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Mayor de Blasio Announces New Program Preparing Out-Of-School, Out-Of-Work Youth with Careers in the Culinary Industry

January 25, 2017

Stage NYC to meet restaurant sector’s growing demand for qualified kitchen employees by connecting young adults to paid, on-the-job training

NEW YORK––Mayor Bill de Blasio, the Department of Small Business Services and its NYC Food & Beverage Hospitality Council today kicked off NYC Restaurant Week by announcing a new three-month program connecting out-of-school, out-of-work youth with rewarding careers in the New York City restaurant industry. Stage NYC, pronounced “stazhje,” is a partnership with the hospitality industry that will help meet the restaurant sector’s growing demand for qualified culinary employees while creating new career pathways for New Yorkers. The program will cover technical skills and life skills to ready young adults, aged 18-24, for careers in the restaurant industry. Participants will receive paid, on-the-job training with an industry partner in order to gain hands-on experience. The culmination of both skills and experience training will provide participants with the tools needed to successfully fill positions in a growing industry.

“Through Stage NYC, we are investing in the young adults of New York City,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “Thanks to leaders in the restaurant industry, we are allowing young individuals who find themselves out of school and out of work to gain the skills and experience needed to begin a successful career in the culinary field.”

“Stage NYC provides out-of-school, out-of-work youth with the comprehensive training and skills needed to embark on a rewarding career path in the hospitality industry,” said Gregg Bishop, Commissioner of the Department of Small Business Services. “By working with industry leaders, we are helping restaurants succeed in our City while providing New Yorkers with access to career opportunities involving in-demand skills.”

About Stage NYC
Stage NYC will target out-of-school and out-of-work young adults, ages 18-24, across all 5 boroughs. The three-month program will first provide participants with a week of classroom training that encompasses both in-demand, technical skills training and soft skills training, such as how to interact with potential supervisors, coworkers and restaurant guests. The remainder of the program will involve students participating in on-the-job training with a local restaurant to gain on-the-job experience. Following the program, participants will have the skills and experience needed to build a successful career in the culinary field.

Stage or Staging originates from the French word stagiaire meaning trainee or intern. Restaurants across Europe and in other parts of the world commonly use Staging to build a pipeline of talent by bringing novice cooks into the kitchen to learn and be exposed to new techniques and cuisines in a systematic way.

Those interested in participating in this program may email, or call 311 for more information on how to apply.

SBS has partnered with the following organizations to create this program. All partners are part of the NYC Food & Beverage Hospitality Council, an alliance overseen by SBS of more than 30 leading NYC industry professionals and businesses to promote the sustained growth of the local food and beverage industry.

  • The Tao Group
  • Quality Branded
  • Altamarea Group
  • Eataly
  • Batali & Bastianich Hospitality group
  • Le pain Quotidien
  • Union Square Hospitality
  • Esquared Hospitality Group
  • Crafted Hospitality Group
  • Hornblower
  • Momofuku

“Young people are our future. STAGE NYC is an investment in that future. I applaud the NYC Food and Beverage Hospitality Council for their work with employers and other organizations. As the Chair of the Council’s Small Business Committee, these are the type of opportunities and partnerships we look forward to seeing in our great city,” said Council Member Robert Cornegy, Chair of the Committee on Small Business.

“The culinary industry is one of the fastest-growing sectors of the American workforce,” said Council Member Mark Treyger. “I commend Mayor de Blasio and SBS Commissioner Gregg Bishop for preparing our city’s young people to find gainful employment in a high-demand field.”

"This program is a great way to strengthen the relationship between the city and the hospitality industry,” said Doug Satzman, CEO of Le Pain Quotidien US. “Not only can we partner to develop our youth and provide them with career building skills, but a program like this helps reinforce the idea that the public and private sector can work together for the success of everyone!”

"This is a genuine and thoughtful program that is a win-win for young entry-level culinary professionals and our industry. It is also a win for New York City,” said Ahmass Fakahany, CEO and Owner of Altamarea Group. “It takes time, resources and heart to do this."

“As a growing business in NYC we are proud to support the efforts of Stage NYC and hope to help it grow over time to positively impact as many young adults as possible,” said Thomas J. D’Amato, Vice President and General Manager of Hornblower Cruises. “We will make all of our resources available to ensure the program’s success now and in the future!”

"Stage NYC is an opportunity to participate in the building and strengthening of the future of the restaurant industry here in New York City,” said Jimmy Haber, CEO of ESquared Hospitality. “It’s an honor to provide beneficial and potentially life-changing opportunities for these students through the experiences they will have in our restaurants.”

"The opportunity for young adults to have on the job training in some of New York City’s most prominent restaurants is rare and powerful,” said Patricia Jenny, Chair of the NYC Workforce Funders. “We are proud to provide funding for the Food and Beverage Hospitality Council, and partner with the Department of Small Business Services on this exciting and innovative program."

About NYC Department of Small Business Services Industry Partnerships
The NYC Food & Beverage Hospitality Council is one of SBS’s five industry partnerships that work with employers, industry and trade organizations, organized labor, non-profits, training providers and educational institutions, private philanthropy, and workforce organizations to build a sustainable and robust pipeline of local talent to fill New York City’s jobs, create formal career paths to good jobs, reduce barriers to employment and sustain or increase middle-class jobs.

About the Department of Small Business Services
The Department of Small Business Services, SBS, helps unlock economic potential and create economic security for all New Yorkers by connecting New Yorkers to good jobs, creating stronger businesses and building a fairer economy in neighborhoods across the five boroughs. For more information on all SBS services, go to, call 311 and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Media Contact
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