Restaurant Management Degree: Build a Career in Food Service Management

Restaurant management degree

Restaurant managers are responsible for the daily operations of restaurants and for ensuring that customers are satisfied with their dining experience. If you are a detail-oriented person with strong customer service and leadership skills, working as a restaurant manager may be the right career choice for you. Become qualified to work as a manager in a bustling restaurant environment by earning a restaurant management degree.

What Degrees are Available at Restaurant Management School?

Available From the Certificate to the Doctoral Level

Restaurant management schools offer certificates, as well as associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees. Although many restaurant managers have less than a bachelor’s degree, a growing number of employers prefer hiring candidates who have a postsecondary education.

Associate’s Degree Requirements

Associate’s degrees, which take around two years to complete, serve as a stepping-stone to bachelor’s degree programs and may qualify candidates for some entry-level positions. The admissions requirement for associate’s degree programs is typically a high school diploma or GED.

Bachelor’s Degree Requirements

A bachelor’s degree in restaurant management is usually the minimum requirement for higher-level management positions. Bachelor’s degree programs take around four years to complete. The prerequisites for a bachelor’s degree are typically a high school diploma or GED, minimum required SAT/ACT scores, and a minimum required GPA.

Who Should Pursue a Graduate Degree?

Graduate programs in restaurant management are appropriate for those who would like to work in the higher-levels of hospitality or aspire to become professors at the university level. The admissions requirements for graduate programs in restaurant management include official GRE/GMAT scores, a bachelor’s degree, a minimum required GPA, and relevant work experience. Areas of emphasis that students in graduate programs can focus on include facilities management, operations management, sales and marketing, financial management, and human resources management.

Master’s and Doctoral Program Options

Master’s degree programs in restaurant management take around two years to complete and are available as either a Master of Science (MS) or Master of Arts (MA) degree, as well as a concentration for a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree. Doctoral programs take around three years to complete and are offered as either a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree or as a concentration for a Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) degree.

Restaurant Management Classes: What to Expect

Restaurant Management Curriculum

Restaurant management training aims to equip students with theoretical knowledge of cooking, practical cooking knowledge, strong managerial and communication skills, and in-depth knowledge of kitchen operations, finances, human resource management, and customer service. Some restaurant management programs also blend coursework in hotel management or tourism in order to provide a well-rounded hospitality education.

Topics Restaurant Management Courses Might Discuss

  • Sanitation and safety
  • Food planning and preparation
  • Dining room management
  • Accounting
  • Business law and management

Internships and Certification

In addition, students are often required to gain real-life experience through internships. Most restaurants offer rigorous training programs for management positions that combine classroom learning with on-the-job training to prepare trainees in all aspects of running a restaurant. The Foodservice Management Professional (FMP) designation is a voluntary certification that shows professional competence in food service management, but it is not required in order to gain employment.

Restaurant Management Career Overview

Restaurant Management Job Possibilities

Many exciting career paths are available to restaurant management graduates. Jobs that graduates you qualify for include restaurant manager, sales or marketing manager, food and beverage manager, human resources manager, casino manager, cruise director, and lodging manager. Duties of restaurant managers may include overseeing the inventory and ordering of food, beverages, equipment, and supplies; monitoring the actions of employees and patrons; interviewing, hiring, and training employees; and keeping budget and payroll records.

Employment Outlook for Restaurant Managers

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of restaurant managers is expected to decline 3% from 2010 to 2020, as the field is highly competitive and there are expected to be fewer restaurants opening in the coming years. Despite this reduction, new employment opportunities for restaurant managers will likely arise in grocery stores and industries to meet the growing demand for quick food in retail and recreation environments. The best opportunities in upscale restaurants often go to those with postsecondary education. In 2012, the median annual salary for food service managers was $47,960.

A career as a restaurant manager is diverse and exciting. Managing a restaurant’s operations can be a demanding job, but successfully leading a team and providing diners with a satisfying, memorable experience can be rewarding. If you would like to pursue a fast-paced career in food service that involves wearing many different hats on any given workday, earn your restaurant management degree now.

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