Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Foodservice industry sees a surge amid tough times

Amid continued layoffs and budget cuts, more and more people are seeking careers in the food industry, according to a Monday story on MSNBC's Web site. The Institute of Culinary Education (ICE) saw 20,000 inquiries for enrollment last year, up more than 12 percent from the previous year.

Culinary Institute of America students
(photo courtesy of Anne Rettig/CIA)

Additionally, the restaurant industry alone is expected to add 1.8 million positions over the next 10 years, boosting the industry’s workforce by 14 percent to 14.8 million people in 2019. Still, the 2008 jobless rate among food preparation and related occupations was 9.5 percent (compared to last year's overall national unemployment rate of 5.8 percent), so additional competition in the industry may force aspiring cooks and chefs to seek jobs outside of restaurant kitchens.

Luckily, the opportunities abound, from personal chef positions in people’s homes, to cooking behind-the-scenes at supermarkets, which are offering more prepared food for time-crunched consumers, says Irena Chalmers in the article. Irena Chalmers says in the article. Chalmers, a CET and Chef Magazine columnist, is also the author of Food Jobs: 150 Great Jobs for Culinary Students, Career Changers and Food Lovers. Non-cooking jobs include nutritional expert jobs and food safety jobs, Chalmers adds.

To read the story in its entirety, click here; to see the video, click here.