Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Employer and Employee Implications for Certifications: An Application for Professional Food Servers
by Weber, Mary J., D.B.A., Universite de Grenoble I (Universite Joseph Fourier) (France), 2006, 199; 3442072
Abstract (Summary)

The increased demand for a skilled and knowledgeable workforce has many industries searching for ways to establish standards and recognize occupation competency. As a result, voluntary certification programs have emerged for non-managerial occupations. The growing popularity of voluntary certification programs has become attractive for non-managerial employees as a means to standardize practices, recognize skills and legitimize the occupation as a “profession.”

It can be argued that a voluntary server certification program would have value-added benefit to non-managerial employees such as increased compensation and advancement; and to the manager in terms of employee recruitment, selection and retention. The following study analyzed employee and manager perceptions to determine if indeed a voluntary certification would provide value to the service occupation employees as well as a tool to assist managers with workforce issues.

Nationally recognized and supported voluntary certification programs exist for restaurant management and culinary staff. Prior to the start of the research, no nationally recognized and supported voluntary certification program existed for the largest employable non-managerial group within the restaurant industry—front line servers. For that reason, the study is specific to servers in fine dining restaurant industry. The research is based on employee and managerial perceptions from fine dining establishments in Louisiana of the United States of America. The literature review revealed a newly established national server certification program established by the National Federation of Dining Room Professionals (FDRP). The FDRP, although not well established in the industry, have approximately 668 individuals who have successfully completed and received a professional server certification, according to Bernard Martinage (personal communication, September 18, 2003). Additional information will be addressed in subsequent Chapters regarding the professional server certification program.

The study of a voluntary certification program for a non-managerial position is substantiated by the following sub-hypotheses: (1) A voluntary certification program will elevate occupational status of employees and enhance employee commitment. (2) A voluntary certification will increase occupation compensation and advancement. (3) A voluntary certification program will validate skill and knowledge and establish standards of practice. (4) A voluntary certification program will be perceived by management as a positive credential in their ability to recruit, select and retain employees.

The research findings will provide reliable data that statistically validates the intrinsic and tangible occupational benefits of a voluntary certification program. The study will be of interest to industry leaders, trade associations and specifically restaurant managers who would like to have a better understanding of how employee recruitment, selection, and retention will be impacted by a voluntary certification for fine dining servers.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Chanaron, Jean-Jacques
School: Universite de Grenoble I (Universite Joseph Fourier) (France)
School Location: France
Source: DAI-A 72/03, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Marketing, Management, Continuing education
Keywords: Certification, Continuing education, Foodservice certification, Occupational standards, Professional development
Publication Number: 3442072
ISBN: 978-1-124-46976-8
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