Hotel and Restaurant Management Degree

Service industries such as hotels and restaurants need capable managers to make them profitable, especially in tough economic times. Hotel and restaurant managers have unique skills that allow them to manage multiple tasks and keep things running smoothly for these businesses. Many hotel and restaurant managers take degrees that teach skills necessary to perform the multitude of different jobs included in the successful running of a service industry that deals with the public on a continual basis.

What Do Hotel and Restaurant Managers Do?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that hotel managers are often required to perform the following job tasks:

  • Conduct inspections of plant facilities including public areas, landscaping, and guest rooms for problems and solve those issues
  • Register and talk to guests about questions or resolve problems for them
  • Manage staff including cleaners, groundskeepers, and service personnel
  • Manage financial information for the hotel including budgets and spreadsheets
  • Conduct interviews of potential workers and manage those employees once they are hired
  • Set rates and prices and manage budgets for hotels

Restaurant managers have a similar list of tasks with some other jobs also included:

  • Manage food and beverage inventory and supervise ordering of supplies and equipment
  • Ensure quality control for food served to guests
  • Ensure that the restaurant meets health and safety standards
  • Resolve customer complaints
  • Assign jobs and manage schedules of staff members

How Much Do Hotel and Restaurant Managers Earn?

Food service managers earned a median annual salary of $48,130 in May of 2010, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Food service and restaurant managers who worked in traveler accommodation earned a median salary of $55,010, while those who worked in special food services such as provision of food for airlines and other large businesses earned $52,890. Full-service restaurant managers earned a median salary of $51,210, while cafeteria managers for elementary and secondary schools earned $46,810. Limited-service eating establishment managers earned $43,080.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics noted that hotel managers earned a median annual salary of $46,880 in May 2010. Hotel managers who worked as the managers of large companies earned the highest median salary of $64,640, while those who worked in real estate activities earned $56,080. Full-service hotel restaurant managers earned $46,840 and those who managed accommodations for overnight travelers earned $46,550. Managers of RV parks and campgrounds earned $42,070.

What is the Job Outlook for Hotel and Restaurant Managers?

The proliferation of limited service hotels has led to a slower-than-average job growth rate for hotel managers. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects an eight percent job growth in this field through 2020. More jobs will be available at motels and other “self-serve” accommodations than in large, full-service hotels.

Restaurant managers, on the other hand, are expected to experience a negative job growth rate of three percent over the next decade, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Due to a sluggish economy, restaurant business has been on the decline and many chains and family-owned restaurants are expected to close locations rather than expand.

Do I Need A Degree To Become A Hotel or Restaurant Manager?

Many hotel and restaurant managers possess only a high school diploma and a clean criminal record. These employees often start out as desk or wait staff and work their way up to management positions. On the other hand, in order to secure the best management jobs, many employees elect to take a degree in hotel and restaurant management. A degree provides the best job opportunities and gives the employee an edge over others in the field.

Many schools offer two-year restaurant or hotel management degrees, and some large hotel or restaurant chains offer their own courses for employees who want to advance. There are also four-year management degrees available from colleges, but most of these focus on business management with a concentration in the food or lodging service industries. A person with a four-year business management degree may be qualified for regional management positions as opposed to managing a single location.

Hotel and restaurant management is a good field for those who enjoy working with the public, problem-solving, and handling many different, detailed tasks at once.

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