Food Service Entrepreneurship Degree and Training Program Info

Training in food service with a focus in entrepreneurship is often taught as a specialty within a culinary arts degree program. Aspiring food service entrepreneurs can choose from training at the certificate, bachelor's or master's levels.

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Essential Information

Certificate programs take about a year to complete and focus primarily on culinary arts entrepreneurship, and not on cooking. A more cooking focused program would be a bachelor's degree program in the culinary arts or related fields, and takes four years to complete.

Graduate students are able to pursue an interest in culinary arts management and entrepreneurship through master's degree programs in food science. These programs emphasize advanced coursework and research. A thesis is required along with an internship.

For master's degree programs, Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores are required, and applications require a letter of intent, three letters of recommendation, and a resume of relevant work history. Students need to fulfill prerequisite courses like introduction to nutrition, microbiology, quantity food production and service, economics, and accounting. A Bachelor of Science is also required.


Certificate in Culinary Arts Entrepreneurship

Certificates in culinary arts entrepreneurship programs are not common and are found under a different name. For example, a food service operations certificate program has entrepreneurship topics included in its curriculum. These programs prepare students to start and manage their own culinary project or assume a leadership role in a restaurant that is already in business.

Topics include entrepreneurship thinking, creating a business plan, acquiring resources, financial management, developing strategies, appointing managers, organizing the business, and food preparation.

A certificate program combines courses about cooking with courses about business management for the budding entrepreneur. Areas covered include:

  • Entrepreneurial creativity in the food industry
  • Food service accounting
  • New restaurant venture planning
  • Restaurateur legal issues
  • Baking and pastry

Bachelor's Degree in Food Service Entrepreneurship

The bachelor's degree is the most common degree in the field, and is offered under titles such as culinary management and culinary arts, with a concentration in culinary entrepreneurship. These programs are designed for those seeking to open their own food-related business or implement new food products.

Courses include marketing and economic theory for the food industry along with business courses that help students wanting to start their own enterprise, in addition to cooking and hospitality classes.

Customized entrepreneurship courses and traditional management, accounting, finance, and marketing courses comprise the curriculum. Topics include:

  • Food industry entrepreneurship
  • The food service business plan
  • Information technology for food service businesses
  • Marketing for culinary arts
  • Economic theory and the food industry

Master's Degree in Food Service Entrepreneurship

Master's degree programs are not common and are listed as programs offering a Master of Science in Food Service program with an emphasis in Hotel and Restaurant Management with a track in innovative entrepreneurship or a dual Master of Science in Food Administration and Master of Business Administration. Students take analytical courses and general business courses while gaining hands-on experience. The program also provides students with multi-management skills to either start their own business or manage an existing food service institution.

Master's degree programs combine elements of food systems administration with business classes and include topics in:

  • Productivity and quality improvement
  • Nutrition
  • Business organization and management
  • Food safety
  • Computer applications

Popular Careers

The culinary arts certificate program may lead to entry-level positions in several fields. These fields include:

  • Hospitality
  • Caterer
  • Baker
  • Owner of a food service venture

Graduates are equipped to handle entry-level positions. The positions include jobs in:

  • Restaurants
  • Hotels
  • Food service institutions
  • Catering

A graduate with a master's or dual master's degree may improve his or her employment options. Such job opportunities include:

  • Food service administration
  • Food service management consultant
  • Business owner

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the field of food service management was expected to increase by 5% between 2014 and 2024. Managers seeking work in upscale restaurants and hotels will have an advantage if they have a bachelor's degree and work experience in the industry. Food service managers earned a mean yearly salary of $53,640, as reported by the BLS in May 2015.

Food service entrepreneurship training is offered at the certificate, bachelor's and master's degree levels to prepare aspiring restaurant managers for the responsibilities associated with food industry management. In these programs, traditional business topics such as marketing, economics and finance are taught and tailored specifically for the food service industry.

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