The Powerful Pull of Restaurant Careers

This post brought to you by National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation . The content and opinions expressed below are that of upstartHR.

Over the past few weeks as we have explored various areas of the restaurant industry, including career opportunities, compensation, and more. Today I want to direct your attention to the power of the industry both in providing initial job opportunities as well as long-term prospects. Here are a few of the key statistics from the infographic below:

  • The restaurant industry provides a great start for younger workers. 92% of restaurant employees younger than 18 say their first job was in the restaurant industry.
  • Many of these employees stay in the industry for a long time. Restaurant employees ages 25- to 34-years old have a median tenure of 10 years in the industry, while employees ages 35-to-44-years have a median tenure of 19 years.
  • Many who venture out of the industry return: 60% of restaurant industry employees 35 and older have returned to the industry after stints in other fields.
  • This is an industry that allows employees time to pursue higher education. 64% of bartenders, 49% of restaurant managers and 41% of servers are currently attending a four-year college or university.

I’m particularly interested in the “92% of restaurant employees younger than 18 say their first job was in the restaurant industry” statistic. If we correlate that with the statistics on median tenure, it shows us that a sizeable number of those initial “starts” in the industry help to drive long-term career paths for employees. If you recall, we discussed that more in Restaurant Career Paths: The Journey Upward. This demonstrates the powerful pull of the industry to bring in, teach initial career skills, and drive career decisions for an entire generation of workers.

Below you’ll find the infographic titled “A Career for Everyone” from the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation.


Are any of these statistics particulary exciting for you? Why or why not? 

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