Recruiting and Retaining Talent in Today's Fast-Paced Food Service Industry
By Edward Allen Executive Chef, Foxwoods Resort Casino | August 04, 2013
With turnover rate in the food service industry skyrocketing over most other industries, attracting and retaining top performing employees is intrinsic and crucial in today's fast paced world. Businesses are vitally dependent on top performers to provide services that distinguish themselves from other strong competitors. Drawing in talent in our industry nowadays with fierce competition, creative cultures and reputation to produce good quality food gives us challenges, of course, but we like to look at them as opportunities. The culinary world has seen a dramatic shift over the last few years with the popularity of cooking shows and heightened chef stardom creating a foodie culture with high expectations and high demand not only for incredible food, but impeccable service as well.
Finding and keeping talented workers to rise to the occasion and accept this challenge is an ever-present endeavor at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut. Implementing different employment tactics at Foxwoods has given us an edge to attract incoming talent within our multitude of dining and food service outlets. With more than 500 culinarians and more than 100 stewards on Foxwoods food & beverage team, passionate employees are essential to the operational and culinary success at Foxwoods.
For many companies, including Foxwoods, recruiting and retaining top-quality talent means emphasizing professional development, career growth, personal fulfillment and a satisfaction in work product.
Foxwoods Resort Casino handles the recruitment of new talent in a few different ways, including partnering with top culinary schools, setting high criteria for technical skills, aptitude and attitude, as well as maintaining the highest standards for food service and safety.
Maintaining positive relationships with culinary programs is one way Foxwoods keeps a pulse on new talent. Working with the internship programs at Johnson and Wales has become very successful for us and is often responsible for culinary upbringings in many organizations. Foxwoods is incredibly lucky to partner with the school and at any given time, we usually employ around five Johnson and Wales interns. Foxwoods assists with the curriculums for students to make sure we are arming them with skills and assets they need to flourish in the culinary industry. Each intern is given the chance to learn and prosper in the different departments offered at Foxwoods; this can range from full service and banquet operations to the production line in one of our many food service outlets. Accessing these resources and having the capability to touch a broad range of departments helps students increase their skill level and become more competitive in the market, as well as helps them identify the best fit for their culinary future. Hopefully, students decide to stay on with the Foxwoods team. As a policy, we maintain contact with students throughout their educational career and post graduation to make sure they remain a fierce competitor amongst other rising stars.