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National Restaurant Association - New military training program targets success

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New military training program targets success

At NRA Show 2017, our Educational Foundation will debut a brand-new training initiative that teaches military servicemen and women the ins and outs of running a restaurant business. The program is part of our annual Military Foodservice Awards program.

Foodservice boot camp

The training initiative will be held May 19 to 21 at Kendall College and NRA Show 2017 in Chicago. The objective of the program is to provide basic training and an introduction to the hospitality industry for military foodservice members. The curriculum, taught by restaurant industry experts, will focus on:

  • Menu development with healthy eating options
  • Kitchen and interior design
  • Marketing and competition
  • Staffing needs

Approximately 120 servicemen and women will team up with executives from Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises, Sodexo, Hobart and 5thP Marketing for the training phase of the program.

“We have a long-standing tradition of helping servicemen and women transition to careers in the restaurant and foodservice industry after returning to civilian life,” said Rob Gifford, executive vice president of our National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation. “Our goal is to help reduce unemployment within the veteran population and employ at least 10 percent of separating U.S. military personnel in foodservice careers.”

The participants will split into teams to develop and work on a “new dining facility”. Each team will create a “concept” offering three meals served daily, 24-hour to-go service and healthy options. At the end of the training, they’ll present their concept to industry leaders for feedback and evaluation.

Providing careers for veterans

The restaurant industry today employs 14 million people – or 10 percent of America’s workforce – and 250,000 of them are military veterans, our research indicates. Since 2001, more than 2 million veterans have returned home from active duty. Another 1 million will return home over the next few years. In addition, unemployment among post-9/11 veterans is at 12.1 percent, more than double the national average.

This year will represent the official rollout of the training program and new curriculum.

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