Start an Apprenticeship Program

The success of apprenticeship comes from the commitment made by industry, educational institutions and the American Culinary Federation (local and national), each of which is responsible for the delivery of a quality training program:

  • Increase staff retention as apprentices become committed and loyal employees
  • Trained staff to industry standards and your unique workplace conditions
  • Learn while teaching by recalling and demonstrating culinary techniques
  • Satisfaction of mentorship to see apprentice graduate and embark on a successful culinary career
  • Develop connection between industry and educational institutes to meet the growing needs of the culinary industry
  • Grow chapter membership through apprenticeship

Starting a Program

Starting an apprenticeship program is easy as 1-2-3-4.

Step 1: On-the-job training

Identify potential “place's of employment” where the apprentices will work. The establishment must produce a minimum of 51 percent of food from scratch and be willing to employ, train, and most importantly, rotate the apprentice through required stations. Apprentices complete from 4,000 on-the-job-training hours (2 years) to 6,000 on-the-job-training hours (3 years) and maintain a logbook covering station work processes provided in the operation’s manual upon registration.

Step 2: Learning

Determine a method to deliver the related instruction. The related instruction can be taught in a number of ways, including classroom, qualified in-house instruction and online courses, and each program develops its own approach. 

Step 3: Register the program
Contact the ACFEF national office by email at or phone at (904) 484-0217 to request an application packet. Once the program and apprentices are registered, you can begin running the program. Initial programs will have a site visit within 6–12 months to verify compliance with ACFEF apprenticeship standards and will receive recognition status by ACFEF’s National Apprenticeship Committee at the next biannual meeting.

Step 4: Manage the program

Meet with apprentices, supervising chefs and related instruction providers on a regular basis. Establish an apprenticeship committee comprised of representatives from each segment to help maintain the program. Submit annual reports and fees to the ACFEF national office to maintain recognition status.

Interested in starting an apprenticeship program? Complete our Apprenticeship Program Inquiry form and you will be contacted within 1–3 business days to start the process. For more information, email or call (904) 484-0217.