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National Restaurant Association - 4 applications of the Food and Beverage Service Competency Model

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4 applications of the Food and Beverage Service Competency Model

The U.S. Department of Labor has published the first-ever Food and Beverage Service Competency Model, profiling the skills pertinent to career success in the restaurant industry. Created by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation in collaboration with the National Restaurant Association, State Restaurant Association representatives and allied industry partners, this model can be helpful to restaurant owners and operators in the following ways:

  • Hiring: From personal effectiveness competencies that are key to any-level job success all the way up to management competencies, the nine-tiered model can act as an aid for your hiring process.

    For example, entry-level restaurant hires ideally have or will further build skills such as strong communication, problem-solving and teamwork, all listed in the model’s first three tiers. Mid-level hires’ skills should be more specialized, as these employees often need specific training, such as advanced food safety or beverage service, in order to carry out their roles.
  • Training: Use the model to discover training gaps at your restaurant. For example, do you explain your marketing strategy to new team members? If not, perhaps it would be beneficial to your restaurant and employee success.
  • Promoting from within: The benchmarks outlined in the model can help you determine criteria for promotions and show employees what specific skills they may need to advance.
  • Evaluating: Evaluating employees can be difficult, but the competency model and its accompanying worksheets housed on the U.S. Department of Labor’s CareerOneStop website can help provide structure. Ask employees to check off which competencies they believe they’ve mastered, and do the same as their manager. Then discuss any discrepancies and make a plan to tackle any problems. 


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