Food Service Manager: Duties, Outlook and Requirements

Working as a food service manager requires little to no formal education. Learn about the training, job duties and requirements to see if this is the right career for you.

A food service manager's job is to perform administrative duties, communicate with staff and customers, and mainly see that everything proceeds effectively. There are relevant college degrees available to food service managers, though many employers don't require professional education, instead preferring satisfactory work experience.

Essential Information

Food service managers are responsible for managing the operations of a food service outlet, such as a grocery store, restaurant or cafeteria. Food service managers must perform many job duties, including duties related to customer service, administration and management. Though no formal education is required for food service managers, some postsecondary schooling or professional experience in the field is typical of managers.

Required Education High school diploma or GED, though college education may be preferred by employers; bachelor's degrees are available
Other Requirements On-the-job training with employment
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)* 5%
Median Annual Salary (2015)* $48,690

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Job Duties for a Food Service Manager

Food service managers are responsible for carrying out job duties in administration, customer service and employee management. Administrative job duties often include managing inventory, merchandising, controlling expenses and product quality, putting up signage, inspecting stores and invoicing.

Customer service duties might include promoting company image both internally to employees and externally to customers, resolving customers' complaints to their satisfaction and answering correspondence. It might also entail various customer contact responsibilities, including assisting customers with questions, offering samples and suggesting products.

Employee management duties include hiring and training new employees, setting standards for customer service and evaluating current employees' work habits and standards. Managers may also be responsible for promoting employees to higher leadership positions, ensuring that employees are practicing proper technique in their work and, at times, firing employees.

Career Outlook for a Food Service Manager

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), jobs for food service managers are expected to increase 5% between 2014 and 2024. The BLS anticipates employment opportunities to be quite competitive, with the majority of job openings coming as the result of managers retiring or leaving the industry. The median annual salary for food service managers was $48,690 in May 2015, as reported by the BLS.

Requirements for a Food Service Manager

Most employers prefer that employees have a high school degree, though some may prefer prospective managers to have some college education. College degrees specifically for food service managers do exist and include a Bachelor of Science in Food Service Operation and Restaurant Management, Bachelor of Applied Science in Food Service Management or Bachelor of Science in Baking & Pastry Arts and Food Service Management. Most food service employers also prefer that applicants have knowledge of the industry, management experience and experience with cash flow and inventory management.

A high school education, and possibly college coursework, are all that's needed to be a food service manager. Employees often acquire the job by promotion, demonstrating their capabilities through experience.

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