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National Restaurant Association - 7 tips for a successful restaurant career

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7 tips for a successful restaurant career

Ground Round Grill and Bar CEO and National Restaurant Association chairman Jack Crawford recently saluted the graduates of the Culinary Institute of America, offering them advice as they begin their careers in the restaurant industry.

During his April 16 commencement speech to graduates at the Institute’s Hyde Park, N.Y. campus, Crawford, a 30-year industry veteran, shared his own story and some advice he received and still uses today.

“I remind each of you that restaurants are businesses, and that’s not a bad thing,” he said. “Being in business, either for yourself or as part of a larger company, is a major pathway to success, and being part of a team that builds or grows something may be the most rewarding thing you ever do.”

Crawford also gave the graduates seven tips for successful careers in the restaurant industry:

  1. Learn from everyone you interact with. Don’t be afraid to consult with other chefs, restaurateurs, staff members, suppliers and your guests.
  2. Ask questions and take advice. Take the opportunity to give and receive information that helps improve business. Use helpful hints that better your own operations.
  3. Be flexible and open-minded to pursue different opportunities. Don’t nix career prospects that may be outside your comfort zone or not exactly what you originally planned to do. They could end up being more fulfilling than you thought they would.
  4. Be dedicated and work hard. Working in the restaurant industry isn’t easy. Do more than what is expected of you. Be excellent, and you can rise up from hourly employee to manager to, perhaps, a company executive. Also, as you move up the ladder, don’t forget to make a difference in business and in other employees’ lives.
  5. Remember that being in business doesn’t mean your creativity has to end. You can retain your individuality and should. Don’t be afraid to be creative or a little different.
  6. If you start your own business, make sure you have a solid plan and the passion necessary to ensure its success.
  7. Mentor your employees so the restaurant industry continues to employ the best workforce possible.

Pictured top right: Crawford delivers the commencement speech at the CIA graduation ceremony.

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