Food service managers are responsible for the daily operations of restaurants and food-related venues. Not only do they ensure that the customers leave the restaurant satisfied, but they also oversee all aspects of running the business from ordering supplies to hiring and training staff.
There are many ways to become a food service manager, starting with education. Some schools offer business courses with an emphasis on hospitality or restaurant management. Because the job requires heavy computer usage, it is important to take courses that emphasize computer skills. Many restaurants offer management training and will pay for continuing education either online or in person.
Although there are more opportunities for managers with higher degrees, it isn’t always necessary to have a secondary degree to become a food service manager. Most often, a manager has experience in the food service industry as well as an associate degree in hospitality.
According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS), 25 percent of food service managers have a bachelor’s degree. Managers who are serious about their careers often get a Foodservice Management Professional Certificate from the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation. High-end restaurants often require a bachelor’s degree or higher for top management positions.
Depending on the size and type of restaurant, a food service manager might be called upon to satisfy an irate customer, act as the human resource manager and ensure employees have the tools they need to produce the best product.
Some of the daily job duties of a food service manager may include:
In addition to working in a restaurant, a food service manager may work in institutional foodservice, such as a college, hospital, large resort or sports complex.
The salary range for food service managers varies according to where they work. According to the BLS, the median income for managers is $43,020, with the highest 10 percent earning more than $70,810 per year.
The highest pay is for managers working in the tourism industry and the lowest is for those working in limited service restaurants such as in the fast food industry. Relocation to pursue better opportunities is common, and 45 percent of food service managers are self-employed, running their own restaurants.