What I do at my last job is informally called be the voice of the customer and the formal definition would be do classic marketing research. So we have an eight-stage product development process and each of those eight stages is supported with consumer research that my group runs and does for the food scientists. My story about ending up at University of Georgia is a real simple one that’s probably pretty common for most people. I wanted to stay close to home. In the second year at UGA my cousin took me to the Food Science Department and gave me a tour and told me what it was all about and I went Voila! That is me, that matches me, my strengths, had all the sciences that I loved.
It had chemistry, microbiology, engineering and it’s in the food business which is probably one of the most stable industries in the country and most people in the food business right now are feeling pretty good because you got to eat. In my early days at my food science degree was heavily used in that I was in the lab producing food Many of us here say we’re foodies, that’s the word that we use to describe ourselves and foodies is usually somebody that’s got a food science degree that has a passion about food I mean you take it home with you; when you go out to eat you’re constantly looking at menu items.
You’re in the grocery store seeing what’s on the shelves. When you go to a new city a foodie is going to try new restaurants and keep up with food trends. So anything about food is a passion that I still have again with my education in Food Science. I did enjoy the University and the size of the University.
That was a plus for me. A big university was a plus. There were a lot of resources available. I did a work study program and worked in the Botany Department in the greenhouse and really had fond memories of that.
The job market for a food scientist to me is very broad and very diverse. So what I love about the food industry is its recession proof and that would be a real important thing to think about right now. I’ve had the great fortune of being an employee here for 27 years. I love my job still.
If you have a small restaurant, it would be better to have someone who could understand the taste and likes of your customers.
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