear about allegations of sexual misconduct.

Gordon Stewart, Executive Director of the Restaurant Association of Nova Scotia, says that it’s now more important than ever that people in the industry understand what sexual harassment means.

“There’s a lot more camaraderie that goes on [with] the restaurant staff, [mixing] between male and female, some [of] which [by] today’s standards wouldn’t be good, and some [by] the old standards would be OK,” he said in an interview on Thursday.

“But the world is changing, and we need to change with it.”

WATCH: Sexual harassment in the workplace

The Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission has a new sexual harassment policy template for organizations to adopt and Stewart says his organization has been working on a modified version to provide to those in the restaurant industry.

“We’re not only looking after our employees in internal operations, we also have customers on the other side,” he said.

“We have to have in place, being able to communicate with our customers, what’s our policy, what’s allowable and what’s not allowable, and when they break that barrier there’s got to be consequences overall.”

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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