Become an Industrial Cafeteria Manager: Step-by-Step Career Guide

An industrial cafeteria manager is the person in charge of setting up and planning meals in a business or organization. Industrial cafeteria managers have many of the same duties as school and hospital cafeteria managers. The difference is that industrial cafeteria managers usually work in industrial settings where food is served or catered to the employees.

Should I Become an Industrial Cafeteria Manager?

Industrial cafeteria managers may also be referred to as food service managers, as they encompass many of the same tasks and responsibilities. Food service managers take care of the day-to-day operations in establishments that prepare and serve food and beverages to others. They coordinate staff and the activities of the kitchen, dining room, and banquet services while ensuring customer satisfaction. Food service managers are also responsible for administrative duties such as maintaining inventory and supplies, and overseeing the recruiting and hiring process.

Career Requirements

Degree Level Associate's degree or bachelor's degree options; professional training programs also available
Degree Field Food service management
Training Internship; on-the-job
Certification Foodservice Management Profession (FMP) certification available, not required
Key Skills Knowledge of food preparation, food safety and health codes; leadership, communication, motivational, organizational, basic computer and Internet use skills, good physical health
Salary (2014) $48,560 per year (Median salary for all food service managers)

Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (May 2014); University of Missouri, - St. Louis

Step 1: Complete an Industrial Cafeteria Manager Training Program

Candidates looking to become industrial cafeteria managers often choose food service management programs.

Aspiring industrial cafeteria managers may find numerous options available when looking for training programs. In addition to what 4-year colleges have to offer, potential students may also find restaurant and food service management programs in 2-year community colleges and technical schools. Culinary programs in food preparation may also be found at some educational institutes.

Applicants can choose from 2- or 4-year degree programs. The curriculum typically includes classroom, laboratory studies and internships where students obtain hands-on training. Course topics include catering and events, hospitality laws, purchasing and cost control, food science, quantity food production and food service equipment

Step 2: Obtain Certification

Industrial cafeteria and food service managers can obtain the Foodservice Management Professional (FMP) certification through the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF). Although certification may not be required for employment, it demonstrates professional competence in the profession. To obtain this certification, eligible candidates must pass an NRAEF exam. The NRAEF also offers resources and training programs for cafeteria or food service managers.

Step 3: Find Employment

Upon graduating and obtaining certification, graduates can seek employment with organizations or companies that serve food and beverages. They may also gain experience working in restaurants. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that employment of food service managers would increase by two percent between 2012 and 2022 (

Step 4: Gain Additional Training

In addition to supervised internships that may be part of the training program, students can also take part in cooperative education or field experiences the school may offer. The NRAEF also offers resources and training programs for cafeteria or food service managers. Many employers also provide on-the-job training. Training, along with work experience, can help employees become eligible for managerial or leadership positions.

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