Associate's degrees in culinary arts management are rarely available online, but several schools offer online associate's programs in hospitality management or hotel and restaurant management via distance learning. These programs often include courses in culinary arts management. While basic food preparation techniques may be discussed, most coursework focuses on business topics, like cost control, customer service and personnel supervision. While the coursework in these programs is available online, students may be required to participate in on-site learning experiences or internships.
Online associate's programs are typically available from community colleges or vocational schools and take about two years to complete depending on a student's enrollment status. These programs are designed to give students their initial training in culinary, hospitality or restaurant management while providing a foundation of general education courses.
Program Information and Requirements
Schools typically design online courses in this field to mirror the requirements of those conducted on campus. Online classrooms allow students to access lectures and other course materials any time of day from their home computers. Several technologies, including discussion boards, chat rooms and collaboration tools, give classmates the opportunity to interact and also carry out group work.
It's important that prospective online students keep in mind, however, that some programs in culinary arts management or a related field of study require on-site learning experiences or internships. These usually take place at an approved real-world setting and require students to put their skills to work under supervision. Requirements vary, but these experiences often require a few hours of weekly work for about a semester.
Courses in culinary arts, restaurant or hospitality management focus more on the administrative, operational, financial and legal issues involved in running an establishment. Classes may include the following:
Food and Beverage Operations Management
This course concentrates on the practical realities behind running a food service establishment. Students learn the basics of planning, operating and managing food and beverage operations.
Sanitation and Safety
Students learn the laws and regulations governing food safety in restaurants and food service businesses. Health codes and safety regulations are reviewed. Students gain a thorough understanding of the steps necessary to comply with regulations. In some cases, students can qualify for ServSafe certification.
This course covers the basics of hospitality law, such as the local and state laws pertinent to being a restaurant owner or operator.
Human Resources Management
Coursework teaches prospective managers how to interact with and develop staff. Students study labor law and employee rights as they apply to the hospitality industry.
Graduates can pursue a number of careers in the food service field. Many graduates interested in culinary management pursue positions as food service and restaurant managers. Other prospective job titles may include front desk manager or hospitality supervisor.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of food service managers is projected to increase 5% between 2014 and 2024 (www.bls.gov). Growth in the field is expected because of population growth and rising incomes, which will both increase the demand for prepared foods. Managers who possess a college degree -- particularly a bachelor's degree -- and relevant work experience are likely to have the best job prospects. BLS data from May 2015 shows that food service managers earned an average salary of $53,640.
Even though associate's degrees focused entirely on culinary arts management are not available online, there are multiple hospitality-related associate's degree programs that include coursework in the administrative aspects of managing a food service establishment.