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A food service director is responsible for the proper and efficient service of food and drink. They're responsible for food service related business and personnel management, which includes supervising, coordinating, and directing the work duties of all food service personnel.

Food service directors also assist in the hiring, transfer, promotion, demotion, and dismissal of service workers, ensure that the food service operates within established budgeting guidelines, and follow proper receiving, storage, and preparation techniques to ensure that all food items are maintained at a high quality until consumed.

In addition, they plan, review, and implement all menus, maintain the highest standards of hygiene, and implement strategies to create an atmosphere that will attract and retain customers.

Food service directors need to have physical stamina, as they are walking, standing, reaching, and carrying things the entire day. They should also have excellent interpersonal, communication, problem-solving, organizational, customer service, and time management skills and be willing to work long and odd hours.

Education requirements for this job may include a bachelor's degree in a field such as dietetics, nutrition, culinary arts, hospitality, or business. A master's degree may be preferred as well. Food service directors earn an average salary of $61,395 per year, which is $29.52 an hour.

What Does a Food Service Director Do

There are certain skills that many food service directors have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed business skills, communication skills and customer-service skills.

Learn more about what a Food Service Director does

How To Become a Food Service Director

If you're interested in becoming a food service director, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 47.6% of food service directors have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 5.4% of food service directors have master's degrees. Even though most food service directors have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

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Food Service Director Job Description

A food service director is responsible for managing all food-related operations, from buying and preserving ingredients to cooking the food to serving it. Found in any food-serving establishment, their duties include hiring and training food service staff members, delegating tasks and shifts, sending out pay cheques, and ordering more ingredients.

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Career Path For a Food Service Director

In addition to switching up your job search, it might prove helpful to look at a career path for your specific job. Now, what's a career path you ask? Well, it's practically a map that shows how you might advance from one job title to another. Our career paths are especially detailed with salary changes. So, for example, if you started out with the role of director of food and nutrition services you might progress to a role such as director of food and nutrition services eventually. Later on in your career, you could end up with the title director of food and nutrition services.

Food Service Director

Average Salary for a Food Service Director

Food Service Directors in America make an average salary of $53,939 per year or $26 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $82,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $35,000 per year.
Average Food Service Director Salary
$53,939 Yearly
$25.93 hourly

What Am I Worth?


Roles and Types of Food Service Director

The role of a food service director includes a wide range of responsibilities. These responsibilities can vary based on an individual's specific job, company, or industry.Here are some general food service director responsibilities:

  • Lead, mentor, engage and develop teams to maximize their contributions, including recruiting, assessing, training, coaching
  • Direct food service operations within the community, including all food preparation, dining room operations
  • Motivates, trains and manages hourly employees

There are several types of food service director, including:



Directors report to board members regarding what's going on with the company as a whole. Then together, they work to develop new marketing and business strategies to help the company grow and expand.

Typically, directors have the ultimate, hands-down decision making capability, which is a lot of responsibility for one person, especially considering the type of decisions you'll be making. Any top-level decisions will come to you. You may also be responsible for approving a final budget and making sure company policies are being followed.

Some directors have long work hours, it depends on your employer and industry. Some directors will work longer than the typical 40-hour work week and many have erratic schedules that are determined by meetings, which are usually held after normal business hours.

  • Average Salary: $113,489
  • Degree: Bachelor's Degree

Shift Manager


A shift manager is in charge of making sure everyone shows up to their assigned shift, as well as handing out responsibilities to each worker. A lot of shift managers work in the food industry, but they aren't uncommon in other industries, too.

Shift managers keep everything moving smoothly. They stock the area to set their team up for success and make sure that everyone is completely their tasks on time.

The hours for a shift manager vary from week to week and job to job. Sometimes you'll work an 8-hour day, other times you'll work up to 10 hours. Normally, you won't go over a 40-hour workweek though so that's a nice life-work balance.

  • Average Salary: $32,110
  • Degree: High School Diploma

Kitchen Manager


Food, anyone? Now, we are talking! I mean, what's the best way to pursue your love for foods than working for the food industry? Imagine coming to your workplace every day with the fragrance of burgers and roasted beef, ah! Priceless! That's enough for some kind of motivation, don't you think?

A kitchen manager knows the all the ins and outs of the kitchen, meaning they have long years of experience. Basically, a kitchen manager is a senior position with a strong record of expertise under their belts. Their skills are honed by years of interacting with people and improving the quality of the their establishment. Leadership and managerial skills - those two are always inseparable. At the same time, they help chefs develop new items on the menu, according to the customers' demands and trends. Yay, free tasting!

Being a kitchen manager might sound like a hassle, but really, as people say, you wouldn't get tired of doing something you've always loved. I mean, who would even hate food? But if you think you love it more than anyone does, then why don't you go and kickstart your career?

  • Average Salary: $50,448
  • Degree: Associate Degree

States With The Most Food Service Director Jobs

Mouse over a state to see the number of active food service director jobs in each state. The darker areas on the map show where food service directors earn the highest salaries across all 50 states.

Average Salary: Job Openings:

Number Of Food Service Director Jobs By State

RankStateNumber of JobsAverage Salary
4North Carolina1,860$53,838
7New York1,570$61,454
15New Jersey1,099$63,895
16South Carolina1,064$40,009
35South Dakota338$41,051
37New Mexico281$54,495
39West Virginia238$50,982
40New Hampshire217$63,802
46Rhode Island113$60,886
48North Dakota102$45,671

Food Service Director Education

Food Service Director Majors

18.9 %

Food Service Director Degrees


47.6 %


33.7 %

High School Diploma

6.9 %

Top Colleges for Food Service Directors

1. Cornell University

Ithaca, NY • Private

In-State Tuition




2. SUNY College of Technology at Delhi

Delhi, NY • Private

In-State Tuition




3. Boston University

Boston, MA • Private

In-State Tuition




4. New York University

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition




5. Inter American University of Puerto Rico Ponce

Mercedita, PR • Private

In-State Tuition




6. University of Akron

Akron, OH • Private

In-State Tuition




7. SUNY College of Agriculture & Technology at Morrisville

Morrisville, NY • Private

In-State Tuition




8. SUNY College at Plattsburgh

Plattsburgh, NY • Private

In-State Tuition




9. Drexel University

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition




10. University of Alaska Anchorage

Anchorage, AK • Private

In-State Tuition




Top Skills For a Food Service Director

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 12.6% of food service directors listed customer service on their resume, but soft skills such as business skills and communication skills are important as well.

Choose From 10+ Customizable Food Service Director Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Food Service Director templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Food Service Director resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.

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Food Service Director diversity

Food Service Director Gender Distribution


After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:

  • Among food service directors, 41.9% of them are women, while 58.1% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among food service directors is White, which makes up 60.3% of all food service directors.

  • The most common foreign language among food service directors is Spanish at 59.4%.

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Best States For a Food Service Director

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a food service director. The best states for people in this position are California, Massachusetts, Alaska, and Washington. Food service directors make the most in California with an average salary of $72,062. Whereas in Massachusetts and Alaska, they would average $68,172 and $67,178, respectively. While food service directors would only make an average of $67,103 in Washington, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Alaska

Total Food Service Director Jobs: 117
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:

2. Nevada

Total Food Service Director Jobs: 286
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:

3. Pennsylvania

Total Food Service Director Jobs: 1,612
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:
Full List Of Best States For Food Service Directors

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Top Food Service Director Employers

Most Common Employers For Food Service Director

RankCompanyAverage SalaryHourly RateJob Openings
1TKC Holdings$64,588$31.0565
2Marriott International$63,217$30.39107
4Healthcare Services Group$61,640$29.63162
5Genesis HealthCare$58,978$28.35130
6The Nutrition Group$56,150$27.0076
7Chartwells K12$55,775$26.8142
9Valley Services, Inc.$55,437$26.6555
10Brookdale Senior Living$55,257$26.5794

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