By Karen Bremer, Executive Director of the Georgia Restaurant Association
For most restaurant owners and operators, chefs and general managers, a job in the restaurant industry was the first step towards a successful career. In fact, one in three Americans' first job was working at a restaurant. With so many individuals turning to restaurants to begin their careers, whether it’s continuing to move up the ladder in a restaurant or applying the skills learned at a restaurant job to a different career path, restaurants help drive the economy and are a backbone for numerous success stories.
In an effort to portray the thousands of success stories inspired by the restaurant industry, the National Restaurant Association launched an America Works Here campaign to paint the picture of the opportunities that are available and presented by the restaurant industry. The campaign highlights individuals from across the industry and shares their perspectives of the impact that the restaurant industry, the nation's second-largest private-sector employer, has had on them. The powerful stories from the campaign serve as encouragement for others and shed light on the importance of the restaurant industry.
My first job was as a checker at S&S Cafeteria in Britton Place in Tampa, Fla. The lessons that I learned from this job helped me develop a successful career in the restaurant industry and taught me valuable skills that I was able to use throughout my professional career as a restaurateur and even now as the Executive Director of the Georgia Restaurant Association.
Archna Becker, president of Bhojanic in Atlanta and GRA board member also recalls her passion for the industry.
"My family and I moved here from India when I was 11. I always wanted to work in restaurants, and I've held every kind of job - from pizza delivery to serving in a fine dining restaurant," said Becker.
Every restaurateur has their own story of success and numerous individuals launched their working careers with a job in the restaurant industry. As these stories continue to be shared, we want to hear your story of success and highlight not only the stories across the nation, but specifically throughout Georgia.
Georgia is a leading contributor of opportunity in the nation. In fact, for 2015, Georgia ranks ninth in the country for largest restaurant workforce with 421,800 restaurant-and-foodservice jobs and fourth in the country for projected growth in restaurant-and-foodservice jobs at 21.1 percent growth from 2015 to 2025. These statistics highlight the opportunities that stem from Georgia and portray the importance of restaurants to the state. To continue to showcase the contribution of the industry in Georgia, the GRA is relying on your stories of how Georgia Works Here.
Want to learn more about America Works Here, view stories from restaurant peers or share your own story? Visit www.americaworkshere.org/we-are-restaurants to get started.