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Become A Food Service Manager

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Working As A Food Service Manager

  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Training and Teaching Others
  • Getting Information
  • Performing for or Working Directly with the Public
  • Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates
  • Unpleasant/Angry People

  • Repetitive

  • $47,122

    Average Salary

What Does A Food Service Manager Do

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. 


Food service managers typically do the following:

  • Hire, train, oversee, and sometimes fire employees
  • Order food and beverages, equipment, and supplies
  • Oversee food preparation, portion sizes, and the overall presentation of food
  • Inspect supplies, equipment, and work areas
  • Ensure that employees comply with health and food safety standards
  • Address complaints regarding food quality or service
  • Schedule staff hours and assign duties
  • Manage budgets and payroll records
  • Establish standards for personnel performance and customer service

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.

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How To Become A Food Service Manager

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.


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.


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:

  • Have supervisory experience in food service
  • Have specialized training in food safety
  • Pass a multiple-choice exam

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.

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Food Service Manager jobs

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Food Service Manager Demographics


  • Female

  • Male

  • Unknown



  • White

  • Hispanic or Latino

  • Asian

  • Unknown

  • Black or African American

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Languages Spoken

  • Spanish

  • French

  • Italian

  • Thai

  • Korean

  • Greek

  • Carrier

  • Tagalog

  • Portuguese

  • German

  • Polish

  • Arabic

  • Swedish

  • Turkish

  • Romanian

  • Gujarati

  • Hindi

  • Hmong

  • Vietnamese

  • Marathi

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Real Food Service Manager Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Food Service Manager 97-10 Queens Blvd, LLC NY Aug 10, 2015 $161,699
Food Services Manager G and D Restaurant Associates LLC New York, NY May 29, 2015 $150,494
Food Services Manager Cipriani Foods, LLC New York, NY Jan 27, 2015 $118,144
Food Service Manager John Hyunsik Joo (Han Jin Star Inc. DBA San Marco Seattle, WA Jan 23, 2015 $86,570
Food Service Manager Tokyo Mama, Inc. New York, NY Jul 10, 2015 $84,344
Food Service Manager Atlantic Mitushi Sushi Inc. New York, NY Sep 20, 2016 $79,500
Food Services Manager Droga5, LLC New York, NY Aug 09, 2016 $79,186
Food Service Manager CJ Foodville USA, Inc. Fort Lee, NJ Aug 15, 2016 $79,186
Foreign Specialty Food Service Manager Ala Turk, Inc. New York, NY Jan 08, 2015 $78,000
Food Service Manager TBT Holdings LLC Sterling, VA Sep 21, 2015 $77,875
Food Service Manager, Quality Control Piast Meats and Provisions Inc. Garfield, NJ Dec 22, 2016 $76,294
Food Service Manager Casa Tua Management LLC Miami Beach, FL Mar 25, 2016 $76,000
Food Service Manager 720 Ocean Drive LLC DBA The Place Miami Beach, FL Sep 26, 2016 $76,000
Food Service Manager Peclau, LLC Miami, FL Feb 12, 2016 $75,260
Food Service Manager First Atlas Lions, LLC Boston, MA Apr 30, 2015 $58,603
Food Service Manager First Atlas Lions, LLC Boston, MA Jan 13, 2015 $58,603
Food Services Manager Union Enterprises, Inc. Dundalk, MD Dec 02, 2016 $58,406
Food Service Manager Asha Enterprises LLC Edison, NJ Apr 15, 2015 $57,637
Food Service Manager Akaibana Restaurant, Inc. Edison, NJ Sep 22, 2015 $57,637
Food Service Manager Akaibana Restaurant, Inc. Edison, NJ Sep 27, 2016 $56,638
Food Service Manager Chocolate Chair, Inc. Santa Clara, CA Feb 16, 2016 $56,500
Food Services Manager KOGI Korean Grill, LLC San Antonio, TX Jan 10, 2016 $48,560
Food Service Manager Choi's Restaurant, Inc. Urban Honolulu, HI Dec 16, 2015 $48,443
Food Service Manager El Toro Bravo, Inc. Champaign, IL Sep 28, 2016 $48,152
Food Services Manager Yunen Inc. Salina, KS Sep 25, 2015 $48,022 -
Food Service Manager Pier 50 LLC Boston, MA Sep 15, 2016 $48,001
Food Service Manager Charles Bros., Inc. III Adelphi, MD Apr 10, 2015 $47,486
Food Service Manager Charles Bros., Inc. III Adelphi, MD Jun 03, 2015 $47,486

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Top Skills for A Food Service Manager


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Top Food Service Manager Skills

  1. Food Service Operations
  2. Kitchen Equipment
  3. Plan Menus
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Inspected and evaluated contract food service operations for compliance with contractual and standard operating procedures.
  • Requisitioned food supplies, kitchen equipment and appliances, and other supplies and received deliveries.
  • Plan menus, order and facilitate delivery of meals consistent with Meal Pattern Standards and special dietary needs.
  • Review work procedures and operational problems to determine ways to improve service, performance, or safety.
  • Developed employee customer service skills, conducted productivity enhancement, performance evaluations for employee's pay increases.

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