Entirely online diploma programs in hotel and restaurant management are typically only found at for-profit schools. Programs may be completed in about six months and often allow students to self-pace their studies. The curriculum covers topics in beverage management, vacation package plans, front desk management, accounting, customer service and menu planning. Some programs may prepare students for the ServSafe Food Handler certification exam. Programs may also be available at the associate's and bachelor's degree levels.
Hotel and Restaurant Management Diploma
These online programs are designed for students interested in managing lodging and food services operations at resorts, hotels, cruise ships and restaurants. Graduates of these programs are equipped with knowledge in banquet and catering operations, legal issues and regulations, marketing, general accounting, cost determination practices and personnel administration.
An online hotel and restaurant management diploma can be earned in about six months and completely online. Students work through the self-paced curriculum and take online exams following the completion of each section or lesson. Some schools provide text books, while others offer online lectures and lesson plans. Assignments can be downloaded and students interact with professors through email. Students typically only need a computer with high-speed Internet access to enroll in these programs.
In addition to taking classes introducing the hospitality industry, students study the processes involved in hotel room booking, food preparation and service, supervising and financial tracking. No general education coursework is required to earn the diploma.
Hospitality Industry Essentials
Students are introduced to the various types of hospitality facilities and the fundamentals of providing goods and services to the public. Course materials describe different job roles in the industry and analyze the necessity of effective interaction in providing quality service.
The essentials of how to organize and supervise staff will be explored in class. Students learn communication techniques and methods of motivating employees, planning schedules and adhering to labor regulations.
Students discover various marketing elements, including group pricing, tourism events, trade shows and referral systems. The importance of image and networking is also among the topics discussed.
After a student earns a diploma in hotel and restaurant management, he or she may qualify for a management position at a small lodging facility or a food service management position, with enough prior experience. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the employment of lodging managers was projected to show 8% growth from 2014-2024 (www.bls.gov). In May of 2015, the BLS estimated that 35,480 lodging managers worked in the U.S. and earned a median annual salary of $49,720.
The BLS stated that most food service managers have less postsecondary education than a bachelor's degree. However, work experience is usually needed to qualify for this job. As seen in May 2015 figures from the BLS, a total of 201,370 food service managers were employed nationally and received a median annual wage of $48,690. The BLS estimated a 5% growth in employment of these managers from 2014-2024.
Continuing Education Information
Managers with a diploma in hotel and restaurant management may need to earn an undergraduate degree to compete for jobs at large resorts and hotel chains. While a small number of associate and bachelor's degrees in hotel, restaurant and hospitality management are available through distance learning, most students pursuing these degrees will need to attend classes on campus to receive hands-on training. Voluntary certification, which typically requires that candidates meet work experience requirements, complete coursework and pass examinations, is available through the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation and various lodging associations.
An online diploma program in hotel and restaurant management may be beneficial to students looking to become food service or lodging managers. Advanced degree programs may be available online, and certification is available to those who meet work experience requirements.