By Kavita Sabharwal
Advancing your career in the foodservice industry can be difficult, especially if you’re currently working full time at a restaurant and find you have no time to tackle school, as well. With the introduction of Humber College’s new Food Service Operations Certificate program, however, it’s easier than ever to learn the skills necessary to advance your career while gaining hands-on experience.
Both industry novices and those with years of foodservice experience but a lack of credentials may apply to the program, which is new to Humber College for the Fall 2017 semester. Registration is now open for the program, which allows students to acquire basic certifications that are required to hit the ground running in the foodservice industry.
The program will build on several key skills required for industry positions, including professionalism, customer service, food safety, the practical knowledge of foodservice across different types of operations, beverage service and how it impacts the bottom line and career preparation.
One aspect of the program that really caters to those already in the industry is the ability to complete the program part-time, so students can continue to work and gain experience at the same time. Students can take a minimum of one course per semester to maintain part-time status. If a student decides to complete the course full-time, however, it will take them two semesters, or one school year.
“This is quite a unique program that is available. A lot of courses I’ve seen at this point seldom offer a part time component attached to it,” says Savio Colaco, Director of Continuing Education at Humber College’s School of Hospitality, Recreation and Tourism. “It’s great for anyone who wants to work and develop credentials for themselves; it’s a perfect opportunity in this industry. The [courses] currently offered require students to be there full time as they’re adding on to their experience. With this kind of certificate, it allows students to climb the ladder more quickly: they spend less time on training but they’ll have developed key experiences.”
Due to the huge growth of food trucks, the foodservice operations program also includes hands-on experience within a food truck environment. Colaco says it was included because there is currently a huge need for innovative cuisines and operations within the industry. The program also covers foodservice skills relating to operations in hospital, school and other institutions.
“If students do choose to focus on restaurant operations, that’s great, but foodservice operations will become more focused down the road, and we need to ensure our students are well-rounded and can take on any operations that are available in the industry,” says Colaco.
The certificate program even helps students develop a resume and teaches them interview skills to help them along in creating their future. Colaco emphasizes that the certification allow students to understand optional careers in the foodservice industry rather than just focusing on one facet, restaurant operations.
“This certification will provide really well-rounded students in the industry who will be highly focused on providing great communication skills and a good knowledge of profitability of a business operation,” adds Colaco.
Kavita Sabharwal is the online editor of RestoBiz.