If you see yourself working in the business and administrative aspects of the food service industry, you can consider a career as a food service manager. In this profession, you will be tasked with the day-to-day operations of restaurants and other food service establishments. It is your responsibility to ensure that customers are happy and that business continues to thrive. You see to it that clients are promptly and properly served. If there are any orders that are delayed, you appease clients and work with the chefs to find solutions for it. If there are any complaints about the quality of the food served or the service provided to the customers, it is your job as a food service manager to look into the report and address it.
Part of your job is dealing with suppliers and setting delivery dates for supplies, food and drinks. Together with the chef, you see to it that the food is prepared well at the right portion sizes. You also help in the menu planning as well as price setting for the food and beverages you are offering.
In addition to minding the food and the service, you are also in charge of your staff. You hire, train and if necessary, let go of erring employees. You ensure that employees follow their schedules, always seeing to it that there are enough people to serve customers and prepare food for every shift. If it’s a particularly hectic day or if one worker happened to be absent, you will help out by serving other customers or managing the cashier area. An important part of your work is making sure that personnel know exactly what is expected of them.
You also do administrative duties, such as keeping the records of employees, getting payroll ready and ensuring that the company pays its tax obligations. These are usually delegated to bookkeepers in some establishments but as the food service manager, you are still responsible for seeing to it that all records are accurate. At the end of the day, you also add the restaurant’s earnings, keep the money secure, lock up its doors and turn on the alarm systems.
In order to become the best food service manager, you need to know the restaurant business from the inside out. This entails knowledge of budgeting, marketing, advertising and managing people so that the restaurant stays in business. You also need to have customer service skills in order to make patrons happy and encourage them to keep on coming back and recommending your restaurant to others. Because of the many things that you need to be on top of, you need to have organizational and time management skills. You also need to know how to solve various problems related to the business or to your employees so you can address them whenever they come up.
Many food service managers are actually promoted to the position after many years working as cooks or waiters. This is a position to strive for especially for those who see themselves working in the food service industry until they retire. It is a fulfilling position for those who want to occupy positions of leadership in restaurants and other food establishments. It also provides decent pay and the chance to manage your own restaurant.
Food Service Manager Work Environment
Food service managers usually work in restaurants. Others are employed by hotels and catering businesses. A few manage school cafeterias, offices, hospitals and other institutional food service plants. The work schedule is often full time, although those working at restaurants often have to extend their work hours. The schedule is even more hectic for food service managers who supervise different locations of a franchise as they can be called in to a particular location anytime. The stressful part of the job is in dealing with patrons who aren’t too happy with the service they are getting.
Food Service Manager Salary
The May 2013 Occupational Employment and Wages report of the US Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that the mean annual wage of food service managers is $53,130. In 2012, the agency reported that food service managers working in the traveler accommodation industry were the highest paid at $54,850. Those working in special food services got $54,210, those in nursing care facilities received $49,650 and those employed by elementary and secondary schools were paid $49,440. While majority of food service managers were hired by restaurants and food places, those working here were only paid $46,360 in 2012.
Food Service Manager Career Outlook
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, there is little or no change expected in the employment rate of food service managers from 2012 to 2022. Population growth is expected to fuel the demand for dining establishments which would result to the hiring of food service managers.
However, the demand will be affected as restaurants look to cut costs by consolidating the functions of managers and letting supervisors do their work. As a result, there will be intense competition for various positions. The best job prospects will go to applicants who have worked in restaurants and possess bachelor’s degrees in food service management and related fields.
Food Service Manager Degree
A high school diploma and extensive work experience in the food service industry are generally enough to bag a position as a food service manager. However, many employers now prefer applicants of managerial positions to hold a bachelor’s degree in restaurant and hospitality management or related fields. In fact, some restaurant chains hire their management trainees from these programs which teach students sanitation, nutrition, food planning, food preparation, business law, accounting and management. Those who already work for firms operating in the food service industry may get training on the job geared towards managing that company specifically.
Certification is not mandatory but it beefs up one’s credentials as it attests to one’s professional competence. Managers who are able to meet requirements are eligible to get the Foodservice Management Professional certification from the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation.