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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. 

Duties

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.

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.

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:

  • 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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Average Salary
$44,159
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
11%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
58,236
Job Openings

Food Service Manager Career Paths

Top Careers Before Food Service Manager

Top Careers After Food Service Manager

Manager
6.9 %

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Average Salary for a Food Service Manager

Food Service Managers in America make an average salary of $44,159 per year or $21 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $61,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $31,000 per year.
Average Salary
$44,159
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Best Paying Cities

City
ascdesc
Average Salarydesc
Edison, NJ
Salary Range58k - 91k$73k$73,324
New York, NY
Salary Range56k - 87k$70k$70,250
Washington, DC
Salary Range45k - 70k$57k$56,704
Boston, MA
Salary Range44k - 69k$56k$55,810
Philadelphia, PA
Salary Range43k - 67k$54k$54,335
Baltimore, MD
Salary Range43k - 67k$54k$54,141
$24k
$91k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyascdescCompanyascdescStart DateascdescSalaryascdesc
Food Service Manager
Food Service Manager
Mother's Market & Kitchen
Mother's Market & Kitchen
05/31/2021
05/31/2021
$35,47905/31/2021
$35,479
Food Service Manager-at (9190)
Food Service Manager-at (9190)
Domino's
Domino's
05/30/2021
05/30/2021
$27,13105/30/2021
$27,131
Food Service Manager-(Plus Incentives) (7396)
Food Service Manager-(Plus Incentives) (7396)
Domino's
Domino's
05/30/2021
05/30/2021
$37,56605/30/2021
$37,566
Food Service Manager
Food Service Manager
Francis Tuttle Technology Ctr
Francis Tuttle Technology Ctr
05/30/2021
05/30/2021
$23,56705/30/2021
$23,567
Food Service Assistant Manager (9608)
Food Service Assistant Manager (9608)
Domino's
Domino's
05/30/2021
05/30/2021
$21,91405/30/2021
$21,914
See More Recent Salaries

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Food Service Manager Resumes

Designing and figuring out what to include on your resume can be tough, not to mention time-consuming. That's why we put together a guide that is designed to help you craft the perfect resume for becoming a Food Service Manager. If you're needing extra inspiration, take a look through our selection of templates that are specific to your job.

Learn How To Write a Food Service Manager Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Food Service Manager resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

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Food Service Manager Demographics

Gender

female

52.1 %

male

44.1 %

unknown

3.7 %

Ethnicity

White

62.0 %

Hispanic or Latino

16.2 %

Black or African American

11.0 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

68.9 %

French

5.4 %

Italian

3.0 %
See More Demographics

Food Service Manager Education

Majors

Business
22.0 %

Degrees

Bachelors

33.8 %

Certificate

22.7 %

Associate

22.6 %

Top Colleges for Food Service Managers

1. Cornell University

Ithaca, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,188
Enrollment
15,105

2. SUNY College of Technology at Delhi

Delhi, NY • Public

In-State Tuition
$8,360
Enrollment
3,142

3. Boston University

Boston, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,948
Enrollment
17,238

4. New York University

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,828
Enrollment
26,339

5. Inter American University of Puerto Rico Ponce

Mercedita, PR • Private

In-State Tuition
$5,914
Enrollment
4,155

6. University of Akron

Akron, OH • Public

In-State Tuition
$11,463
Enrollment
13,676

7. SUNY College of Agriculture & Technology at Morrisville

Morrisville, NY • Public

In-State Tuition
$8,670
Enrollment
2,758

8. SUNY College at Plattsburgh

Plattsburgh, NY • Public

In-State Tuition
$8,369
Enrollment
5,229

9. Drexel University

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,244
Enrollment
15,557

10. University of Alaska Anchorage

Anchorage, AK • Public

In-State Tuition
$8,580
Enrollment
10,482
See More Education Info

Online Courses For Food Service Manager That You May Like

Food and Customer Service Skills Training
ed2go

Food and Customer Service Skills Training...

Sustainable Agri-food Supply Chain Management
edX (Global)

Sustainable agri-food chains should operate in a manner that exploits and optimizes the synergies among environmental protection, social fairness and economic growth. Today, societal stakeholders demand the management of a sustainable agri-food supply chain to incorporate a diverse and often inter-related set of issues relating to sustainable development. There is surmounting global pressure for corporate responsibility to transcend product quality and extend to areas of labor standards, health...

Nutrition and Health: Food Safety
edX (Global)

Everyday reports of food scandals and recalls are published. One day it’s scary bacteria in meat, and another day it’s dangerous pesticides in fruits. According to some, meat needs to be cooked well to prevent food-borne illness while others warn not to heat food to prevent the formation of poisonous substances. Many consumers worry about the conflicting and confusing messages about food hazards. This nutrition and health course will teach you about the risk factors associated with food and...

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Top Skills For a Food Service Manager

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, 35.1% of food service managers listed customer service on their resume, but soft skills such as business skills and communication skills are important as well.

Best States For a Food Service Manager

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a food service manager. The best states for people in this position are New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. Food service managers make the most in New Jersey with an average salary of $73,327. Whereas in New York and Rhode Island, they would average $70,043 and $68,087, respectively. While food service managers would only make an average of $63,543 in Connecticut, 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. New Jersey

Total Food Service Manager Jobs:
1,685
Highest 10% Earn:
$110,000
Location Quotient:
0.93
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Connecticut

Total Food Service Manager Jobs:
710
Highest 10% Earn:
$96,000
Location Quotient:
0.94
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Washington

Total Food Service Manager Jobs:
1,599
Highest 10% Earn:
$94,000
Location Quotient:
0.96
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
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Top Food Service Manager Employers

1. Aramark
4.3
Avg. Salary: 
$46,426
Food Service Managers Hired: 
331+
2. Sodexo Operations
4.2
Avg. Salary: 
$41,220
Food Service Managers Hired: 
267+
3. United States Army
4.2
Avg. Salary: 
$51,652
Food Service Managers Hired: 
194+
4. McDonald's
4.3
Avg. Salary: 
$38,379
Food Service Managers Hired: 
97+
5. United States Navy
3.7
Avg. Salary: 
$50,962
Food Service Managers Hired: 
71+
6. Wawa
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$63,166
Food Service Managers Hired: 
61+

Food Service Manager Videos

Updated October 2, 2020