Is Culinary School Valuable? [INFOGRAPHIC]

Any restaurant industry veteran knows that our business is all about education through vocation. So many of our most talented managers come from the ranks of entry level employees. Nowhere is this more obvious than in the back of the house (BoH). Many of our best line guys use the kitchen environment to grow themselves and follow their aspirations. We’re talking, Charlie Trotter, Thomas Keller, Ina Garten, Tom Colichio and Jamie Oliver. These folks have radically impacted our culture and are influential beyond their wildest expectations. And they all started working their behinds off in kitchens to learn their way.

Don’t get us wrong, culinary grads can be an amazing addition to a staff. They come bearing a basic knowledge of kitchen methods and operational procedure. However, most of this is also available to the interested individual in the back of the house all across the world. So, we wondered what you guys thought of culinary grads in your business. The outcome wasn’t too surprising, but a bit more ambivalent than we expected.

Check out the infographic we produced to analyze the results (click to enlarge).

To start the cost of the typical average culinary education can be as much as $109,000 at a four year program. If you are paying out this much money, it is you who should have an expectation of what it delivers. The poll revealed culinary education doesn’t appear to be an advantage when hiring. When searching for kitchen staff, only 30% of operators say they prefer someone from culinary school, while 95% indicate that BoH experience does impact their decision.

Those statistics coupled with the 22% of restaurants polled who reported that culinary graduates were difficult to manage and the rationale for going to school fades even more. In the end, everyone takes their own path to their career, aspirations and lifestyle. However, this poll at least tells us that our business remains a great place to pursue a career that relies on your wit, hard-work, charisma and character. So get a hold of those bootstraps and give ‘em a pull!

Do you find culinary school education valuable among your staff? Let us know in the comments below!