Food Preparation Supervisor: Job Duties & Requirements

Apr 08, 2019

Learn about the educational requirements and job duties for food service supervisors or managers. Find information about skill sets, employment growth and earnings for food supervisors here.

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Career Definition for Food Preparation Supervisors

Food preparation supervisors, or food service managers, can be employed by fast-food chains, fine restaurants, hotels or businesses, among other venues. Their responsibilities include hiring, firing, training and supervising employees, as well as making sure that the facility and staff are in compliance with health and safety measures. Food preparation supervisors schedule hours for employees, delegate tasks and conduct evaluations. They may also have to deal with customers who are unhappy with the service or meal they've received.

Education High school diploma or GED; associate's degree or bachelor's degree improves employability
Job Skills Interpersonal skills, attention to detail, knowledge of health codes, organization, customer service
Median Salary* $32,450 for first-line supervisors of food preparation and serving workers (2018)
Career Outlook* 9% for first-line supervisors of food preparation and serving workers (2016-2026)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Education Required

Food preparation supervisors usually need a high school diploma or general education diploma (GED) and work experience to attain a job. However, a 2-year associate or 4-year bachelor's degree in restaurant management may provide an advantage in the job market. Programs typically include training in food and beverage management, sanitation and safety, customer service, accounting and supervision. Depending on the state, some food preparation supervisors may need a safety and sanitation certificate from their local health department.

Skills Required

Food preparation supervisors must be knowledgeable about health codes and ensure that their workspaces meet the requirements. Good communication and interpersonal skills are key, especially when conveying instructions to employees and interacting with customers. Attention to detail and organizational abilities are also important

Career and Salary Outlook

First-line supervisors of food preparation and serving workers will see a 9% increase in job openings from 2016 to 2026, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). As of May 2018, these supervisors earned a median annual salary of $32,450, as reported by the BLS.

Alternate Career Options

Related jobs are:

Chefs and Head Cooks

Chefs and head cooks train and oversee the daily culinary activities of food preparation workers; additional duties may include inventory maintenance, menu planning and sanitation. Prior experience as a line cook may help some candidates obtain a position; however, many aspiring professionals complete apprenticeships or formal culinary programs at community colleges or vocational schools. According to the BLS, employment prospects for chefs and head cooks are expected to increase by 10%, or faster than average, between 2016 and 2026. Those who were employed in these positions in May 2018 were paid median yearly salaries of $48,460.

Lodging Managers

Lodging managers oversee the operational and profitability aspects of hotels, motels and other overnight accommodations. While high school graduates with considerable experience in the industry may qualify for a position, a bachelor's degree in hotel management is usually required to work for a chain or larger hotel. Smaller establishments may accept applicants who have completed an associate degree program in a relevant area. The BLS reports that lodging managers earned median annual wages of $53,390 in May 2018, with a 4% increase in employment growth projected through 2026.

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