Seeking culinary talent

More culinary school grads entering workforce, operators say.

Most operators (63%) believe that there are more culinary school graduates seeking employment in non-commercial foodservice than there were five years ago. The highest percentage of operators who feel this way (78%) is in B&I.

“I think the B&I field is very desirable, as the hours are typically more controllable than, say, school foodservice,” says Christine Rankin, corporate services manager for Hallmark Cards Inc., Kansas City, Mo. “We currently have seven employees who are culinary school graduates.”

When it comes to attracting culinary talent, only half (51%) of operators think that the non-commercial industry is doing enough marketing and promotion. Rich Neuman, director of dining services at Ohio University, in Athens, believes that organizations such as NACUFS “have really stepped [up] their communications to culinary school graduates that there are opportunities in non-commercial foodservice.” He believes that attracting culinary grads is particularly important for colleges.

“The creativity and the whole restaurant appeal and feel that these graduates can bring is what our students want,” says Neuman. “They’ve grown up eating in restaurants; that’s what they expect.”

Of all the markets, respondents in schools are significantly more likely than those in the other sectors to say they are not seeing an increase in culinary school grads in their segment, with 42% believing that to be the case. But Dawn Fronius, food service director for the Freedom Area (Pa.) School District, says schools should be making more of an effort to attract such talent.

“They can bring some new, fresh ideas, which include today’s style of production,” says Fronius, a graduate of The Culinary Institute of America. However, she notes that schools is not a market in which all culinary grads feel comfortable, despite such attractions as reasonable working hours and better benefits.

“The only drawback is that, with most of these graduates, they do not understand that nonprofits operate on such tight budgets, which sometimes stifles creativity,” she says.

Fast Facts

  • 63% of operators agree that there are more culinary graduate entering the non-commercial industry than five years ago.
  • 50% of operators agree that having a diverse workforce makes it more difficult to train staff.
  • 61% of operators believe that turnover is lower now than it was five years ago.

More From FoodService Director

Sponsored Content
Roasted Beet Salad Pickled Blueberries
From Blueberry Council.

What’s trending in the culinary world? The basics! According to the NRA, diners today are craving authenticity, simplicity and freshness on menus. But basic ingredients don’t have to lead to boring menu options.

It’s easy to fall into the latest craze to capture consumer attention and drive sales. But we’ve learned it’s not always about novelty. Instilling a feeling of nostalgia and familiarity by using well-known and well-loved ingredients in new, experimental dishes can lead to an increase in adventurous dining decisions, while staying in your customers’...

Ideas and Innovation
fsd screenshot web

A full year has passed since we redesigned FoodService Director magazine, taking the publication from its longtime tabloid dimensions to a more convenient size and more creative design, and recasting the content to provide actionable, peer-to-peer insights and ideas for FSDs.

Now we are thrilled to announce that we’ve extended the makeover to our website as well. The new FoodServiceDirector.com has been redesigned to be more engaging and even easier to use. We’ve made it faster to find information, from recipes to HR best practices, that will help you run your facility better....

Managing Your Business
wage feud business

As plans to increase the minimum wage surge ahead in states such as New York and California, operators eventually will feel the reverberations shake up labor costs for more than just hourly workers. As associate wages gain on manager salaries, operators will have to answer a call for reciprocal increases. FSD spoke with operators who advised going gently into the brave new world of heightened labor costs, investing in talent and making cuts elsewhere; however, they did offer three perfectly proactive tactics to make the process as seamless as possible.

1. Keep talking

Even though...

Menu Development
craft beer flight
A draw for happy hour...

San Francisco restaurateur Charles Phan plans to serve beer and wine, and depending on liquor licensing, perhaps cocktails as well. “For faculty and staff on campus, it will be a really wonderful place to come to and have a glass of wine,” Wolch says. “Right now, we have The Faculty Club bar, which is a very historic spot, but this is going to be much more contemporary.”

And for morning coffee...

Phan’s plan for made-to-order coffee is bound to be a boon for both faculty and students. “We’ll have a brand-new espresso machine,” Phan says. Wolch adds, “Most...

FSD Resources