Millennial and Gen Z members say the foodservice industry offers good employment opportunities and effective training in various skills, according to new research by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation.

The Foundation partnered with the Center for Generational Kinetics, to release a report detailing how both generations view the industry and how to interest them in future job and career opportunities.

The research looked at responses from more than 1,600 respondents and found the following:

  • More than 70 percent said they think the industry is a good place to get a first job. About half of them believe the industry offers opportunities to earn a living wage and provide for their families.
  • Millennials started working in the industry at age 18 while Gen Zs started at 16-and-a-half.
  • Nearly half of respondents who said they’d left the industry indicated they’d return. The number was even higher for people with culinary degrees – 65 percent – who said they would also return for a job opportunity.
  • Another 65 percent said working in foodservice or hospitality requires a wide variety of skills. Almost half of them said they thought a job in the industry is a good one to have and would encourage their own children to seek employment there.

“Millennials and Gen Zs feel so strongly about their own positive experiences in the restaurant industry, they’d recommend working for it to their own children,” said Rob Gifford, the foundation’s executive vice president. “This offers us a powerful opportunity to not just foster long-term relationships, but also influence this next generation of leaders.”

The industry currently employs 15.1 million people and expects to add 1.6 million new jobs over the next 10 years.

Millennials, born between 1982 and 2004, are also known as Generation Y. The group’s oldest members are approximately 36 years old. Gen Zs were born between 1995 and 2010, and their oldest members are about 23.

(Source: National Restaurant Association)

To learn more about Millennials and Generation Z, download the full report here. Find out more about the National Restaurant Association’s Educational Foundation here.