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

Industry News & Opinion
millennial employee handshake

Boy, is it ever fun being a member of the millennial generation. On the one hand, there’s a bevy of seasoned bosses and co-workers who typecast us as lazy, easily distracted, entitled upstarts who don’t value older generations’ experience. And on the other hand, there’s an economy that we entered at the exact wrong time that—while it is recovering—required us to settle for less pay and fewer benefits at the beginning of our careers, stunting our growth trajectory right from the start. (Whoops, there I go playing right into our complain-y stereotype.)

Like us or not, the millennial...

Ideas and Innovation
fidget spinner

While they may be a nuisance to parents, restaurants are finding an unexpected use for trendy fidget spinners. A chef at Houston seafood spot Reef posted a video to Instagram to show off the new technique: dripping sauce over the toy while it’s spinning on a plate to make creative designs.

Sponsored Content
ballpark stadium food trends

From Bush’s Best ® .

Whether it’s at a college or university, a minor league game or a major league game, sports stadiums offer an array of delicious foods that sports fans love. A look at what’s happening in stadiums’ food offerings spotlights a few trends that foodservice directors should keep an eye on and adapt for their own menus.

1. More pork options

According to Technomic’s MenuMonitor, powered by Ignite, instances of pork on stadium menus have increased 33% year-over-year. Going ultra-indulgent with pork is trending, too—Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Mo., serves...

Sponsored Content
blended burger mushrooms

From The James Beard Foundation.

Blending meat and mushrooms in burgers and other iconic foods is a major trend heralded by a number of trendsetters and publications.

As many know, this trend was started by college and university chefs and dining directors because they could create better burgers (and meatballs, tacos and meatloaf) by blending at least 25% ground mushrooms in with beef. These operators knew that “the blend” was better-tasting, better for the environment, better nutritionally and better for holding because of the juicier texture.

In return for being...

FSD Resources