Albany, New York-When hotel and culinary arts students at Schenectady County Community College were asked what segment of the industry they would prefer to work for, 31.2 percent said luxury hotels, 14.7 percent said fine- or upscale-dining and 11 percent said casual dining. Positions in event management, tourism and mid-market hotels also were desirable. Only 1.2 percent of those surveyed said they would prefer to work in quick-service restaurants.

The Albany McDonald's franchisees hope to help reverse that negative perception among hospitality students by presenting fast food as a respectable and challenging career choice. "Students need to know how to transfer skills they learn in the classroom into their daily lives," said franchisee Pat Treffiletti, who joined McDonald's as a management trainee after majoring in hospitality at a community college. "And when a student is making choices about the future, what better way to be exposed to every facet of the restaurant industry?"

Treffiletti is a member of the Capital Region, a co-op of 18 McDonald's owner-operators who manage 80 restaurants in the Albany area. The co-op has partnered with the Hotel, Culinary Arts and Tourism Department at the. This semester the franchisees will take turns lecturing on restaurant management to students. -Nation's Restaurant News