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National Restaurant Association - NRA chair shares recipe for success with students

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NRA chair shares recipe for success with students

The restaurant industry is made up of self-starters and risk-takers, and rewards dedication, hard work and commitment. That’s the message Jeff Davis, our 2017 chairman, shared with students at Oklahoma State University’s Hospitality Days annual conference.

In his keynote speech, Davis explained that one in three Americans get their first jobs in restaurants and more than half have worked in the industry at some point in lifetimes.

“We provide career opportunities, not just jobs,” he said. “Hard-working, dedicated employees can climb the career ladder from hourly employee to manager to even operating their own restaurant one day.”

Focusing on the future

The conference, themed “Building Brighter Futures,” brought together hospitality professionals, students and future business associates in a networking environment.

Davis, a Tulsa native, spoke about our plans and initiatives for 2017, including:

  • Increasing our focus on educating the industry about diversity.
  • Adapting to new technologies to enhance the customer experience and improve performance.
  • Implementing our advocacy agenda and our work with the Trump Transition Team and administration.
  • Providing support for Cabinet nominees whose work impacts the restaurant industry.

It starts with us

Davis urged the students to engage, educate, innovate and advocate to ensure success. “It starts with us,” he said. But, he added, achieving that success also requires teamwork; no one can do it alone.

He then shared his recipe for success. Be surrounded by good people who care for the guests, employees and the industry, Davis said. “That’s one of the things I’m proudest of, finding talented people to help me build US Beef, people who are the best in our industry.”

Jeff Davis is chairman of United States Beef Corporation (US Beef), the largest franchisee of Atlanta-based Arby’s Restaurant Group, with more than 340 restaurants in eight states and owner-operator of six Taco Bueno restaurants in northwest Arkansas.

Pictured at top: Jeff Davis delivers keynote speech at Oklahoma State University; Above: Davis with Hospitality Day chairs Shannon Powell, Jenna Dyke and Jennie Kramer

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