Local high school students who want to become chefs or own or manage a restaurant had a valuable opportunity to learn from seasoned industry pros during FIT Day on Tuesday. FIT, or Force-in-Training, is an event that brings the industry’s leaders together with the next generation of chefs, managers, executives and restaurant owners.

FIT Day teaches soft skills to young people looking for their first position in the restaurant industry, and these valuable insights work in any industry! More than 2,800 students learned resume-writing, job-search etiquette, and interview skills, along with tips on professionalism and having a good attitude in the work place – all on a single day.

In a new addition to the training, students learned information on earning and saving, including lessons on what they can expect to see the first time they receive a paycheck – things like federal and state tax deductions, which can come as a surprise to the first-time worker.

“The restaurant industry is often where people get their very first job,” said Alycia Harshfield, executive director of the California Restaurant Association Foundation, the philanthropic organization that organizes FIT Day. “But, restaurants and hospitality are also among California’s biggest industries and the growth of cooking on TV, on the web and in print, has heightened people’s interest in culinary jobs as a long-term career.”

California’s restaurant industry employs 1.6 million workers and prides itself on providing employees with room for growth in the workplace that leads to a long, productive career path. So, in addition to the training, the pros will share their personal experiences and advice with students during FIT Day.

More photos from the event can be found here.

Thank you to our FIT Day Sponsors!