Eataly enlists ahead of San Jose’s food market opening

SAN JOSE – Eataly, a new Italian food market preparing to open in San Jose’s Westfield and Exhibition Center, is working to hire hundreds of workers for what could be a Silicon Valley destination attraction.

But the food, which aims to take advantage of the curiosity and innovation that are part of Silicon Valley DNA, is looking for employees for a wide variety of roles, said Rafaela Pieroli, head of Eataly in North America.

“We have started the recruitment engine at full speed. Construction is nearing completion,” Piarulli, chief operating officer of Eataly North America, said in an interview with this news organization.

Eataly’s food market plans to recruit more than 300 workers to work at the nearby Valley Fair location.

“It takes a small army to run a flag position like this,” Pieroli said. “There are jobs available in all areas, servers, general managers, floor managers, chefs, chefs, culinary talent at all levels,” Pieroli said. “We are pleased to expand the size of our team in the US”

Eataly is holding an employment fair on Friday, April 15, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on the first floor of the mall, Pieroli said.

“You can work in an area where you can develop a passion for what you do,” Pieroli said. “People want to do something they love. The jobs bring our employees in touch with what they love – food. We can win, we can cultivate, in all this passion. People are looking for a purpose.”

The food market will operate on three floors at the Valley Fair and will occupy a total of 45,000 square feet. But the food is set to open sometime “over the next few months,” Pieroli said, though he has not suggested a more precise time frame.

“Bringing Eataly illustrates its desire to become a destination-focused mall,” said Bob Stadler, chief executive of Silicon Valley Synergy, a land use consulting firm. “It competes with Santana Row and needs to differentiate itself.”

The unique nature of Operation Eataly – a culinary experience that is more than a restaurant, more shops, more a place to learn about food – could create a new destination for San Jose. Eataly has additional markets across the country, from Los Angeles and Chicago to Dallas and New York.

“This will be a very successful lottery,” Stadler said.

“We will have two huge restaurants, a whole market, a fresh food counter, a seafood counter, a selection of cheeses, a selection of pasta,” Piroli said. “You will have such a feeling of being surrounded by lots of food, both in quantity and quality.”

The Eataly experience in this area is meant to be overwhelming, he added.

“You’ll see artistic products, you’ll see talent, you’ll see people touching food, you’ll see the action involved in producing and presenting food,” Pieroli said. “Our kitchens will be visible. You will see how pasta is made, how bread is made.”

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