If you assumed the Food Service Manager’s job was to make meals, you were mistaken. Food Service Managers are at the forefront of food business management, ensuring that clients receive high-quality eating standards. Bring your imagination, business plans, and networking abilities to the table – the adventure is waiting for you.
Similar Job Titles
- Catering Manager
- Director of Catering
- Director of Food
- Food & Beverage Manager
- Food Service Director
- Restaurant Manager
Typical Job Responsibilities
What do Food Service Managers do?
A Food Service Manager would typically need to:
- Supervise food preparation, portion proportions, and food presentation; ensuring that meals are adequately cooked, consistent, and aesthetically acceptable.
- Ensure that personnel follow hygiene and food protocols, as well as health and safety regulations; conduct taste and odor testing to see whether the food meets taste and flavor standards; establish and adhere to industry-accepted nutrition standards
- Monitor compliance with liquor regulations
- Verify that all food preparation and serving procedures, as well as building maintenance, are in accordance with health and fire laws. Examine equipment, supplies, and work and dining spaces for efficiency, hygiene, and safety; keep track of building upkeep
- Evaluate the number and type of employees required based on the employer’s objectives; motivate employees to produce exceptional customer service in order to fulfill criteria; recruit, train, oversee, assess, and, if necessary, fire employees
- Set team work hours; assign assignments and supervise employees’ work; discover solutions when an employee is unable to attend a shift; and address staff problems.
- Order food supplies, beverages, and equipment; verify product quality and quantity
- Monitor finances and payroll records; comply with budget constraints; review transactions
- Address complaints regarding food quality, service or time waited; mediate conflict and answer customers’ queries
- Make bookings; meet and guide guests to their tables; offer menus and wine lists; and take orders. As needed, assist with food and beverage serving or table clearing. Check-in with clients on a regular basis to see what they require.
- Menus are planned and reviewed; prices are assigned to menu items; recipes and special meals are developed; recipes are evaluated to discover overhead expenses; and details of things sold are recorded to gauge their popularity and profitability.
- Examine online ratings, reviews, and feedback; examine operational concerns; identify areas for improvement in terms of safety and performance; and develop creative solutions to problems.
- Keep track of the quantity of things sold in order to identify which are profitable; keep records for government authorities about cleanliness and food subsidies.
- Arrange catering services for events such as banquets or receptions; work with clients to discuss rates and arrangements.
- Maintain stocks of food, beverage and equipment and keep their inventories; order and purchase equipment and supplies
- Schedule and receive food and beverage deliveries, verifying their quality and quantity
- Arrange equipment maintenance and repairs; organise services including waste collection and periodic pest control
Standard Work Environment
Indoors, Food Service Managers work in both small and large food service enterprises. Many Food Service Managers work at the front desk, the office, and the kitchen. Kitchens are frequently warm and occasionally cramped on the inside. If you work overseas or are asked to replace another employee’s shift, you may be required to travel. If you are offering services at a client-selected location, you may need to drive or commute there to understand the needs and manage the event.
Food Service Managers typically work conventional business hours at food facilities or cafeterias, warehouses, or office buildings. Yet, Food Service Managers in fine dining and fast-food restaurants frequently work long days, with some working more than 40 hours per week. Food Service Managers may be contacted at any time of day or night, including late at night, on weekends, or on holidays. Some may be required to manage multiple locations at the same time.
Seeking a new job may appear difficult. Food Service Managers can improve their job search by soliciting referrals from their network, contacting firms directly, using job search platforms, attending job fairs, leveraging social media, and contacting staffing agencies.
Food Service Managers are generally employed by:
- Fast Food Chains
- Independent Restaurants
- Restaurant Chains
- School Cafeterias
- Bars & Cafés
- Conference Venues
- Cruise Ships
- Special Food Service Companies
- Pubs & Clubs
Unions / Professional Organizations
Professional groups and organizations, such as the International Food Service Executives Association (IFSEA), are essential for Food Service Managers who want to further their professional growth or interact with other professionals in their industry or sector. Participation in one or more of these organizations adds value to your resume while strengthening your credentials and qualifications.
- Dealing with dangerous objects and areas in the kitchen such as hot ovens, knives, and slippery floors
- Lack of resources and employee turnover to offer customers an exceptional experience
- Lack of communication between staff and managers leads to inflexibility to respond to customers’ needs
- Training staff members is difficult given the high turnover and a busy work environment that leaves little time for other activities; service is complicated with frequent movement of people in and out of the restaurant
- Wearing gloves and other safety attire when working with hazardous material
- Exposed to noises and sounds that may distract them from working
- Stress from dealing with fast-paced work and dissatisfied customers
- Unsatisfactory reviews that discourage present or potential customers from using your food service
Suggested Work Experience
You can hunt for part-time, weekend, and summer jobs at restaurants or other food providers such as hotels and cafes while studying. Obtaining experience in food, customer service, and kitchen management through a scheme or apprenticeship is critical for future job applications. Certain college programs in hospitality or food service management may require you to do an internship and gain food industry experience before graduating.
New graduate structured food service training programs often run for 12 to 18 months. During your first few months, you will often acquire hands-on experience in many elements of restaurant management and be assigned a mentor to help you get started.
Chefs, waiters and waitresses, and even hosts and hostesses begin their careers as Food Service Managers. These entry-level positions equip prospective Food Service Managers with the skills and experience needed to advance to management positions.
Reading as much as you can about the field and interviewing others who work in the food industry are also useful approaches to exploring your passion.
Candidates for Food Service Manager positions must have a high school diploma, practical experience, outstanding interpersonal skills, and a thorough understanding of the industry.
While a bachelor’s degree is not required for managerial positions, many businesses, particularly upmarket restaurants, and hotels, are increasingly requiring post-secondary education. Food preparation, food & beverage management, food service operations, food safety & hygiene, business law, human resources, leadership & management, and accounting are among the modules covered.
An associate degree program in this discipline is also offered by a number of community colleges, technical schools, and other organizations.
Several culinary schools include programs designed specifically for folks who desire to create and run their own restaurant. Students must complete internships and have food-industry-related experience in order to graduate from these programs.
Others may decide to enter the field through a hospitality apprenticeship. An apprenticeship will give you organized instruction as well as the chance to gain industry-recognized certificates.
Certifications, Licenses, and Registration
Although certification is not generally necessary for Food Service Managers, it does establish a Food Service Manager’s proficiency in a skill set, typically through job experience, training, and passing an examination. Food Service Managers may pursue a food safety and protection certification because adhering to safety and hygiene procedures is critical in their day-to-day duties.
Food Service Managers should stay up to date on the latest food industry advancements and understand how any changes may affect the industry and their business.
Projected Career Map
Beginning at the bottom and working your way up is an excellent approach to learn the ins and outs of a business. Your professional growth prospects are determined by the size and type of firm for which you work. But, in larger enterprises, you will typically go from waiter/waitress or host/hostess to Staff Trainer. Food Service Managers must be informed of how their restaurant runs at all times. Understanding what the workers go through on a shift-by-shift basis is a great method to garner their respect.
Once you understand how the restaurant works, you can graduate to higher-level positions such as Bar Manager or Service Manager. You will be in charge of leading small teams of employees, teaching and educating them, as well as executing opening and closing chores to ensure the restaurant works efficiently.
Supervisory/Assistant Manager and General Food Service Manager are your next professional aspirations. You can get there quickly if you complete the necessary training and earn in-house credentials.
You can develop your career as a Food Service Manager by shifting to a larger or more prestigious establishment. You may be in control of four to six restaurants as an Area Manager, depending on their size.
There are also prospects to advance into managerial roles as an Operations Manager or to work at the corporate headquarters. With your expertise, you may even be assigned to manage a less successful linked restaurant.
If you have several years of expertise on the pitch, you can own your own restaurant.
Food Service Managers having a long history of working in a restaurant or other food service establishment should have the best job prospects. Job seekers with appropriate food service experience and a bachelor’s degree in hospitality, restaurant, or food service management should have an advantage when applying for roles at luxury hotels and restaurants.
Beneficial Professional Development
CPD will assist an active Food Service Manager in developing personal skills and competency through work-based learning, a professional activity, formal education, or self-directed learning. It enables you to always improve your skills, regardless of your age, employment, or degree of expertise.
The size of the organization and whether it is standalone or part of a chain determine CPD training opportunities. Bigger restaurant chains have more structured training programs, whereas independent restaurants are more likely to offer on-the-job training that is casual. Management skills, health and hygiene, first aid, and company systems are all areas of training.
Some firms may require Food Service Managers to participate in programs that mix classroom education and training in order to expand their knowledge and expertise in food preparation, people management, hygiene regulations, and recordkeeping.
Although managing restaurant operations and ensuring high-quality service can be challenging, you will have the opportunity to meet people from all walks of life and get significant insights into human behavior. You can investigate and uncover people’s preferences, habits, and interests in order to make your business first-rate and enjoyable for everyone.
Advice from the Wise
Food service managers must be able to successfully communicate. Communication is the foundation of the business. It helps people operate more efficiently, boosts their morale, and paves the road for high-quality work.