The Kitchens


Culinary Arts Instructor
Reynolds Community College
The Kitchens at Reynolds
Interview by Zippia Career Site

Will there be an enduring impact of the coronavirus pandemic on graduates?

Dave Quisenberry: Yes! I think the whole planet, as well as the hospitality industry, will have a lasting impact. As the industry struggles to cope and redefine itself, we are forced to embrace some fundamental principals. The reliance on building partnerships and networking is now more important than ever before. This will help those in the labor pool match skill sets with the need in industry. COVID-19 has also been disruptive in the traditional foodservice model. No longer can we assume that viable business models are "dine-in" consumer-based primarily. As we practice more and more social distancing, we need to incorporate food outlets such as "to-go" and home meal replacement in existing models. These options will require specific operational guidelines and technical support to achieve success safely and efficiently. These trends have already started being addressed in educational content to better prepare graduates upon entry into the job market.

Are there any particularly good places in the United States for graduates to find work opportunities in this field after they graduate?

Dave Quisenberry: While COVID-19 has most of the industry being restricted, one way or another, some sectors have been less affected. Healthcare and Corporate entities have maintained consistent; however, diminished labor needs. Graduates will be forced to consider options such as relocation and redirection of career pathways in the post-pandemic environment. That said, we have seen an unfortunate acceleration of business failures due to the economic impact of COVID-19. The post-pandemic environment will undoubtedly provide opportunities to fill voids in local markets as well as emerging markets, such as home meal replacement, etc. The need for trained professionals will have a much greater demand for emphasis on an understanding of total operational knowledge.

How do you envision technology impacting this field in the next 5 years?

Dave Quisenberry: As we deal with the impact of COVID-19 in our industry, we are being forced to rely on technology to communicate with each other, as well as our potential customers. Business models that have seen some success in maintaining market share have relied on new and existing web platforms to bring products and services to the market. The demand for knowledge in web design and virtual marketing will increasingly be a strong asset in any candidate's skill set.