The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) today released its second Project Taste Test – Servin’ Up Successful Careers video. The video series, which kicked off in January, features people who have built rewarding careers in the foodservice industry and highlights different career paths and opportunities in the sector. Through a partnership with PepsiCo Foodservice, the second Project Taste Test video features president and chief executive officer of K-MAC Enterprises, Sam Fiori.
“I am thrilled to be part of Project Taste Test,” said Fiori, president and chief executive officer of K-MAC Enterprises, a franchisee of Golden Corral, KFC and Taco Bell. “The NRAEF continues to make a lasting impact on thousands of students every year who have a true passion for the restaurant industry. It is both an honor and a privilege to share my experience and be a mentor.”
Fiori’s career in the restaurant industry began at age 16 when he was hired by K-MAC’s former owner to become a “kitchen boy” at a local KFC restaurant. From that moment, Fiori worked his way up the ranks to become a manager and then district manager. In 1997, he and two partners purchased K-MAC and, by 2004, grew the company to more than 150 units. Fiori has been instrumental in steering the company’s aggressive expansion through organic growth and strategic acquisitions. K-MAC now operates over 250 restaurants in eight states.
“Project Taste Test highlights the unlimited opportunities available to students who choose to pursue a career in the foodservice industry. While many students may know of the restaurants highlighted in the video, they may not have known that restaurant careers offer so much potential for advancement, leadership and ownership,” said Rob Gifford, executive vice president, strategic operations and philanthropy for the National Restaurant Association and the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation. “Sam’s experience working his way from the kitchen to chief executive officer shows the upwardly mobile, long-term careers available in foodservice franchises.”
In addition to the video series, which spotlights a day-in-the life of renowned foodservice professionals, Project Taste Test consists of in-classroom discussion and activity guides. The videos and instructor resources highlight the unlimited opportunities available to students who choose to pursue a career in the restaurant industry.
According to the National Restaurant Association, total restaurant and foodservice employment is projected to grow by 11 percent over the next 10 years. The NRAEF is committed to developing a highly-trained and professional talent pool through scholarships and educational programs such as ProStart, a two-year program that brings the industry and the classroom together to give nearly 100,000 high school students nationwide a platform to discover new interests and talents, while opening doors to fulfilling careers.
With national and local support from industry members, educators, state restaurant associations and the NRAEF, ProStart reaches more than 1,700 high schools and career technical centers in 48 states, in Guam and on U.S. military bases. For more information on the ProStart program, visit www.nraef.org/prostart or find us on Twitter or Facebook. Copies of the first and second Project Taste Videos and discussion and activity guides are available for review by contacting Ellie Mannix at Fish Consulting, 943-893-9150 or firstname.lastname@example.org.