One Year in South Lake Union

August 6, 2018

Apprentices learn real-world skills to enhance their foodservice careers

In June 2017, FareStart launched a first of its kind Foodservice Apprenticeship Program. The program gives on the job experience to people in the foodservice industry who want to skill up and move on to the next level in their careers. Our program is endorsed by the Washington Hospitality Association and the FareStart Employer Advisory Council - a group of local employers. 

The paid, hands-on training program allows participants to work alongside FareStart staff at our eateries to further develop and refine both their technical skills and their professionalism in the workplace. Apprentices are also assigned a career development specialist who provides one on one career coaching, community resource information and soft skills support.

The apprentices have a choice of career tracks: line cook, server, bartender, corporate dining lead, catering cook, coffee shop lead or catering captain. We are also working on a management track, which we plan to offer later this year. 

The requirements to join the program are simple.

  • Low income
  • 18+ years of age
  • Historical barrier(s) to employment advancement
  • Stable in housing and support systems
  • At least six months of relevant and recent work experience in the foodservice industry
  • Interest in enhancing professional foodservice skills and career advancement

Even in its first year, as we’ve fine-tuned the program, we have seen impressive results. The average wage gain for apprentices placed or promoted after graduation was 29% and the job retention rate after 90 days was 73%.

In line with our real-world, practical approach to job training, the apprenticeship program takes place in the new eateries we opened to the public last year in South Lake Union – in more than 25,000 square feet of space generously donated by Amazon.

Maslow’s by FareStart is a full-service restaurant with a bar and a private dining room that serves new American cuisine for lunch, happy hour and dinner six days a week. It is also home to “Maslow’s Meal,” a special dish created by our apprentices and a different guest chef each month.

Community Table by FareStart is a fast-casual lunch experience that includes build your own burritos, tacos, bowls and salads – all made with fresh ingredients and house made sauces and dressings.

Rise by FareStart is an Italian inspired café with espresso, kombucha, Italian sodas, sandwiches, pastries and more.

If you know someone who would be a good fit for our Foodservice Apprenticeship Program, or you are interested in joining yourself, get in contact with us by emailing or visit the webpage.