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Food Service Managers
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Description: what do they do?
Plan, direct, or coordinate activities of an organization or department that serves food and beverages.
Also known as:
Catering Manager, Director of Food and Beverage, Kitchen Manager, Food and Beverage Manager, Restaurant General Manager, Food Service Director, Banquet Manager, Restaurant Manager, Food Service Supervisor, Food Service Manager

    What does this information tell me?

    This description is a quick overview of what workers in this career might do.

    "Also known as" shows other common names for this career.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from an O*NET database. Learn more on the Help page.

Career video
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    Transcript: Whether inspecting a restaurant’s place settings, or crunching the numbers in the back office, food service managers find their passion in keeping restaurant and food service operations smooth and profitable. As the head of sometimes large and diverse teams, these managers coordinate staff, schedule their hours, order and store supplies, and oversee food production. And when it comes to meeting health and safety standards, the buck stops with food service managers. All this while they maintain a balanced budget. To keep so many plates spinning, managers must be detail-oriented leaders with the stamina to stay organized even when the pace is fast and doesn’t let up. In food service— communication and problem-solving skills are essential— since customers’ experiences rely on them. Dealing with dissatisfied customers is part of the territory, and can be challenging. Food service managers work full time in restaurants from fast-food to fine dining, and depending on the establishment, evening, weekend, and holiday work can be common. Managers of food service in institutions such as schools, factories or office buildings, usually work traditional hours. Most managers work their way up from entry-level food service positions. A bachelor’s degree is not required, but some postsecondary education is increasingly preferred. When customers leave their dining experience satisfied, you can be sure a capable food service manager set the scene to make it possible.
View transcript
Outlook: will there be jobs?
Image. Employment outlook for this occupation
New job opportunities are likely in the future.


    What does this information tell me?

    Outlook information can tell you whether a career is expected to be in demand in the future—that is, whether there are likely to be job openings if you choose this career. Careers can have one of three outlooks:

    • A Bright outlook means new job opportunities are very likely in the future
    • An Average outlook means that a small number of new job opportunities are likely in the future (less than an 8 percent increase)
    • A Below Average outlook means new job opportunities are less likely in the future

    You can also view local job listings in this field by clicking "Find job openings" above. This can help you see if local businesses are hiring—another way of looking at demand.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET’s Bright Outlook occupations. Note this information is only available at a national level, so even if you selected a state, you’ll only see this information for the whole country.

Projected employment
United States
308,700
2016 Employment
336,400
2026 Employment
9%
Percent change
36,800
Annual projected job openings

    What does this information tell me?

    Projected employment shows how much employment is expected to grow in this occupation over a 10-year period. This can help you decide if this career is a good choice for future job opportunities. You can look at projected employment in your state, or in other states where you might consider living.

    You can see the total number of people employed in this occupation in 2016, the number expected to be employed in 2026, and rate of growth over those years.

    The projections are based on assumptions of unemployment rates and labor productivity growth rates.  While the projected numbers may not be exact, they are helpful to compare one career to another, or one location to another.

    What is the source of this information?

    State-level data come from Projections Central and each state's Labor Market Information office.

    National-level data come from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Projections, 2016-26.

Typical wages

Annual wages for Food Service Managers in United States
LocationUnited States
10%$29,850
25%$38,770
Median$52,030
75%$68,720
90%$90,290


    What does this information tell me?

    This chart shows you a range of how much most workers in this occupation earn per hour, in the location that you selected.

    You can select from three views of this data:

    • The Graph shows you wages at the 10th, 25th, 50th, 75th and 90th percentiles. Note that the lowest (10th %ile) wage shown is not necessarily a "starting wage." Instead it means that 10 percent of all workers in this career earn less that this amount, and 90 percent earn more. However, you can assume that you might earn close to the 10th or 25th %ile wages when you start out in most careers.
    • Select "Chart" to see a visual comparison between national wages and wages in the location you selected.
    • Select "Table" to see more wage data the national and local level.

    Please note that wage data are not available at the city or ZIP code level. If you selected a city or ZIP code, you will see wage data for the regional area.

    Also note that in this update, 21 detailed occupations found within the 2010 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) were replaced with 10 new aggregations of those occupations; read more about these OES changes.

    You can learn more about wages for this and other occupations by clicking “See more wages” above.

    What is the source of this information?

    The wage information comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics Program, 2017 data. For more detailed state wage data, please find the link to your state's wage data program in the Other Resources box.

    What does this information tell me?

    This shows you the typical level of education, work experience, and on-the-job training that most people have when they start in this career. Note that these are not requirements for entering this field, but the information can help you understand how qualified you might be.

    Interested in starting in this career? You can search for education programs in your local area by clicking “Find local training” above.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections Education and Training Data.

Typical education
How much education do most people in this career have?
Chart. Percent of workers in this field by education level attained

    What does this information tell me?

    This chart shows you the range of education levels that people who currently work in this field have. You can use this to see if you fit in this range. Note that this includes ALL people who work in this field and not just those getting started.

    Interested in getting qualified for this career? You can search for programs that lead to the education needed, in your local area, by clicking “Find local training” above.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections Education and Training Data.

Certifications: show your skills
Let employers know you have the skills to do well at this job.
Earning a certification can help you:
  • Get a job
  • Get a promotion

    What does this information tell me?

    When you click "Find certifications" you'll see a list of national certifications that are related to this career. From there, you can learn how to achieve one of these certifications to help you enter or get ahead in this field.

    What is the source of this information?

    This collection of occupational certifications is collected and regularly updated by CareerOneStop. Learn more at Certification Finder Help.

Licenses: do you need one?
Some states require an occupational license to work in this career.

    What does this information tell me?

    When you click "Find license details in your state" you'll see the license name and contact information for the agency in your state that oversees licensing for this field. If you have not selected a location, you'll see a list of all state licenses for this occupation.

    What is the source of this information?

    Information on licensed occupations is gathered in each state by Labor Market Information units under a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor. Learn more at License Finder Help.

Apprenticeships: learn on the job
Apprenticeships combine paid on-the-job-training with classroom lessons.

    What does this information tell me?

    When you click "Find apprenticeship sponsors" you'll find information that can help you locate apprenticeship opportunities in your state:

    • If there are businesses that have sponsored apprenticeships in this field in the past, you'll find their name and contact information.
    • If there are related occupations that might have apprenticeship opportunities, you'll find links to that information.
    • You'll also see contact information for state and federal agencies that oversee apprenticeship programs.

    What is the source of this information?

    Apprenticeship information comes from the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Apprenticeships, and from CareerOneStop. Learn more at Apprenticeship Finder Help.

Activities: what you might do in a day
  • Monitor activities of individuals to ensure safety or compliance with rules.
  • Maintain regulatory or compliance documentation.
  • Resolve customer complaints or problems.
  • Manage inventories of products or organizational resources.
  • Maintain operational records.
  • Manage organizational or project budgets.
  • Monitor organizational procedures to ensure proper functioning.
  • Evaluate quality of materials or products.
  • Schedule product or material transportation.
  • Manage guest services.
  • Monitor organizational compliance with regulations.
  • Collect payments for goods or services.
  • Develop organizational policies or programs.
  • Perform manual service or maintenance tasks.
  • Provide basic information to guests, visitors, or clients.
  • Prepare staff schedules or work assignments.
  • Estimate cost or material requirements.
  • Direct facility maintenance or repair activities.
  • Negotiate sales or lease agreements for products or services.
  • Schedule activities or facility use.
  • Analyze data to inform operational decisions or activities.
  • Evaluate employee performance.
  • Manage human resources activities.
  • Recommend organizational process or policy changes.
  • Recruit personnel.
  • Determine resource needs.
  • Purchase materials, equipment, or other resources.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of typical work activities that people in this career might do on the job. You can use this list to get an idea of whether this career might be a good fit for you.

    Click on “More activities” to see more detailed examples of activities for this career.

    You can also use this list to help you prepare for a job interview. Or, if you’ve already held a job like this, you can copy these activities to use on your resume.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from O*NET OnLine's Occupation Information. They are O*NET’s Detailed Work Activities.

Knowledge
People in this career often know a lot about:
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Personnel and Human Resources - Knowledge of principles and procedures for personnel recruitment, selection, training, compensation and benefits, labor relations and negotiation, and personnel information systems.
  • Production and Processing - Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
  • Food Production - Knowledge of techniques and equipment for planting, growing, and harvesting food products (both plant and animal) for consumption, including storage/handling techniques.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of general knowledge areas that are most commonly required for jobs in the career. Knowledge is typically gained through education and related experience.

    This list can help you learn if you are prepared for a job in this career. It can also help you decide on education or training programs that could help you prepare for the career.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Knowledge descriptors.

Skills
People in this career often have these skills:
  • Service Orientation - Looking for ways to help people.
  • Monitoring - Keeping track of how well people and/or groups are doing in order to make improvements.
  • Management of Personnel Resources - Selecting and managing the best workers for a job.
  • Speaking - Talking to others.
  • Active Listening - Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.
  • Critical Thinking - Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Understanding people's reactions.
  • Coordination - Changing what is done based on other people's actions.
  • Reading Comprehension - Reading work-related information.
  • Time Management - Managing your time and the time of other people.
  • Active Learning - Figuring out how to use new ideas or things.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of a list the work-related skills most commonly required for jobs in the career.

    This list can help you understand how well your current skills fit this career. It can also help you plan your education or professional development.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Skills descriptors.

Abilities
People in this career often have talent in:
  • Oral Comprehension - Listening and understanding what people say.
  • Oral Expression - Communicating by speaking.
  • Problem Sensitivity - Noticing when problems happen.
  • Written Comprehension - Reading and understanding what is written.
  • Deductive Reasoning - Using rules to solve problems.
  • Speech Clarity - Speaking clearly.
  • Written Expression - Communicating by writing.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of a list of personal qualities that might influence work and are most commonly required for success in this career.

    This list can help you understand if your natural strengths and abilities are a good fit for this career.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Abilities descriptors.

Interests
  • Conventional - Occupations related to Conventional interests frequently involve following set procedures and routines. They include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
  • Enterprising - Occupations with Enterprising interests frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. Many involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
  • Realistic - Occupations with Realistic interests frequently involve practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of work environment-preferences that are most commonly associated with the career. It can help you understand if your natural interests are a good fit for this career.

    Click "Take an interest assessment" for a quick 30-question assessment that can help you understand your interests and see careers that might be good matches for them.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Interest descriptors.

Typical tasks
  • Monitor employee and patron activities to ensure liquor regulations are obeyed.
  • Keep records required by government agencies regarding sanitation or food subsidies.
  • Investigate and resolve complaints regarding food quality, service, or accommodations.
  • Maintain food and equipment inventories, and keep inventory records.
  • Monitor budgets and payroll records, and review financial transactions to ensure that expenditures are authorized and budgeted.
  • Monitor food preparation methods, portion sizes, and garnishing and presentation of food to ensure that food is prepared and presented in an acceptable manner.
  • Schedule and receive food and beverage deliveries, checking delivery contents to verify product quality and quantity.
  • Coordinate assignments of cooking personnel to ensure economical use of food and timely preparation.
  • Monitor compliance with health and fire regulations regarding food preparation and serving, and building maintenance in lodging and dining facilities.
  • Count money and make bank deposits.
  • Establish standards for personnel performance and customer service.
  • Perform some food preparation or service tasks, such as cooking, clearing tables, and serving food and drinks when necessary.
  • Greet guests, escort them to their seats, and present them with menus and wine lists.
  • Test cooked food by tasting and smelling it to ensure palatability and flavor conformity.
  • Schedule staff hours and assign duties.
  • Estimate food, liquor, wine, and other beverage consumption to anticipate amounts to be purchased or requisitioned.
  • Arrange for equipment maintenance and repairs, and coordinate a variety of services, such as waste removal and pest control.
  • Schedule use of facilities or catering services for events such as banquets or receptions, and negotiate details of arrangements with clients.
  • Review menus and analyze recipes to determine labor and overhead costs, and assign prices to menu items.
  • Organize and direct worker training programs, resolve personnel problems, hire new staff, and evaluate employee performance in dining and lodging facilities.
  • Review work procedures and operational problems to determine ways to improve service, performance, or safety.
  • Take dining reservations.
  • Assess staffing needs and recruit staff, using methods such as newspaper advertisements or attendance at job fairs.
  • Order and purchase equipment and supplies.
  • Plan menus and food utilization, based on anticipated number of guests, nutritional value, palatability, popularity, and costs.
  • Record the number, type, and cost of items sold to determine which items may be unpopular or less profitable.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of typical tasks that people in this career might do on the job.  You can use this list to get an idea of whether this career might be a good fit for you.

    Click on “More tasks” to see more detailed examples for this career.

    You can also use this list to help you prepare for a job interview. Or, if you’ve already held a job like this, you can copy these tasks to use on your resume.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from O*NET OnLine's Occupation Information. They are O*NET‘s Tasks.

Other resources

    What does this information tell me?

    These are additional online resources related to this career. You may find different or more detailed information at these sources.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information is collected and maintained by CareerOneStop.