Virginia Tech prepares for growth with a Dining Services hiring fair offers career development

Dining Services will offer career development and flexible work schedules for new staff members. The hiring fair will be July 20 at the Blacksburg Community Center.

Virginia Tech’s Dining Services will hold a hiring fair on July 20 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Blacksburg Community Center at 725 Patrick Henry Drive as it, according to an announcement of the fair, continues its focus on employee development and looks ahead to growth and innovation.

Recently approved wage increases have boosted the starting pay to $11/hour for nonstudent wage employees and $12/hour for salaried workers.

The department has more than 200 open positions.

“Experience in food service isn’t required to join our team. We provide all the necessary training to prepare people for their positions,” said Laura Pontier, assistant director of operations development at Dining Services. “If you enjoy being part of a community of hardworking people focused on their careers and serving others, it’s a great place to work.”

The hiring fair allows people to apply, interview, and immediately receive job offers contingent to background checks.

The positions are both part- and full-time and in a range of roles in food service, including serving, cooking, food preparation, dishwashing, and customer service.

“This is an incredible opportunity for career development,” said Pontier. “We invest in training our employees and encourage them to move up through our organization. There are plenty of examples of people who started at entry-level positions and have gone on to have long careers in leadership at Dining Services.”

The hiring fair is an opportunity to join one of the most successful dining programs in the country said the announcement.

This year, Virginia Tech was named by Niche, a review and ranking company, as having the best campus food in the country.

It’s also one of the largest, ranking fourth in the nation in Food Management magazine’s 2019 College Dining Power Players, with more than $70 million in annual sales. The department serves about 45,000 customers each day at 47 dining venues in 13 locations, including the award-winning food trucks, the Grillfield and Periodic Table.

Several of the national brands on campus – Chick-fil-A, Qdoba, Bruegger’s Bagels, Freshens and Au Bon Pain – are the top college locations for sales in the country.

Dining Services also operates the Southgate Center, which serves as a distribution center and prepares fresh fruits and vegetables for the kitchen staff around campus. In addition, Southgate is the university’s bakery, with shifts that start early in the morning and a range of options for start times.

“We see our role at Dining Services as bigger than just food on the plate. We can contribute to both the personal and professional growth of our employees, developing their leadership, business and customer service skills,” said Ted Faulkner, director of Dining Services.  “We’re also looking ahead to an exciting period of planned growth and innovation for our department.

Several project are already in progress according to the announcment. The Owens Food Court is currently undergoing a complete renovation to create a new venue, Globowl Kitchen, a concept that spent years in development and will bring customized bowl-style meals and new, international flavors to campus for the first time.

The expansion of Dietrick Hall, creating more seating, new dining venues, and a large grab-and-go area, is scheduled to break ground next year. Students will also have more options to order meals through Tapingo Ultimate, an updated version of the Dining Services app, which adds ordering kiosks and order display screens to the existing service.

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