How to Begin a Professional Career as a Food Service Manager

How to Begin a Professional Career as a Food Service Manager
Food Service Manager: A Quick Look
Median Salary $47,960 per year
$23.06 per hour
Entry-level education High-school degree, or an equivalent
On-the-job training No
Primary employers Any establishment that serves food and where staff prepares food (cafeterias, fast food restaurants, diners, fine dining restaurants, etc.)
Number of positions (U.S.) 321,400
Job Growth (2010-2020) 2% (this career track is not expected to see any change in growth)
New positions (2010-2020) +5,000

What Does A Food Service Manager Do?

Food Service Managers ensure restaurants and other locations that prepare/serve food run smoothly on a daily basis.Read more.

Salary

In May 2012, Food Service Managers throughout the US earned an average of just under $48,000 per year. These figures are according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.Read more.

Becoming A Construction Manager

In order to become a Food Service Manager, a candidate will potentially need two things: a high-school diploma (or an equivalent certificate) and enough experience working lower level food service positions (such as a counter attendant, waiter, or cook).Read more.

CLICK HERE TO FIND SCHOOLS WITH RELEVANT FOOD SERVICE MANAGEMENT DEGREES IN YOUR AREA

Job Outlook

The Bureau expects the Food Service Manager position to only expand by 2% over the next decade. Essentially, they predict that the position will remain at the same level it is right now through 2022.Read more.

Food Service Manager Salary The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that Food Service Managers throughout the U.S. earned an average just under $48,000 in 2012. The bottom 10 percent of these managers earned about $30,280. The top 10 percent earned over $81,030. The range of these averages varies greatly. The industry in which a Food Service Manager works influences the yearly salaries. We've included a list of median salaries per year for the five main employer types of food service managers:

  • Tourism - $54,600
  • Specialized food service - $54,210
  • Nursing facilities - $49,650
  • Education - $49,440
  • Restaurants and other establishments that serve food - $46,360
As a food service manager candidate, you may wonder if the pay fairly compensates for the working hours and job difficulty. In most industries, Food Service Managers typically work the same business hours you would expect to work in an office environment, school, or factory. However, a Food Service Manager who supervises and oversees the activities of several locations should expect to be called into work on very short notice. Fast-food restaurants, franchises, chain restaurants and other similar establishments all have such requirements. They also require that employees work during weekends, late into the evening, and during the holidays. Certain cuisine restaurants, fine-dining places, as well as fast-food chains operate for long, extended hours.

How To Become A Food Service Manager In order to become a food service manager, you’ll typically only need two things: a high-school diploma (or an equivalent certificate) and an adequate level of experience working a lower level food service position (such as a counter attendant, waiter, or cook). Some food service managers are formally trained and possess a degree or certificate from a community college, vocational school, culinary school, or even a four-year college. Educational Requirements As specified above, most employers won't require that you hold a degree to become an entry level Food Service Manager. However, if you aspire to one day hold a higher managerial position, you may need a college degree or some other form of post-secondary education certification. Major food companies and more prominent national/local chain restaurants started recruiting trainees for management positions from college programs. The typical major of choice is hospitality or food service management. These programs typically require students enroll in internships or other professional experiences before graduating. If you’re interested in such a program (either in a college, university, community college, junior college, technical school or vocational school) you should be pleased to learn that they’re widely available. Many schools offer these degrees. So, you should be able to obtain a bachelor’s degree or associate degree in hospitality management or restaurant management no matter where you live. If your end-goal is to one day run and own your own restaurant, you can also take restaurant management courses in culinary schools around the country. Some of the topics covered by these courses include planning and preparing food, sanitation, and nutrition. Additionally, you’ll also complete coursework in fields related to management: accounting, law, management, and business. The top programs for food service managers also provide access to real-life experience through internships. Certification Most food service management positions don’t require certification. Like many other positions, certification is becoming common which makes it a good idea in today’s competitive job market. If you haven’t received formal training in any of the skill areas this job entails, proving your skills through certifications could be a great alternative. You can become a Food Service Management Professional if you pass an exam with the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation. Training Professional food service managers typically receive their training on the job. Certain training programs combine theoretical classwork with hands-on, practical experience. These programs usually instruct participants in company policy, managing staff, sanitation, nutrition, basic accountancy, dedicated software usage, and preparing food. Professional Experience Most employers will require their Food Service Manager have prior experience in the food industry in an entry level. These professionals will have spent years in the industry working as a cook, a waiter/waitress, a counter attendant, or a dining room attendant, before being promoted. Such entry-level work typically involves close supervision and instruction of a seasoned food industry professional (such as another Food Service Manager).

Food Service Manager Job Description Food Service Managers ensure restaurants and other locations that prepare/serve food run smoothly on a daily basis. They ensure that restaurant continues to make a profit and that all members of the staff coordinate with one another. Duties Here is a list of the typical duties of a Food Service Manager:

  • Recruitment, job interviews, supervision, training, and firing other employees.
  • Inventory management, which involves ordering foodstuff, drinks, machinery, and other items the restaurant needs.
  • Supervising the cooking process.
  • Inspects all of the restaurant’s working areas to ensure sufficient stock of supplies.
  • Ensure compliance with the rules and regulations that relate to health, staff safety, and food safety.
  • Bookkeeping, financial transaction reviews, payroll management, and budget maintenance.
  • Scheduling of working hours and task assignment duties.
Aside from ensuring that everything in the kitchen/dining room is on point, Food Service Managers ensure the timely arrival of orders to the customers and uphold the quality of food/beverages being served. They supervise the orders coming into and leaving the kitchen. If need be, they also work alongside the chef, to make up for lags in service. In terms of employee management, Food Service Managers oversee all aspects of their activity. This management involves interviewing candidates, hiring the right candidates, training employees, and even firing them should the situation arise. They create work schedules for the staff and ensure proper coverage of all working shifts. Sometimes, they even chip in themselves during particularly busy times. They help out with serving, cash register duties, or table cleaning. The main function of a Food Service Manager is administrative. As such, they oversee all staff records (such as license cards, tax information, payroll accounts, and compensatory payments made to employees that have been fired). They also supervise Social Security legislation in the restaurant. These tasks can also be handled by assistants to the food service manager, or by an accountant/bookkeeper. However, it is the food service manager’s responsibility to make sure all the records of a given business are in good order.

Job Outlook The Bureau expects the Food Service Manager position to only expand by 2% over the next decade. Essentially, they predict that the position will remain at the same level it is right now through 2022. That is not to say that the field will stagnate or experience difficulties. The economy is slowly improving and population numbers are on the rise again. The Bureau expects consumers to continue frequenting restaurants. They will also be ordering food deliveries for the home/work place and buying take out. In turn, this will determine the emergence of new food catering businesses, diners, franchises, cafés, cafeterias, and fast-food restaurants. The main reason for the job growth numbers stems from the rather stagnant process through which companies recruit food service managers. They are usually selected from long-term members of the staff, who become promoted to management positions. If you’ve worked in the food service industry for several years, you have a good chance at being promoted to food service manager. While other professionals in these positions retire or move away, they will need to be replaced. Your odds are all the more favorable if you hold a secondary education degree in hospitality, restaurant management, or food service.

 

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