Although many restaurant managers are trained on the job and are promoted from another position, a postsecondary degree or college coursework is becoming a preference among employers. Many restaurant chains offer their own training programs.
Restaurant managers oversee the day-to-day operations of a food service organization, including ordering food and supplies, providing customer service, managing staff and planning menus. The required education to become a restaurant manager varies. Some managers have just a high school diploma and receive on-the-job training, while others hold a certificate, associate's degree or bachelor's degree related to restaurant management. Employers generally require restaurant work experience for this management role, so some formal education programs incorporate internships.
|Required Education||High school diploma with on-the-job training; certificate, associate's degree or bachelor's degree preferred by some employers|
|Other Requirements||Up to five years of work experience in the field|
|Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)*||5%|
|Mean Annual Salary (2015)*||$53,640 for food service managers|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
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Education Requirements for Restaurant Managers
In the past, there were no formal education requirements to become a restaurant manager, and most managers received their training through work experience as a restaurant employee. Today, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov), a college degree or training at a postsecondary school is a preferred qualification for many restaurant manager positions.
Degree programs in restaurant management are available for students who wish to move into a leadership position at a restaurant or other eating establishment. These programs are available as certificate, associate degree and bachelor's degree programs. Master's degree programs are also available, but they are typically earned by people seeking a corporate management position.
Restaurant management education programs are also known as hospitality management or food service management programs. All the programs typically include training in customer service, cost estimation, marketing, food service sanitation and human resources. Bachelor's degree programs in restaurant management may also include advanced training in facilities planning, advertising, contract management and international cuisine. Many schools also require internships or real-world experience to graduate, such as working in an on-campus restaurant.
The most common form of training for a career as a restaurant manager comes from on-the-job experience. Many managers start out working as cooks, hosts or wait staff at a restaurant and learn all aspects of the food service business.
Many large food service companies or restaurant chains offer their own management training programs. These programs offer specific training on the company's human resources and financial policies, as well as its unique restaurant equipment, computer programs and menu items. Some restaurant organizations pay for potential managers to enroll in business or computer classes through a local college or community education program.
Aspiring restaurant managers may choose to earn an associate's, bachelor's, or higher degree to give them the knowledge and skills needed to manage a restaurant. On the other hand, many do not have formal education, and instead become managers through job promotion.