As the largest private sector employer in the state, the restaurant industry provides jobs to nearly 191,000 workers. Furthermore, for every $1 million in restaurant sales an additional 34 jobs are created for our economy.
America’s Training Ground
The restaurant industry has long been known as the nation’s training ground and provides vital careers. Nearly half of all Americans have worked in the restaurant industry in their lives, one in four Americans got their first job experience in a restaurant and 80 percent of managers started as frontline employees.
- One-quarter of eating- and drinking-place firms are owned by women, 15% by Asians, 8% by Hispanics and 4% by African-Americans.
- Eating-and-drinking places employ more minority managers than any other industry.
- Fifty-eight percent of first-line supervisors/managers of food preparation and service workers in 2008 were women, 14% were of Hispanic origin and 14% were African-American.
Vocational training in Washington’s public schools
The Washington Restaurant Association Education Foundation plays an integral role in supporting the public education system. The WRAEF supports more than 70 public high school culinary arts programs throughout the state with a nationally accredited curriculum program, ProStart®.
ProStart prepares students for careers in the foodservice industry through academic and workplace experiences. Students receive classroom training and enter into paid internships with industry professionals.
Additionally industry mentors build relationships with students and are possible future employers. Since 2000, the program has trained more than 7,000 high school students in Washington.
* Data from the the National Restaurant Association 2010 Pocketbook