Career Detail


Food Service Managers
Food service managers are responsible for the daily operations of restaurants and other establishments that prepare and serve meals and beverages to customers.
The Job
Managers interview, hire, train, and when necessary, fire employees. Retaining good employees is a major challenge facing food service managers. Managers recruit employees at career fairs, contact schools that offer academic programs in hospitality or culinary arts, and arrange for newspaper advertising to attract additional applicants. Managers oversee the training of new employees and explain the establishment's policies and practices. They schedule work hours, making sure that enough workers are present to cover each shift. If employees are unable to work, managers may have to call in alternates to cover for them or fill in themselves when needed. Some managers may help with cooking, clearing tables, or other tasks when the restaurant becomes extremely busy.
Work Environment
Food service managers are among the first to arrive in the morning and the last to leave at night. Long hours-12 to 15 per day, 50 or more per week, and sometimes 7 days a week-are common.
College Majors
2 and 4-year college hospitality management programs
Minimum Qualifications
Experience in the food services industry, whether as a cook, waiter or waitress, or counter attendant, is the most common training for food service managers.
Personality traits helpful for this career
Good problem-solving skills and the ability to concentrate on details.
Quick Facts
  • Experience in food and beverage preparation and serving jobs is necessary for most food service manager positions.
  • Food service managers coordinate a wide range of activities, but their most difficult task may be dealing with irate customers and uncooperative employees.
  • Job opportunities for food service managers should be good as the number of outlets of restaurant chains increases to meet customer demand for convenience and value.
Compensation and Outlook
Median annual wages of salaried food service managers were $46,320 in May 2008. The middle 50 percent earned between $36,670 and $59,580. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $29,450, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $76,940.
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