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Is the Cooking Profession Recession Proof?

August 20, 2009 Le Cordon Bleu Las Vegas 0 Comments

The short answer is no. Given the right set of circumstances, every industry and every profession can be negatively affected by a recession. The real question is whether or not the profession maintains a level of stability or growth during economic downturns without being caught up in the tide. In that case, the answer is yes.

Despite the current state of the economy, jobs in the food service industry have not only held steady but they have grown. Here are some statistics from the National Restaurant Association*:

  • Restaurant-industry sales are forecast to advance 2.5% in 2009
  • The restaurant industry employs an estimated 13 million people
  • The restaurant industry is expected to add 1.8 million jobs over the next decade, with employment reaching 14.8 million by 2019

Keep in mind this is a national estimate that refers to all levels of positions within the culinary industry. These are just of few of the positive statistics for the food service industry as we all try to climb out of these difficult economic times.

Las Vegas Chefs Weather the Storm

So if no profession is recession proof, what can be done to improve your prospects for continued employment even as cuts are taking place all around you? Here are a few tips to stay ahead of the game:

  • Give Your Best – Are you giving 100% all the time as a Las Vegas chef? Poor performers are in trouble no matter what economic conditions
  • Build Your Network – You may have no plans of leaving your current job, but what if it is planning to leave you? Stay connected with other Las Vegas chefs and the career counseling office of your culinary school. Having multiple options in case of a cutback is the key to securing new employment
  • Be Seen – Don’t fall prey to the thought that keeping a low profile is the key to job security. Get out there. Be seen. Volunteer for the occasional double shift. Bring up new ideas at kitchen or restaurant staff meetings. Suggest ways that kitchen operations may be improved. If you are a valued commodity when/if it comes time for cuts, your name won’t jump to the top of the list if they feel they can’t do without you.
  • Build Your Skills – Restaurants don’t want to take the time to hire and train new employees. Don’t give them a reason to. Enroll in continuing education classes if you already have a culinary degree. Pursue a certificate or degree if you don’t. The extra education increases your value to the team and could help preserve your position for as long as possible.

The food industry is a core industry that fulfills one of our basic needs: to eat. Other industries might be cracking under the pressure, but the food industry remains strong.

This article is presented by Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts Las Vegas. Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts Las Vegas offers Le Cordon Bleu culinary education classes and culinary training programs in Las Vegas, Nevada. To learn more about the class offerings, please visit Chefs.edu/Las-Vegas for more information.

The jobs mentioned are examples of certain potential jobs, not a representation that these outcomes are more probable than others. Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts Las Vegas does not guarantee employment or salary.

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


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