Online Master of Science and Master of Business Administration programs are available in hotel and restaurant management, as well as hospitality management. Students explore topics in strategic hospitality management, global restaurant management and service strategies. To apply to one of these programs, students must have earned a bachelor's degree. If a student's bachelor's degree is unrelated to hospitality, business or food service, they may be required to complete core undergraduate business classes before enrolling.
These programs may be offered entirely online or in hybrid formats. The courses are presented online, but voluntary internship and study abroad programs are offered at many schools. In some programs, students may opt to take some classes on campus in the evening or on weekends.
Master's Degrees in Restaurant Management
Graduate-level restaurant management programs are typically offered through a school's business or hospitality departments. Study in restaurant management may sometimes be found in more general hospitality management programs. Students in these programs learn skills for supervising a restaurant, hotel, country club, resort or spa. A student in a hospitality-focused MBA program learns general business principles, along with application of these principles to the hospitality industry.
For admission to a master's degree program, applicants must have previously completed a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution. If the bachelor's degree is unrelated to hospitality, food service or business, the student may be required to complete core undergraduate business classes prior to admission. Experience in the hospitality industry is preferred but not required for admission.
Program Information and Requirements
Hospitality management programs consist of 36-45 credit hours on average, requiring two years of study. Program instruction covers the management and operation of both national and international facilities. Many times these programs permit students to concentrate on a specific area in the field, such as casino and resort management, food service or global hospitality.
With the exception of voluntary internships or study abroad programs, all coursework is completed on the Internet and by email. Some schools may deliver lectures or other course materials to students on DVD-ROMs. Most programs also include discussion boards and examinations taken at home.
List of Common Restaurant Management Courses
Restaurant management courses instruct students in the development, marketing and management of food service businesses. Students in MBA programs also take courses in core business subjects such as accounting and leadership. Many programs offer students the choice of writing and defending a thesis or taking an exam to graduate.
Students in this course learn how to develop advertising and promotional plans for restaurants, hotels, clubs, resorts and casinos using print, Internet and broadcasting. Instruction also covers research methods to analyze tourism markets and incorporation of research into marketing techniques.
Legal and Ethical Issues of Business
This course focuses on state and national business laws, as well as the ethical responsibility of businesses. Corporate culture is defined and investigated with discussion of its impact and influence on decisions and ethical behavior. This course also provides students with basic knowledge of the legal system and the importance of complying with the regulations placed upon corporations.
In this course students learn and apply accounting principles to the hospitality industry, including accounting cycles, asset management and accounts payable transactions. Operations cost analysis, budgeting, equity investing, fund management and economic forecasting are discussed.
This course instructs students in the skills needed to effectively manage a restaurant or other hospitality facility, including decision-making, leadership and risk assessment. Management of human resources is also covered. The course includes additional instruction on building codes, planning, design and blueprint reading to prepare students for new business development.
Students with a master's degree in restaurant management can become supervisors or food service managers responsible for overseeing daily operations and managing inventory. A master's degree can also qualify graduates for executive-level roles in restaurant chains and other food service corporations. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, food service managers earned a median salary of $54,240 in 2018. Graduates of a master's degree program in restaurant management can also go on to open their own restaurants.
Managers and executives are generally promoted from within a company based on seniority and experience, but some schools offer graduate-level certificates in business and management to help better prepare students for advancement. Those working as food service managers can earn a Food Service Management Professional Credential (FMP) or ServSafe Food Safety Certificate offered by the National Restaurant Association Education Foundation. These programs are completely voluntary and offered online.
Aspiring restaurant managers can find online master's degree programs that cover the business and administrative aspects of the hospitality industry. After they graduate, they can further boost their prospects of advancing to a managerial position by earning a professional certification.