Programs in culinary management consist of culinary training and hospitality management courses, which are taught in traditional classrooms and on-site kitchens. Graduates are eligible for professional certification by the American Culinary Federation (ACF). Certificate programs are usually completed in a year. In all programs, however, students learn basic food preparation skills and study nutrition and food sanitation regulations.
Some schools require students to have culinary experience through an apprenticeship or culinary coursework at the undergraduate level, particularly through a certificate or associate degree program. ACF certification also qualifies applicants for enrollment.
Certificates in Culinary Management
Certificate programs in culinary management include certificates of achievement or completion in culinary management, and culinary arts and culinary management. Admission requirements for both certificate and undergraduate programs include a high school diploma or the GED equivalent. Students in a certificate program study regional and world cuisines, cooking principles, facility management, and menu creation. The program culminates in a field practicum. Courses teach the fundamentals of hospitality management and food production. Other areas of focus include:
- Culinary terms
- Cost estimates
- Dining operations
- Employee training
- Business management
Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Management
As a 2-year program, the curriculum of an associate degree teaches the fundamentals of cooking, baking, and hospitality management. Students gain hands-on experience working with professional instructors and chefs in a full-scale kitchen and learn to cook cuisines from around the world. The program also teaches catering and cost-control. Towards the close of the program, students complete a field practicum working in a restaurant, hotel, or other food service business. Culinary management courses explore the role of a restaurant chef and manager in providing quality food and service to customers. Coursework covers these areas:
- Financial management
- Banquet operations
- Event management
- Menu design
Bachelor of Science in Culinary Management
Taught by chefs, restaurant owners, hotel managers, and other food service professionals, a 4-year bachelor's degree prepares students to manage restaurants, catering companies, and special events. Students receive a culinary education in world cuisines, including instruction in how to properly handle, store, and prepare food. The curriculum also consists of studies in baking, hospitality management, and finance. Some programs conclude with an externship in management. Coursework includes subjects in accounting, financial, and hospitality management. Topics in the program include:
- Beverage management
- Human resource management
- Consumer behavior
- Food service supervision
Continuing Education Information
The American Culinary Federation (ACF) offers 14 levels of professional certification, including the Certified Culinarian, Sous Chef, Chef de Cuisine and Culinary Administrator designations. Applicants for ACF certification are required to take written and practical exams and to have between 1-5 years of professional experience. Recertification requires the completion of continuing education requirements, which vary by designation.
Popular Career Options
Career options for graduates include jobs at catering companies, recreation facilities, convention centers, restaurants and more. Job titles of recent graduates include:
- Kitchen manager
Graduates can find jobs at restaurants, hotels, schools and more. Possible job titles for graduates are:
- Executive chef
- Banquet manager
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
A 11% growth is expected for chefs and head cooks between the years 2018 and 2028, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov). Jobs for first-line supervisors of food preparation and serving workers are expected to increase by 11% in the same decade. First-line supervisors and managers held 988,900 jobs in the U.S. and earned a median annual salary of $32,450 as of May 2015. Chefs and head cooks held 139,000 jobs and earned a median annual wage of $48,460 during the same year, according to the BLS.
Culinary management programs are available as a certificate, associate, or bachelor's degree program. Through in-class courses, internships, and work experiences, students learn about the fundamentals of food management and hospitality.