The Industry of Opportunity

Restaurants and Foodservice - The Industry of Opportunity


More than 15 million people work in the restaurant and foodservice industry. Why?


  • schedule flexibility
  • opportunity for advancement
  • connection to the community
  • pathway to a middle class lifestyle and home ownership
  • the most diverse industry in America
  • develop skills as you work toward another career
  • the chance to own your own business


What makes Restaurants and Foodservice the Industry of Opportunity?


  • Restaurants have a long history of being both a first job and offering second chances to countless others
  • You can start at an entry level position and work your way up to management, ownership or another career
  • Restaurants employ more woman and minority managers than any other industry
  • 40% of restaurant businesses are owned by minorities, compared to 29% of businesses across the rest of the economy
  • 8 in 10 owners say their first job in the restaurant industry was an entry level position
  • The number of restaurant jobs paying between $45,000 and $75,000 a year grew 84% between 2010 and 2018 – more than three times faster than middle-class jobs in the overall economy
  • Own a business - 90% of restaurants are small businesses and have 50 or fewer employees
  • More than 90% of people who have worked in restaurants agree that the industry is a good place to get a first job and learn fundamental working skills - even when moving on to another career


Restaurants - the Most Diverse Industry in America








I started working in a restaurant as a busser when I was 16 years old, and worked my way up to General Manager by the time I was 21. The important skills I've learned in life - how to talk to people, the value of hard work, how to work with a team, how to problem solve and the understanding of budgets and financials all came from my time in restaurants. Restaurants are the backbone of my success."
- Marshall Weston, President & CEO - Restaurant Association of Maryland


Meet more "People Behind the Plate" who make the restaurant industry a great place to work.