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Food service managers are responsible for the daily operation of restaurants and other establishments that prepare and serve food and beverages. They direct staff to ensure that customers are satisfied with their dining experience, and they manage the business to ensure that it is profitable.Duties
Food service managers typically do the following:
Managers coordinate activities of the kitchen and dining room staff to ensure that customers are served properly and in a timely manner. They oversee orders in the kitchen, and, if needed, they work with the chef to remedy any delays in service.
Food service managers are responsible for all functions of the business related to employees. For example, most managers interview, hire, train, oversee, appraise, discipline, and sometimes fire employees. Managers also schedule work hours, making sure that enough workers are present to cover each shift. During busy periods, they may expedite service by helping to serve customers, processing payments, or cleaning tables.
Managers also arrange for cleaning and maintenance services for the equipment and facility in order to comply with health and sanitary regulations. For example, they may arrange for trash removal, pest control, and heavy cleaning when the dining room and kitchen are not in use.
Most managers perform a variety of administrative tasks, such as managing employee records and preparing the payroll. They also may review or complete paperwork related to licensing, taxes and wages, and unemployment compensation. Although they sometimes assign these tasks to an assistant manager or bookkeeper, most managers are responsible for the accuracy of business records.
Some managers add up the cash and charge slips and secure them in a safe place. They also may check that ovens, grills, and other equipment are properly cleaned and secured, and that the establishment is locked at the close of business.
Those who manage their own business often deal with suppliers and arrange for the delivery of food and beverages and other supplies.
Full-service restaurants (those with table service) may have a management team that includes a general manager, one or more assistant managers, and an executive chef.
Most applicants qualify with a high school diploma and several years of work experience in the food service industry as a cook, waiter or waitress, or counter attendant. Some applicants have received additional training at a community college, technical or vocational school, culinary school, or 4-year college.Education
Although a bachelor’s degree is not required, some postsecondary education is increasingly preferred for many manager positions, especially at upscale restaurants and hotels. Some food service companies, hotels, and restaurant chains recruit management trainees from college hospitality or food service management programs. These programs may require the participants to work in internships and to have real-life food industry-related experiences in order to graduate.
Many colleges and universities offer bachelor’s degree programs in restaurant and hospitality management or institutional food service management. In addition, numerous community colleges, technical institutes, and other institutions offer programs in the field that lead to an associate’s degree. Some culinary schools offer programs in restaurant management with courses designed for those who want to start and run their own restaurant.
Most programs provide instruction in nutrition, sanitation, and food preparation, as well as courses in accounting, business law, and management. Some programs combine classroom and practical study with internships.Work Experience in a Related Occupation
Most food service managers start working in industry-related jobs, such as cooks, waiters and waitresses, or hosts and hostesses. They often spend years working under the direction of an experienced worker, learning the necessary skills before they are promoted to manager positions.Training
Managers who work for restaurant chains and food service management companies may be required to complete programs that combine classroom instruction and on-the-job training. Topics may include food preparation, sanitation, security, company policies, personnel management, and recordkeeping.Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations
Although certification is not required, managers may obtain the Food Protection Managers Certification (FPMC) by passing a food safety exam. The American National Standards Institute accredits institutions that offer the FPMC.
In addition, the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation awards the Foodservice Management Professional (FMP) designation, a voluntary certification to managers who meet the following criteria:
The certification attests to professional competence, particularly for managers who learned their skills on the job.Important Qualities
Business skills. Food service managers, especially those who run their own restaurant, must understand all aspects of the restaurant business. They should know how to budget for supplies, set prices, and manage workers to ensure that the restaurant is profitable.
Communication skills. Food service managers must give clear orders to staff and be able to communicate effectively with employees and customers.
Customer-service skills. Food service managers must be courteous and attentive when dealing with patrons. Satisfying customers’ dining needs is critical to business success and ensures customer loyalty.
Detail oriented. Managers deal with many different types of activities. They ensure that there is enough food to serve to customers, they maintain financial records, and they ensure that the food meets health and safety standards.
Leadership skills. Managers must establish good working relationships to maintain a productive work environment. Carrying out this task may involve motivating workers and leading by example.
Organizational skills. Food service managers keep track of many different schedules, budgets, and staff. Their job becomes more complex as the size of the restaurant or food service facility increases.
Physical stamina. Managers, especially those who run their own restaurant, often work long shifts and sometimes spend entire evenings on their feet helping to serve customers.
Problem-solving skills. Managers need to be able to resolve personnel issues and customer-related problems.
Average Length of Employment
Top Careers Before Food Manager
Top Careers After Food Manager
Hispanic or Latino11.1%
Black or African American0.6%
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University of Phoenix19.9%
Johnson & Wales University7.4%
Pennsylvania State University6.6%
Culinary Institute of America5.9%
Southern New Hampshire University4.4%
Virginia Commonwealth University3.7%
Texas Tech University3.7%
Ohio State University3.7%
California State University - Sacramento3.7%
West Chester University of Pennsylvania3.7%
University of Georgia3.7%
University of Alabama2.9%
Elizabeth City State University2.9%
University of North Carolina at Greensboro2.9%
Ferris State University2.9%
Michigan State University2.9%
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|Job Title||Company||Location||Start Date||Salary|
|Manager, Food Distribution||Valley Food Services, Inc.||Banning, CA||Mar 11, 2016||$132,891|
|Food Science Manager||Henry Broch & Company, Inc.||Gurnee, IL||Oct 01, 2011||$125,000|
|Strategic MKT. Manager, Food Packaging||Modern Packaging Inc.||Deer Park, NY||May 21, 2012||$114,920|
|Manager of Food Division||Pacific Fashion Works, LLC||Vernon, CA||Dec 01, 2014||$90,000|
|Ayurveda Holistic Food Manager||Sansri LLC D/B/A||Vienna, VA||Jun 10, 2016||$79,394|
|Executive Food Manager||Dusol Corp.||Newark, NJ||Feb 01, 2011||$65,728|
|Assistant Beverage and Food Manager||Sheraton Operating Corporation||Los Angeles, CA||Mar 10, 2016||$65,000|
|Food Servce Manager||Hilton Atlanta||Atlanta, GA||Mar 19, 2012||$64,293|
|Manager of Quality and Food Safety||Haliburton International Foods, Inc.||Ontario, CA||Nov 01, 2010||$55,000 -
|Food Court Manager||Gwinnett International Farmers Market||Duluth, GA||May 09, 2008||$50,005|
|Manager, Catering Mediterranean Kosher Food||Mizrahi Grill||Highland Park, IL||May 19, 2016||$49,816|
|Area Food Manager||Fortune Food Service Company||Pomona, CA||Apr 14, 2009||$46,958|
|Food Serce Manager||Stefano's Pizza Inc.||Mill Valley, CA||Mar 03, 2008||$45,643 -
|Ayurveda Food Manager||ASN Foods LLC||Coral Springs, FL||Oct 01, 2015||$45,100|
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