Though it is difficult to find online bachelor's degree programs in food and beverage management, courses in this field are often available through hospitality and tourism management programs. Coursework may be completed fully online; however, hospitality management programs often require students to complete an on-site practicum or internship to gain work experience.
Bachelor's Degree in Hospitality Management
Students in a hospitality management program with a concentration in food and beverage management learn about wine and beverage management, food sanitation, and cost control. Graduates are typically awarded a Bachelor of Science degree. Program applicants are expected to have high school diplomas or equivalent. In some cases, previous college coursework may be required.
Program Information and Requirements
A bachelor's degree program in hospitality management typically takes four years to complete. To graduate, students must maintain a minimum grade in core courses and complete a total of approximately 130 credit hours. Some programs are 2-year degree completion programs, requiring students to take lower-division classes through other online schools or at local community colleges. Students may be required to complete some form of practicum with a food and beverage establishment, chosen with input from an academic advisor.
Students interact casually with classmates and instructors online via e-mail or chat, and required discussions take place on message boards. Class participation often factors into a student's grade, and schools recommend spending as much or more time on distance learning courses as would be spent in traditional courses.
Common Courses in a Bachelor's Degree Program in Hospitality Management
Online hospitality management programs that offer concentrations in food and beverage management include courses in menu planning, food production, sanitation, and beverage management. These courses prepare students to oversee safe practices in the kitchen and behind the bar. Students are also prepared to coordinate cost planning with menu needs and adhere to governmental regulations within a hospitality establishment.
Students learn food preparation terms, nutritional theory, and cooking techniques. This course often requires students to participate in a hands-on experience working in a kitchen.
Food selection and preparation equipment are discussed. Students also learn about food quality, pricing, and service through lectures and assignments.
This course covers the history of beer, wine, and liquor production. Other topics include cost control, selection, pricing, and promotion.
Food safety and sanitation certification requirements make up the bulk of this course. Students learn how to implement sanitation procedures, train staff and comply with food safety regulations.
Career Information for Graduates
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicted a 5% increase in food service management job growth between 2014-2024 (www.bls.gov). In October 2016, PayScale.com reported that food and beverage directors earned a median salary of $64,201. They were employed in hotels, restaurants, and golf courses.
Continuing Education Information
Some schools offer master's degree programs in hospitality management. Additionally, food and beverage managers may choose to earn voluntary certification in food service management through the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation; this, according to the BLS, signifies a high level of professionalism and adherence to quality food service standards, which may give job applicants an edge in the hiring process.
Students interested in food and beverage management may need to enroll in online hospitality management bachelor's degree programs to study menu planning, food production and more. Graduates can work in food service management or pursue master's degrees in the field.