Parent Dining Questions: Answered! [Part 3]

By: Susan Golder | November 4, 2020 | leadership
Students working in their college dining program

Welcome to the third blog in our series Parent Dining Questions: Answered! In this blog, we’ll talk about how we answer questions like this:

“My son needs a job. Why should he apply to work in your dining program?”

Answering this question at face value (“We pay a fair wage and have immediate openings!”) may not be enough. We’ve found that answering the “question behind the question” is more effective. The parent is really asking: “Are you able to help my son earn the money he needs, learn practical life skills, and mature as a person without me there? How can I be sure he’s going to be a productive adult?”

Our college and university food service directors encourage parents that working in campus dining is a great opportunity for their students by talking about Flexibility, Skill-Building, and Incentives.

Flexibility

Dining is one of the top five largest employers on campus, and it’s an attractive option for students because of the flexibility with class schedules. Creative Dining locations are very familiar with working around students’ academic schedules and can offer something for every schedule, whether a breakfast or late night shift works better that semester. Mention how your dining program offers flexibility.

Skill-Building

Working in food service teaches valuable customer skills that apply in any future career. Creative Dining managers instill soft skills: Strong work ethic, time management, conflict resolution, customer service, and responsibility. Hard skill building opportunities include: Learning cooking techniques, catering and event planning, marketing (social media, promotions, signage), and finance (revenue and expenses). How does your dining program emphasize skill-building?

Incentives

Many of our dining programs offer incentives for years of service, scholarship opportunities, and student management experience (which makes a great resume builder). Plus, students enjoy a free meal during their shift. What incentives are offered by your hospitality partner?

And, don’t forget to share success stories like this one: Recently, a Creative Dining student dining employee graduated with a degree in IT and landed his first “corporate job.”

His new employer shared that one of the reasons he beat out the other candidates was that he had food service experience. Say what?

The employer went on to say that experience made them confident that he understood customer service. So true.

Ask your dining partner about success stories you can share with parents.

What are the toughest questions you’ve received from parents regarding dining services? Did you have trouble giving answers that satisfied you? Submit your questions here, and our college hospitality experts will share insights that will help!

Want more? Check out Part 1 & Part 2


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