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National Restaurant Association - Competency model a big win for industry

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Competency model a big win for industry

In an effort to identify professional excellence in the restaurant or foodservice business, the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation introduced the industry’s first-ever “Food and Beverage Service Competency Model”, which helps identify the best potential employees and the skills needed to excel.

The competency model was produced in partnership with the U.S. Department of Labor and is housed on the department’s CareerOneStop website. It is one of 23 that exist for industry sectors including aerospace, construction, health care and advanced manufacturing, and shows potential employees what is needed to achieve professional success.

“This model profiles the employability and technical skills essential to achieving life-long career success in the industry,” said Rob Gifford, executive vice president of strategic operations and philanthropy for the National Restaurant Association and the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation. “Our objective was to create a state-of-the-art, sustainable model specific to the restaurant and foodservice sector, and chart the pathways to career success afforded by the industry.”

The model covers every industry position, from server to food handler to manager to senior level executive, and details the knowledge, skills and abilities needed to move to the next level.

NRAEF spokesman Steve Kramer said that the model will help job trainers and instructors alike when planning educational and skill training programs, and in the development of curriculum for use at the secondary and post-secondary school levels.

“It will serve as a foundation for skills-building,” he said. “It will help instructors and trainers teach students and employees the skills they need to get placed and advance. It also will help hiring managers to judge skills and ability. They will be able to use it as a score card showing that candidates interviewing for jobs actually have the experience that make them good fits for the positions.”

Creation of the competency model began last June. It was funded by the NRAEF, the ACT Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Lumina Foundation for Education and the Joyce Foundation, and featured input from industry leaders, including restaurateurs, senior company executives and HR officers.

“This model is a game-changer for our industry,” Kramer said. “We are now among dozens of American industries with a systematic and cohesive way of looking at the workforce. Our industry built that for itself.”

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