Vic Allred, owner of several popular restaurants in the Kansas City area, represents a true service industry success story as someone who is committed to helping others gain long-term benefits through their jobs at his Jazz, A Louisiana Kitchen, restaurants.
As part of the National Restaurant Association’s America Works Here campaign, Allred shared some thoughts on his personal experience, “I began as a dishwasher and worked my way up to kitchen manager before graduating high school. I opened my first restaurant right after college and have been expanding ever since. At Jazz, giving back is a top priority.”
As a dishwasher, kitchen manager, student, and now owner, Allred’s experience showcases how restaurant and retail jobs provide opportunities for first job experience and a path to learn new skills and advance their career. Capitalizing on the flexibility offered by his service sector job, Vic was able to earn his degree while also being able to work and earn a paycheck. Additionally, facts and figures recently highlighted by the Path Forward Coalition show that, like Allred, 90 percent of restaurant managers and 80 percent of restaurant owners started in an entry-level position.
In a recent op-ed by Allred in the Kansas City Star on service industry holiday hiring, he shared with readers of his hometown paper just how service industry jobs help develop important skills needed for almost any job:
“But more than numbers, the season offers people from all walks of life with opportunities to work and strengthen skills, such as customer service, team building and organization…This provides workers of all ages with not only a chance to keep busy and earn a paycheck, but also to gain valuable skills and training toward fulfilling, successful careers.”
Allred’s commitment to the people of the service industry extends beyond his popular Kansas City restaurants. He has served as president of the Missouri Restaurant Association and was recently elected to serve on the board of the National Restaurant Association. Vic’s story is a familiar one for the more than half of Americans who have held a restaurant or retail job in their lives, and the millions currently working in the service industry.