Virgina #VAWorksHere

358,500 Virginia residents work in the restaurant industry. Here are some of their success stories.


Half of all adults have worked in the restaurant industry at some point during their lives. In fact, nearly one in three Americans had their first job at a restaurant.

Restaurants teach vital professional skills such as teamwork, multi-tasking, customer service and time management. These skills stay with people throughout their careers, whether they stay in the industry or move into other professions. Restaurant team members who enter the workforce with little or no experience are provided a career path where they can receive fundamental on-the-job training and are given the opportunity to learn trades that lead to careers as chefs or in management in restaurants or other industries.


  • Part-time, entry-level work is important and fills a critical need in our nation’s workforce — providing additional income and flexibility for employees trying to balance their careers with family responsibilities, or as a way to remain involved in their communities. 
  • Most hourly employees are students with irregular schedules, teenagers saving for school, or parents and caregivers who need a job with flexible hours that fit their busy lives.
  • Overall in the restaurant industry, 28 percent of employees are students.
  • Whether it’s supporting a local athletic team, hosting fundraisers and food drives, or acting as a central gathering place, restaurants are the cornerstones of our communities. They are found in every city across the U.S. and here at home in Virginia and the jobs they provide can't be outsourced.


  • Most restaurant employees advance from their entry-level positions — nine out of 10 salaried restaurant employees started in hourly positions.
  • 80 percent of restaurant owners/managers started in entry-level positions.


This is an industry of opportunity. Restaurant jobs are a great training ground for all careers — providing employees with the resources and opportunities they need for a variety of fields. These jobs teach critical skills including personal responsibility, teamwork, discipline and accountability.

The restaurant industry provides job opportunities for career growth to 14 million people of varying ages and experience levels nationwide and 358,500 here in Virginia.


Just ask our employees: 78 percent of crew persons and 82 percent of dishwashers/bus persons believe restaurants provide an opportunity for people who want to succeed based on their own hard work. Restaurant jobs allow employees to dictate how much or how little they work and have control over 
their earnings and schedules.