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Career and Education Opportunities for Food Service Managers in Fort Smith, Arkansas

Food service manager career and educational opportunities abound in Fort Smith, Arkansas. About 3,120 people are currently employed as food service managers in Arkansas. By 2016, this is expected to grow 12% to 3,490 people employed. This is better than the national trend for food service managers, which sees this job pool growing by about 5.3% over the next eight years. In general, food service managers plan, direct, or coordinate activities of an organization or department that serves food and beverages.

Food service managers earn approximately $19 per hour or $40,720 annually on average in Arkansas. Nationally they average about $22 per hour or $46,320 annually. Compared with people working in the overall category of Services, people working as food service managers in Arkansas earn less. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Services nationally. Jobs in this field include: liquor establishment manager, culinary specialist, and banquet manager.

There is one school within twenty-five miles of Fort Smith where you can study to be a food service manager, among nine schools of higher education total in the Fort Smith area. The most common level of education for food service managers is less than a high school diploma. You can expect to spend only a short time training to become a food service manager if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Food Service Manager

Food Service Manager video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, food service managers plan, direct, or coordinate activities of an organization or department that serves food and beverages.

Food service managers inspect work procedures and operational problems to establish ways to further optimize service or safety. They also monitor food preparation methods and garnishing and presentation of food to insure that food is prepared and presented in an acceptable manner. Equally important, food service managers have to establish standards for personnel performance and customer service. They are often called upon to investigate and resolve complaints regarding food quality or accommodations. They are expected to monitor adherence to health and fire regulations regarding food preparation and serving, and building maintenance in lodging and dining facilities. Finally, food service managers keep records required by government agencies regarding sanitation, and food subsidies when appropriate.

Every day, food service managers are expected to be able to articulate ideas and problems. They need to listen to and understand others in meetings. It is also important that they evaluate problems as they arise.

It is important for food service managers to record the number and cost of items sold to establish which items may be unpopular or less profitable. They are often called upon to test cooked food by tasting and smelling it to insure palatability and flavor conformity. They also formulate menus and food utilization on the basis of anticipated number of guests and costs. They are sometimes expected to assess staffing needs, and recruit staff using methods such as newspaper advertisements or attendance at job fairs. Somewhat less frequently, food service managers are also expected to direct assignments of cooking personnel to insure economical use of food and timely preparation.

Food service managers sometimes are asked to develop specialty dishes and design recipes to be used in dining facilities. They also have to be able to take dining reservations And finally, they sometimes have to greet guests, escort them to their seats, and present them with menus and wine lists.

Like many other jobs, food service managers must have exceptional integrity and be reliable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Fort Smith include:

  • Chief Executive Officer. Determine and formulate policies and provide the overall direction of companies or private and public sector organizations within the guidelines set up by a board of directors or similar governing body. Plan, direct, or coordinate operational activities at the highest level of management with the help of subordinate executives and staff managers.
  • Hotel or Motel Manager. Plan, direct, or coordinate activities of an organization or department that provides lodging and other accommodations.
  • Sales Manager. Direct the actual distribution or movement of a product or service to the customer. Coordinate sales distribution by establishing sales territories, quotas, and goals and establish training programs for sales representatives. Analyze sales statistics gathered by staff to determine sales potential and inventory requirements and monitor the preferences of customers.
  • Social Service Coordinator. Plan, organize, or coordinate the activities of a social service program or community outreach organization. Oversee the program or organization's budget and policies regarding participant involvement, program requirements, and benefits. Work may involve directing social workers, counselors, or probation officers.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Food Service Manager Training

Carl Albert State College - Poteau, OK

Carl Albert State College, 1507 S McKenna, Poteau, OK 74953-5208. Carl Albert State College is a small college located in Poteau, Oklahoma. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 2,454 students. Carl Albert State College has an associate's degree program in Hotel/Motel Administration/Management which graduated two students in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Certified Correctional Foodservice Professional: A key purpose of the Certified Correctional Foodservice Professional certification is to develop the highest standards in.

For more information, see the American Correctional Food Service Association website.

Manager of Quality/Organizational Excellence: The Certified Manager of Quality/Organizational Excellence is a professional who leads and champions process-improvement initiatives’ everywhere from small businesses to multinational corporations’ that can have regional or global focus in a variety of service and industrial settings.

For more information, see the American Society for Quality website.

Business and Employer Services - Professional Certification: Professional certification exam for Business and Employer Services in workforce development.

For more information, see the Dynamic Works Institute website.

Certified Manager: Certified Manager certification is valued for the credibility and recognition it brings to managers and the organizations for which they work.

For more information, see the Institute of Certified Professional Managers website.

Quality Coffee Certification Program: The purpose of QCCP is to provide operators with sales tools and knowledge that will help them begin or enhance their own quality coffee program for their customers.

For more information, see the National Automatic Merchandising Association website.

National Professional Certification in Sales: The Certification was designed to capture the core Sales duties for a broad range of entry-level through first-line supervisory positions across the sales and service industries.

For more information, see the National Retail Federation Foundation website.

Program Management Professional: Project Management Institute's newest credential is specifically developed to acknowledge the qualifications of the professional who leads the coordinated management of multiple projects and ensures the ultimate success of a program.

For more information, see the Project Management Institute website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Fort Smith, Arkansas

Fort Smith, Arkansas
Fort Smith, Arkansas photo by Infrogmation

Fort Smith is located in Sebastian County, Arkansas. It has a population of over 84,716, which has grown by 5.5% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Fort Smith, 82, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Fort Smith are priced at $151,400 on average, which is above the state average. In 2008, two hundred one new homes were constructed in Fort Smith, down from two hundred ninety-four the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Fort Smith are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is food, construction, and health care. The average travel time to work is about 17 minutes. More than 18.6% of Fort Smith residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.7%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Fort Smith is 8.1%, which is greater than Arkansas's average of 6.9%.

The percentage of Fort Smith residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 68.8%, is more than both the national and state average. Mallalieu United Methodist Church, Loves Chapel Seventh Day Adventist Church and King Solomon Missionary Baptist Church are among the churches located in Fort Smith. The largest religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the Catholic Church and the United Methodist Church.

Fort Smith is home to the Fort Smith Trolly Museum and the Fort Smith Inter-Faith Community Center as well as Riverfront Park and Kay Rodgers Park. Shopping centers in the area include Laville Shopping Center, Maybranch Shopping Center and Midland Mall Shopping Center. Visitors to Fort Smith can choose from Patel P L, Westark Inn Motel and Stonewall Jackson Inn for temporary stays in the area.