Schooling Richmond’s food scene



Richmond takes its restaurant game pretty seriously — to the point where it seems nearly everyone not only knows when that new spot is opening, they can also list the names of the last three places the chef worked. It’s one of the hallmarks of a city getting more vibrant by the minute.

The only thing missing from such a premier restaurant scene? A premier culinary institute to match. Luckily for Richmond, Reynolds Community College turned to SIR to help make that happen.

When we studied the landscapes of similar cities, one thing immediately jumped out: young people flock to cities with vibrant food scenes, driving economic development as they go. So, we reached out to Richmond’s community leaders, chefs, restaurant owners, and hospitality insiders to determine the skills they most needed in the culinary workforce and how Reynolds could help train more professionals to meet those needs, while also providing a valuable resource to Richmond’s East End. Then, we helped Reynolds build strategic partnerships with those leaders and craft a funding plan and strategic vision for its revamped culinary institute.

When The Kitchens at Reynolds opens in the 2019-20 school year, you’ll find SIR’s research and strategic planning embedded in its DNA, and Richmond will find fertile ground for the region’s next batch of top chefs and trendsetters.

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