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Waiter course a success as 24 Bermudians hired

Five more out-of-work Bermudians have jobs this week as the hospitality industry begins to take on graduates from the newly launched waitstaff training course.

The owner of Dining Bermuda group, which encompasses Flying Fish, Rustico and the Dining Room in Southampton, has hired two waiters who graduated from the training programme and three kitchen assistants who applied directly to his company.

The programme is a partnership between the Department of Labour and Training, Bermuda College, the Bermuda Hospitality Institute, Bermuda Hotel Association and the Restaurant Division of the Chamber of Commerce.

“I think everyone deserves a chance,” said Odilio Angeli, owner of Dining Bermuda. “If people complete the course and are willing to throw themselves into the hospitality industry, then we're on board.”

Jevon Ray and Tio Smith completed the training course and are now junior waiters at Flying Fish and Rustico, respectively.

Chris Harrell, Staci Smith and Jonathan Edness were also hired as kitchen assistants at the group's three restaurants, though they applied directly to the company.

These recent hirings comes on the heels of other local restaurants hiring graduates of the programme.

Since the training course launched in December, 43 people have completed the programme to date, 37 are currently still training and 24 people have been placed in jobs. People are still reporting in when they are hired so the number of jobs landed could be higher.

“From a collaborative perspective, the programme has been a great success,” said Karla Lacey, CEO of the Bermuda Hospitality Institute. “From an industry perspective, it has also been a success it has promoted the profession and has raised awareness to the level of expertise that is required to be a good waiter and server.”

Mr Angeli agreed: “The course is great and we are on board with these proactive initiatives.”

Like others in his industry, the restaurant owner admitted that business has been tough in this economic climate saying that he has had to operate on a tight staffing budget.

“I used to be able to take some time off but now I work seven days a week, day and night,” he said. “I'm now in the kitchen cooking, serving and cleaning as well as training new staff. How does that sound after 27 years in the business?”

He added that his three restaurants aren't losing money but they aren't quite making a profit, either.

“We do what we call 'damage control',” he said, explaining that they take their summer profits to cover for the winter doldrums.

With his new hires, he hopes for better times. “So far, so good,” he said.

New jobs: Hired by the Flying Fish are Tio Smith, Staci Smith, Odilio Angeli, Chris Harrell and Jevon Ray (Photo by Mark Tatem)

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Published March 12, 2012 at 2:00 am (Updated March 12, 2012 at 9:30 am)

Waiter course a success as 24 Bermudians hired

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