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Culinary Central

Food Service Industry Outlook

September 28, 2009 Le Cordon Bleu Le Cordon Bleu 0 Comments

The food service industry is huge. As a result, it is no surprise the industry employees millions of people in a wide range of culinary settings. There are school cafeteria workers and gourmet chefs. There are waiters, waitresses, and bussers. There are hospital food and beverage directors and restaurant managers. There are also equipment and prepared foods manufacturers. Wherever there is food being served in a professional capacity, food service industry workers are there to ensure that we enjoy our meals.

Food Service Jobs on the Rise

There is no doubt that the recent economic troubles have been painful for some in the food service industry. The hardest hit have been smaller, independent restaurants and large equipment and consulting companies. Despite these challenges, however, there is good news for food service job seekers, particularly in the restaurant segment.

The restaurant industry employs 13 million workers at over 945,000 locations throughout the country with an estimated $556 billion in sales in 2009*. Those numbers include a projected 2.5% growth in sales from 2008. Additionally, the restaurant industry is expected to add another 1.8 million workers nationally over the next decade, increasing to a total of 14.8 million workers by 2019. However, local markets for food service jobs will vary.

Preparing You for the Jobs of the Future

These numbers are great news for graduates of top culinary schools looking to enter the food service industry over the next decade. And there is even more good news. A recent Harris Interactive survey shows that despite the economic downturn 46% of Americans are eating out as much now as they did one year ago. So while we may be able to put off buying that new car or refrigerator, we Americans can’t put off buying food.

Add to that new research that shows Millenials (ages 16 to 31) eat more meals out than they do at home. While this trend may lessen as they get older, it still shows that restaurants should continue to prepare for growth over the coming years. Clearly the same cannot be said for other American industries like manufacturing.

As a graduate of a top culinary school, you could be in an good position to take advantage of the growth in the food service industry. You can take your culinary education and chart a career course that matches the expected growth in your chosen industry.

From the National Restaurant Association - http://www.restaurant.org/research/ind_glance.cfm

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