These are difficult times. For those working in the restaurant and hospitality industry, COVID-19 has made it brutally apparent what we have known all along. There’s a lot of job insecurity in our chosen line of work and our livelihoods rise and fall with the economy. Even in good times, the restaurant and hospitality industry has always been a tough business. The hours are long and sometimes unreliable and working conditions can be trying. The hotel business is 24/7 and a roller coaster ride from one season to another. And these are not good times. Restaurants are closing or limiting their staff for take-out service only and hotels are looking forward to a bleak quarter and beyond, neither with a clear path forward.
Senior Living Food Service and Hospitality, on the other hand, has an ongoing and opposite set of challenges that is largely insulated from an unstable economy. Many struggle to find enough team members to fill positions. Our population is aging rapidly and the gap between supply and demand for skilled food service and hospitality workers in Senior Living will only widen. Maybe it’s time to consider using your hard-earned skills in a new and rewarding way. Prompted by the aging Boomer generation, Senior Living has changed in a way that better reflects current expectations for quality food and service. Those that have worked in restaurants and hotels will see many of the same types of services offered in these communities such as a la carte dining, wine service, catering and banquets, room service, full bars with craft beers and all types of regional and seasonal menus.
There is a strong movement towards a new paradigm of care and with this movement comes a large range of opportunities that might be a good fit for someone who is looking to bring their skills and creativity to an industry that is moving forward rapidly to change the way we take care of our elders.
Compared to hotel and restaurant workers, most senior living communities offer better benefits to their associates. Not only are the hours shorter and more consistent, benefits often include health insurance, paid sick leave and accrued vacation time. For many residents and patients, mealtime is the highlight of their day. Wouldn’t it feel great to know how much your work matters? The opportunity for personal and career growth is limitless.
At the Pineapple Academy (thepineappleacademy.com), we want to be part of the solution during these difficult times. We are offering a free online course called “Introduction to Senior Living Food & Service”. Any individual wanting to explore the possibility of a career in senior living foodservice is welcome to register by visiting https://pineappleacademy.com/introduction-to-senior-liv…/ . On completion of the course, the student will receive a Certificate from the Pineapple Academy for an added boost to their resume during their job search process.
The Co-Founders of the Pineapple Academy, Tucker Graves, and Greg Gorgone, have each worked for many years in the restaurant and hospitality industries. Greg started his career as a pot washer and fell in love with the energy and possibility of the restaurant world. From culinary student and chef instructor at Johnson and Wales University to a career in Food and Beverage Management that led to opportunities as a GM overseeing a large hotel property and later evolved into hotel and restaurant development, Greg enthusiastically embraced the restaurant and hospitality industry.
Gorgone went on to say, “But then the economy crashed in 2007 in the middle of a development project. I had just moved my family to the area in anticipation of a long on-site process and almost overnight funding dried up and the project was canceled. Not just that project, but every opportunity in the region and nationally seemed to shut down overnight. I was badly shaken and knew it was time to reevaluate my career. I did the research and realized that healthcare and senior living was not affected by shifts in the economy like hotels and restaurants. In 2008, I made the move to healthcare and was a Director of Food and Nutrition at a campus with a large hospital, a skilled nursing community, and a behavioral health residential program. The difference was a regular schedule, great benefits and more free time, but even more importantly, it was the connection I felt towards the residents and patients I was serving. The food I prepared was sometimes the highlight of a person’s day, not just another meal out. It inspired me to make it matter.”
Knowing what restaurant and hotel team members are going through right now and seeing the opportunity to impact the lives of many, the Pineapple Academy is proud to offer this free on-line course to those whose jobs have been impacted by COVID-19.
Visit https://pineappleacademy.com/introduction-to-senior-liv…/ to learn more. In addition to this, the Pineapple Academy is giving away a free food handler course on the link provided with Pineapple Academy’s partner at Always Food Safe. This is an ANSI accredited Food Handler Certificate for free until September 1st.