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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 Service Manager
Top Careers After Food Service Manager
Hispanic or Latino10.0%
Black or African American0.6%
Food Service Manager
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University of Phoenix17.5%
Johnson & Wales University14.8%
Culinary Institute of America7.0%
Central Texas College5.3%
University of North Dakota4.8%
Michigan State University4.8%
University of Florida4.5%
Pennsylvania State University3.3%
Grand Canyon University3.3%
Southern New Hampshire University3.0%
Texas Tech University2.8%
Johnson County Community College2.8%
University of Delaware2.8%
Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts2.8%
New York University2.5%
Florida International University2.5%
Food Service Manager
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|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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