Johnson & Wales University professor Scott Richardson’s career has spanned continents (he began his hospitality and culinary studies in London) and he has cooked for a U.S. president. Here’s how he brings his immense industry background industry to the online classroom, stays connected to industry trends — and his favorite way to unwind.
What is your experience teaching online at JWU?
In 2012, I noticed Johnson & Wales was looking for online instructors. I was hired and began teaching in December 2013.
How does your industry background help you educate future food-service-management leaders?
Many of our JWU students are just beginning their careers in the foodservice business, and many have aspirations to move into management. I have walked this path and can bring insight to students who are in the same position as I was.
Understanding the need to acquire hard and soft skills is another central issue with future managers/leaders. Having worked on these skills for more than 27 years in the industry also allows me to show and teach online students how to hone and apply these critical skills.
How do you stay on top of industry trends?
I am a member of industry associations such as the National Restaurant Association, American Hotel and Lodging Association, Council on Hotel, Restaurant, and Institutional Education, and Society of Wine Educators, to name a few. Networking is so important to stay up to date and get ahead in the business. Each of these organizations send out newsletters and offers conferences that I attend. All play a part in keeping up with trends. However, there are also many free subscriptions to trade magazines that students can receive as part of this process. I recommend to all my students to subscribe to any that are relevant to them.
What excites you about the industry today?
Probably the same thing that excited me about when I first started in the business. I meet so many students who are passionate about the restaurant and hotel industry, that it gives me a sense of pride that there are those who will take the baton of excellence and carry it to the next generation of leaders. Technology and its application to the business excites me like innovations in equipment and how this is applied in everyday cuisines. Probably the greatest thing that excites me is those who giving back to the younger generation of hospitality and foodservice professionals.
What would someone be surprised to learn about you?
Well, my mother always said that I could never surprise her in anything I did as a kid … so I am not sure there is much to surprise anyone who would be reading this! But, if I had to pick something it would be that before I was 21 years old I had visited 19 countries, mainly in Europe, Africa, the Caribbean and South America. I never regret those formative culinary years on a private yacht — those years allowed me to experience many cultures, which has helped me in my diverse career.
What do you do in your free time?
Being a PhD student and a busy faculty member — I have no free time! But, on a rare occasion, I will head to the beach and enjoy looking at the ocean, listening to the waves, and reflect. This recharges me for what is yet to be accomplish. Oh … I do enjoy a glass or two wine while at the beach as well!
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