Hotel and Restaurant Management: Online Diploma

Get an overview of online hotel and restaurant management diploma programs. Review information about online courses, requirements, career prospects and salary statistics to make an informed decision about your education.

Essential Information

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 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.

Related Degree Options

Related coursework can be found in a culinary arts or catering program. Certificate and associate's degree programs in hospitality management are also offered online and take longer to complete than diploma programs. Alternatives to a hotel and restaurant management diploma program include:

  • Diploma in Gourmet Cooking and Catering
  • Certificate in Hospitality Management
  • Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts
  • Associate of Applied Science in Hospitality Management

Overview of Online Hotel and Restaurant Management Diploma Programs

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.

Program Information

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.

Common Coursework

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.

Personnel Management

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.

Marketing Strategies

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.

Career Information for Graduates

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 services management position. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the employment of lodging managers was projected to increase by five percent during the 2008-2018 decade ( In May of 2010, the BLS estimated that 29,920 lodging managers worked in the U.S. and earned an average annual salary of $54,570.

The BLS stated that most food services 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 2010 figures from the BLS, a total of 186,830 food services managers were employed nationally and received an average annual wage of $52,220. The BLS estimated a five percent growth rate in employment of these managers from 2008-2018.

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.

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