Pizza has long been a pillar of the college student's diet, but now it's possible to pursue a degree in pizza studies — sort of: Hot dog crust pizza slinger Pizza Hut is investing in its future workforce by partnering with a UK university to offer 1,500 apprenticeships, reports The Mirror.
But said apprentices will be doing much more than just learning how to properly arrange pepperoni on pies and ring doorbells: The apprenticeship program — the first-ever for the company — created in tandem with Manchester Metropolitan University will include both academic and practical programs to "cover a range of skills from food production to financial analysis." Eater has reached out to Pizza Hut for more information on the apprenticeship program, as well as to find out whether a similar program could ever be implemented here in the States.
While training potential employees from the ground up is certainly one way to ensure a future supply of skilled workers, other big companies like Starbucks also facilitate their employees' higher education by offering full tuition reimbursement. It's not just big chains that want to further educations, either: Legendary chef Daniel Boulud has partnered with the U.S. Department of Education to create a restaurant apprenticeship program for high school students, and on a more informal level, chef René Redzepi has also hosted educational sessions in Noma's kitchen as a sort of training camp for starry-eyed young cooks who dream of New Nordic cuisine.
At any rate, apprenticeships — be they formal or informal — are often a better option for aspiring restaurant industry ladder-climbers than culinary school, which can be astronomically expensive and not always worth the investment.