Culinary job openings are on the rise, but businesses are finding there are not enough cooks to staff the open positions. According to the National Restaurant Association, in 2005 Illinois was home to more than 21,000 eating and drinking establishments. Nearly a decade later, that number has jumped to more than 27,000 establishments (almost a 25% increase).
So what does this mean for culinary students? A wider selection of job opportunities, many of which aren’t necessarily in traditional restaurants or hotels. While in the past culinary school graduates gravitated towards prestigious Michelin star-rated restaurants, now students can explore their passions working for a range of establishments – from brew pubs, to food trucks, to even supermarket chains like Whole Foods and Mariano’s.