Associate of Culinary Arts: Restaurant Management Degree Overview

Oct 10, 2019

Essential Information

Degree programs in culinary arts restaurant management prepare students to run and maintain restaurants and other eating establishments. Associate's degree programs provide a foundation in culinary and management skills and generally take two years to complete.

Some programs combine restaurant and hotel management into a single degree program. Many programs also offer students the opportunity to work as management trainees, either in student-run restaurants or through an internship or practicum.

Education Prerequisites

Prior to enrollment, prospective students are expected to have received a high school diploma or its equivalent. In addition, often as part of the program, students are expected to complete general education requirements.

Prospective students can choose from an Associate of Arts, Associate of Sciences, or Associate of Applied Science program.

Associate of Culinary Arts Restaurant Management Degree

Courses focus on both culinary and management skills, which help students effectively and responsibly operate restaurants. Prospective managers learn how to hire competent employees, and how to create an appealing menu by choosing and obtaining foods that can be effectively and safely prepared. Students learn accounting, marketing and purchasing, while also being taught the fundamentals of food service work and hospitality. Common courses include:

  • Safety and sanitation
  • Managing a dining room
  • Hospitality human resources management
  • Menu writing
  • Bulk food purchasing and marketing
  • Business mathematics

Popular Career Options

Careers students may pursue after completing an associate's degree program in restaurant management include:

  • Assistant manager
  • Cook supervisor
  • Restaurant manager
  • Food service manager

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), food service managerial positions were predicted to increase by eleven percent between 2018 and 2028 ( The BLS noted that job opportunity availability over the same period would be good, due to the need to replace managers who leaving the industry. In 2018, the BLS estimated that the median salary of food service managers was $54,240.

Continuing Education Information

Students interested in pursuing restaurant management education beyond the community college level can enroll in a Bachelor of Arts degree program in restaurant or culinary management. These degree programs typically build on the fundamentals taught in associate's degree programs, often providing a broader understanding of the business and culinary principles necessary for effective managerial work. After graduating from a bachelor's degree program, students can continue their education at the graduate level by pursuing a master's or doctoral degree in restaurant or hospitality management.

Graduates of an associate's degree in culinary arts restaurant management program will have the knowledge and experience in all areas pertaining to running a restaurant efficiently and successfully.

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