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Hospitality Industry Labor Summit

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The demand for quality food industry employees is at an all-time high. How do restaurant owners, caterers, and retail food operators identify, hire, retain, and motivate the best people? How do line cooks, dishwashers, bakers, servers, chefs, hosts and managers affect the dining experience?

Members of the Lakewood food and restaurant community gathered on February 28th at Ranger Cafe @ West Shore for a roundtable discussion of issues related to hiring in the hospitality industry. The event was moderated by New York Times Best-Selling cookbook author and Cleveland Scene dining editor Doug Trattner. After an opening exercise to determine best practices – and critical pain points – in the industry related to sourcing, hiring, and retaining employees, the discussion then turned to specific labor situations and economic conditions faced by restaurant and food service managers today. Event sponsors Cuyahoga Community College Hospitality Management Program, Towards Employment, Cornucopia, Inc., and West Shore Career-Tech Culinary Arts/ProStart presented brief overviews of their programs as possible sources for hospitality industry employees.

The Hospitality Industry Labor Summit also provided an opportunity for Lakewood restaurateurs to share ideas and network with peers, and to be treated to a delicious lunch provided by the culinary students at West Shore Career-Tech. The students, in turn, benefited by interacting with some of the best known restaurant owners in Lakewood and hearing first-hand about what is expected of the people they hire.

This event was presented by the Lakewood Chamber of Commerce Education Task Force. More photos from the event can be found on the Lakewood Chamber of Commerce Facebook page.