Food service managers typically need a high school diploma and several years of work experience in the food service industry. Some receive additional training at community colleges, technical or vocational schools, culinary schools, or 4-year universities. Another option is to obtain the Food Service Management Professional (FMP) designation from the National Restaurant Association Education Foundation. This is a certification program for food service managers who have experience in related supervision, have special training in food safety, and can pass a multiple-choice exam.
Food service managers oversee every aspect of food service operations, from hiring to budget management. The amount of money you'll earn depends on the industry you work in and whether you have credentials, such as a food service manager degree or certification. Don't mince words in your food service manager's cover letter either; make sure that potential employers know why you're the right candidate for the position. Exceptional food service management is essential for fast food and restaurant chains, luxury dining establishments, hotels and resorts, casinos, catering companies, school cafeterias or facilities and other places where food is served to the public.
If you have a passion for food and can handle the heat of the weekends and spend your nights late at night preparing culinary perfection, you might consider getting certified as a food service manager. A degree shows that you have familiarized yourself with different management styles, that you have learned about customer service and teamwork by working with other potential professionals in the restaurant sector, and that you are well versed in the food management process, from procurement to presentation. However, while you're getting that initial experience, you could also enroll in a food service management program and take courses that could lead to a degree. Many college food service management programs require students to complete internships in the food industry before graduating.
You only need a high school diploma and several years of work experience as a cook, waiter, or host to become a food service manager. From seasoning the perfect steak to modifying cocktail recipes, seating guests and managing budgets, the food industry is a fast-paced environment. You can confirm that you have worked in an environment that offers an experience similar to that of a professional kitchen and that you know a wide range of tasks related to managing a food service. Employers in the food industry are often looking for business-savvy candidates with exceptional communication, customer service, organization and leadership skills.
In fact, some employers recruit candidates directly from undergraduate university programs in hospitality or food service management. Some food service managers who have a passion for cooking and a talent for management eventually open their own businesses. After earning the food service manager certification along with a degree and a few years of work experience in the industry, it's time to dedicate yourself to your new career. You can find other certifications in areas of specialization (food safety, hospitality, or customer service, to name a few) that you can learn about as a member of commercial organizations, which can also improve your resume.