With unemployment rates at a record low, increased growth at restaurant brands, and a reduced number of young, skilled workers applying for jobs, operators must find ways to attract, hire and keep employees.

To help solve that challenge, the National Restaurant Association launched ServSuccess, a career development program offering education resources and three levels of certification to employees who are looking to advance their careers. It operates on three educational tracks: the Restaurant Professional Learning Suite, which helps an employee develop expertise in basic front- and back-of-the-house skills; the Restaurant Supervisor Learning Suite, which helps strengthen and grow leadership skills; and the Restaurant Manager Learning Suite, designed to help managers drive business.

We asked ServSuccess Manager Daniel Ray about the program:

What was the impetus for creating ServSuccess?
The industry’s workforce is transient by nature. The churn of job turnover is constant, and businesses often incur high costs for finding, hiring and training staff‑‑as much as $2,000 per hire at the line level. In addition, there is a misperception about job opportunities both inside and outside of the industry. People tend to see restaurant jobs as temporary stops or fallback options rather than steps toward a career path. Also, when these job openings occur, it is difficult for employees to demonstrate their skills and for employers to gauge if the fit between a candidate and an open role is a good one, and if they have the right skills, knowledge and competencies to succeed. ServSuccess can help address those challenges.

How does it work?
ServSuccess gives companies a way to recruit and invest in employees and their professional growth. We believe it will help motivate employees to join a company and stay. The professional certifications, which are at the heart of the program, give employees credentials and credible validation for skills, knowledge and competencies they’ve earned by working in restaurant or foodservice operations. They also act as a sort of “currency” between the job candidate and employer during hiring or promotion transactions.

Would it attract more young people into the labor pool?
Across industries, research has found that 87 percent of millennials think training and development is crucial to success. Moreover, 93 percent of employees indicate they would stay at a company longer if employers invested in their careers. By focusing on professional development, ServSuccess offers training and certification opportunities across multiple career platforms and operators can demonstrate investment in employee growth.

Learn more about ServSuccess