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Food Service Manager, Executive Chef and General Manager Careers and Jobs

Food Service Management, Executive Chef and General Management Career and Job Highlights

  • Several food and beverage preparation and service workers are promoted into managerial positions based on their experience; nevertheless, the best candidates include those applicants with a bachelor’s or an associate degree in restaurant and institutional food service management.
  • The majority of newly-created jobs in food services and drinking places will increase in accordance with the growing number of establishments and with the population.
  • Because more restaurant managers will be hired by larger companies to oversee multi-outlet establishments, job availability for salaried food service managers is projected to be better than for self-employed managers

Food Service Manager, Executive Chef and General Manager Career Overview

It is the responsibility of food service managers to run daily operations of restaurants and other establishments that provide costumers will meals and drinks. Food service managers guarantee customers satisfaction with dining experiences in addition to synchronizing activities among different departments, such as kitchen, dining room, and banquet operations. Further, they supervise the ordering and inventory of food, materials, and supplies and make arrangements for regular maintenance of the restaurant, equipment, and amenities. Typically it is the manager’s job to run all of the administrative and human-resource aspects of running the business, which includes hiring new employees and evaluation current employee performance.

The management team includes of a general manager, one or more assistant managers, and an executive chef in the majority of food establishments. Some responsibilities of the executive chef may include: running kitchen operations, creating menus, maintaining quality food service guidelines, and other food preparation operations. However in some limited-service eating places, such as sandwich shops, coffee bars, or fast-food establishments, managers are accountable for watching over routine food preparation operations, as opposed to executive chefs. In full-service establishments, assistant managers usually supervise dining room and banquet room service. Larger restaurants and fast-food or other food service places who provide daily meals and are opened for longer hours, have individual assistant managers who may direct various shifts of workers. Formal titles may be nonessential in smaller facilities with one person performing the work of one or more food service positions. For example, the owner may be the manager as well as the executive chef.

It is essential that food service managers assist executive chefs in selecting menu items that will be successful. This project will be different with every restaurant depending on seasonal menu items, how often the menus are altered, and the coming out with daily or weekly specials. Several restaurants will change their menus often while others will not. Keeping in mind the popularity of past menu items, managers and executive chefs carefully select menu items. Further issues to be considered when creating a menu include: the necessity of having variety, what foods are available during particular foods, and the leftovers from food that wasn’t served but that should not be wasted. To establish food, labor, overhead costs, and to give prices to menu items; managers or executive chefs evaluate and study the recipes of the dishes. To ensure ample time for ordering supplies for menu items, planning menus must be done well in advance.

Managers or executive chefs approximate amounts of food, submit orders to distributors, and arrange the fresh food and supply deliveries. They organize and plan for regular services or deliveries, such as linen deliveries or deep cleaning of dining rooms or kitchen equipment, when the restaurant will be slow or closed. Additionally, managers also set up the repairs and maintenance of apparatus, and organize different services like pest control garbage removal. Managers or executive chefs accept deliveries; validate delivery contents in accordance with orders; examine the quality of fresh meats, poultry, fish, fruits, vegetables, and baked goods to make sure their requests are fulfilled. To stock up on tableware, linens, paper products, cleaning supplies, cooking utensils, furniture, and fixtures; they place orders as they meet with supply company representatives.

Good communication is a necessity for managers. They must speak well; and especially with a diverse staff, it may be beneficial to know other languages. They must encourage their employees to be cooperative as members of a team, to guarantee standards are met with food and services. Further, managers must guarantee that orders are easy to understand and clear.

Managers are responsible for interviewing, hiring, training, and, when necessary, firing employees. It is challenging for mangers to maintain good employees. To attract additional applicants, managers employ workers at career fairs; get in touch with schools offering academic hospitality or culinary arts programs, and place advertisements in the newspaper. Managers clarify the establishment’s policies and practices and watch over the teaching of new employees. They also in charge of work schedules to ensure there are substantial workers to cover each shift; and they find substitutes or fill in themselves when an employee is unable to work. When a restaurant becomes over-busy, a few managers may assist with other tasks including cooking and clearing tables.

It is the responsibility of a food service manager to make sure that dinners are served on time and in an appropriate manner. They deal with costumer complaints regarding food service or quality and find ways to resolve them. They watch over the kitchen to find places where back-ups may occur and work with chefs to improve any kitchen delays. To abide by company and government sanitation standards, managers supervise dining area cleaning as well as the washing of silverware, dishes, glasses, kitchen utensils, and equipment. Managers must keep an eye on employees and patrons at all times to guarantee a safe environment for staff at the facility. They ensure compliance with health and security standards and local liquor regulations.

Further, managers may hold several administrative duties. These include: keeping records of workers; arranging the payroll; carrying out paperwork to conform to licensing regulations; as well as reporting tax, wage and hour, unemployment compensation, and Social Security laws requirements. The majority of general managers keep these responsibilities for the precision of business records; however, a few delegate this work to an assistant manager or bookkeeper, or contract it out. Further, managers uphold supply records and equipment purchases, and they make sure that suppliers are being paid.

Technology provides many positive influences to the jobs of food service managers, including effectiveness and productivity enhancement. Several restaurants track orders, perform inventory, and seat of patrons with the help of computers. Point-of-service (POS) systems permit servers to instantaneously transfer orders to the kitchen as they key in a customer’s order, either tableside while using a hand-held device, or from a computer station in the dining area. This system also adds up and prints out checks, serves as a cash register, authorizes credit cards, and follows sales. Several managers use inventory-tracking software to contrast the POS sales record with a record of the present inventory to lower the food expenses and waste. A few food facilities program into their POS systems an inventory of regular ingredients and suppliers. This allows materials to be order instantly through the program when supplies are low. Another benefit of computers is that they promote greater efficiency as food service managers schedule and pay employees.

The internet is utilized by many food service managers to follow food-related news, search for recipes, perform market research, buy supplies or equipment, hire employees, and train personnel. Costumers may also have online services including web sites displaying menus and promotions, giving restaurant locations and directions, and offering the choice for patrons to make reservations.

Managers hold the financial responsibilities of totaling up the cash and charge receipts received and comparing them with the sales record and then depositing the receipts for that day at the bank or another secure place. Finally, it is the manager’s job to lock everything up; to check that ovens, grills, and lights are turned off; and to activate security systems.

In 2002, food service managers occupied approximately 386,000 jobs. The majority of managers received a set income; however, about one in three was independently owned and self-employed restaurants or other littler food service establishments. Nearly 75 percent of all jobs that received salaries of food service managers were in restaurants providing full service or eating places providing limited food, such as fast-food restaurants and cafeterias. Further salaried jobs were in drinking places that serve alcohol and in unique food services—an industry comprised of food service suppliers who provide food services at institutional, governmental, commercial, or industrial sites. A tiny amount of salaried jobs were in hotels or traveler accommodation; school systems; entertainment, gambling, and leisure industries; nursing care centers; and hospitals. Full-service amenities are found predominately in bigger cities and tourist areas; however, jobs are also found throughout the country.

Food Service Manager, Executive Chef and General Manager Training and Job Qualifications

Employees recruited to be trained for management by the majority of food service management agencies and national or regional food chains have received a 2 and 4-year college hospitality management degree. Preferably, restaurant chains recruit those with restaurant and institutional food service management degrees; however, they often employ graduates with varying degrees who have shown an increased interest and ability. A few management positions—especially self-service and fast-food—are taken by advancing food and beverage preparation and service workers who have a great deal of experience. Some workers, including waiters, waitresses, chefs, and fast-food workers, demonstrate prospective abilities for handling greater accountability and occasionally promote to assistant manager or management trainee jobs. Executive chefs must have wide-ranging experience working as chefs; while it is important for managers to have previous experience at restaurant, usually as assistant managers.

Strong preparation for a career as a food-service manager stems from a bachelor’s degree in restaurant and food service management. A good amount of colleges and universities provide programs in restaurant and hotel management or institutional food service management lasting 4 years. Another choice may be to attend a community or junior college, technical institute, and another institution offering food-service programs that result in an associate degree or another kind of certification. Courses in 2 and 4-year programs may include topics such as nutrition, sanitation, and food planning and preparation, plus accounting, business law and management, and computer science. A few programs pair classroom instruction and laboratory study with on-the-job experience through internships. Also, several academic institutions may provide culinary and food programs. Training in these schools can be beneficial later on when advancing to a position, such as an executive chef.

The majority of restaurant chains and food service management companies required intense training for any management job. Trainees are taught and receive experience in all areas of operating a restaurant as they are trained in the classroom and on-the-job. These different areas may include: food preparation, nutrition, cleanliness, security, company rules and procedures, personnel management, keeping records, and preparing reports. It has become more and more important to train the trainee in the company’s computer system as well. Typically, trainees are permanently assigned as an assistant manager after 6 months to a year.

Personal qualities may factor into the hiring process for most employers. Some essential qualities include: self-discipline, initiative, leadership ability, detail-oriented, and problem solving capability. To communicate well with costumers and suppliers and to encourage employees, managers must have superior communication skills. Because managers must show respect and confidence when confronting the public, they must maintain a neat and clean physical appearance. Good health and stamina are also important to keep up with the physical demanding nature of this job.

An assessment of professional achievement for food service managers is the certified Foodservice Management Professional (FMP) designation. Voluntary certification grants acknowledgment of professional aptitude, mainly for managers who obtained their abilities as they worked, even though it is not a requirement for working or promoting in this field. The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation honors the FMP designation to managers who receive a specific score on a written exam, finish a set of classes that cover several food management topics, and fulfill the requirement for work experience in the field.

It might be necessary to relocate for advancement or greater job opportunities. Managers naturally promote to bigger restaurants or management positions in the region within the chain. A few will ultimately open up their own food service business.

Job Outlook for Food Service Managers

Through 2012, the job of food service manager is anticipated to grow about as fast as the average for all occupations. Many job opportunities will arise from openings from transferring or retiring managers as well as from employment expansion. The best job opportunities will go to candidates with a 2 or 4-year degree in restaurant and institutional food service management.

Variety within the industry causes expected employment to differ. The majority of new jobs will be available in full-service restaurants and limited-service eating places as more and more of these places develop in competition with a growing population. Special food services (an industry that includes food service contractors) with manager jobs will grow in accordance with hotels, schools, healthcare facilities, and other businesses contracting out their services in the business. Growth will be reduced as contracting out becomes widespread; however, more food service manager jobs are still estimated to increase in hotels, schools, and health-care facilities.

Salaried managers should have better job opportunities over self-employed managers. The majority of new restaurants are associated with national chains as opposed to being independently owned and ran. As this tendency persists, smaller amounts of owners will be managers themselves, and a bigger amount of restaurant managers will be owned by larger companies to operate individual developments.

Historical Earnings Information

In 2002, the middle yearly earning for managers receiving salary was $35,790. Between $27,910 and $47,120 is what the middle 50 percent took home. The lowest 10 percent made lower than $21,760, while the highest 10 percent made higher than $67,490. Food service managers with considerable experience may receive much higher than figures above.