Women Are Rising Stars Of The D.C. Food Scene. A recent profile by On Tap Magazine suggests that Washington, D.C.’s rise in female culinary stars presents good news for the future of women in the industry. In the piece, Top Chef finalist Marjorie Meek-Bradley of Smoked & Stacked, CEO of Drink Company Angie Fetherson, and several more of the area’s female restaurant leaders offered their advice to individuals starting in the industry and discussed how they empower other women to start their own businesses. Chef Krystal Cripe of Red Hen emphasized the importance of actively supporting staff to ensure their success: “Instilling a sense of ownership and pride in your employees can go a long way. I’ve also learned that being endlessly positive and giving constructive feedback is a great recipe for building those relationships.”
First Kitchen Jobs Made Chefs Who They Are Today. On March 9, Bon Appetit talked with some of the world’s most well-renowned chefs on what they learned during their first restaurant jobs and how they continue to use those lessons in their own kitchens. After quitting a PhD program, Katie Bell of Curate and Nightbell in Asheville, South Carolina, found a new way to put her background in science to use, taking on a job whipping egg whites in the kitchen at El Bulli. Bell worked her way up the ranks to a role at Jean George, where she learned an important lesson that she is still reminded of today. “I would come in, start the second I got there, and finish my tasks as quickly as possible. Then one day the pastry chef pulled me aside and was like, ‘Katie, you need to come in and say hello to everyone. Everyone thinks you’re mean.’ I was too focused, too intense, too nervous,” she explained. “In my own restaurants now, I try to foster a sense of family and comfort, but to this day I’m still working on that piece of myself. I always remember that conversation…”
Bloomingdale’s, Altar’d State Share Associate Training Success Stories. Retail Customer Experience recently published an article on the employee training success stories shared by representatives from fashion retailers Bloomingdale’s and Altar’d State during the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) Big Show. In the five years since Bloomingdale’s implemented the Axonify training program to improve associate knowledge about safe work practices, the company has cited a 23% reduction in safety incidents and 87% of associates reported that the platform has boosted their job confidence. Altar’d State also instituted their own employee training program — called ‘Altar’d State University — ’ a phone app that uses visual content to appeal to the company’s millennial employees and respond to how they interpret information. Anita Johnson, Altar’d State’s Director of People Development, explained, “We needed to balance the growth and training,” she said. “The goal was to engage the workforce and give them challenges and create a common language.”
NRAEF Teams Up With Department Of Labor On $1.8 Million Apprenticeship Program. Last month, the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) and the American Hotel & Lodging Association signed a $1.8 million contract with the U.S. Department of Labor to launch the national Hospitality Sector Registered Apprenticeship project. The program, which is currently underway and intended to prepare more than 400 workers for careers, will focus on placing workers in paid apprenticeships in management-level positions across the hospitality and foodservice industries. In an interview with Restaurant News, John Shortt, the NRAEF’s director of program development, spoke about how the project builds upon the NRAEF’s existing efforts to help restaurant workers rise from entry level to management. “The apprenticeship program accelerates the career pathway,” Shortt said. “We want to give people careers and not jobs. There are many well-paying jobs in this industry. If you are on career pathway, you can access those jobs.”
Barista Training Camp Expands Skill Sets For Employees. On February 26, The Daily Courier reported on Step One Coffee House’s new employee training program: barista camp. Hosted by the coffee shop’s manager, the eight-hour educational session aims to help the barista’s expand their skill sets and provide employees with sufficient training on the way coffee is brewed. The article reported that, “Part of the reason Step One Coffee House takes this additional time to empower its employees with knowledge and skillsets is because it also serves as a job training program for those who might otherwise have difficulty finding a job anywhere else due to a lack of work experience or turbulent past.”
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