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Career and Education Opportunities for Food Service Managers in Chicago, Illinois

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for food service managers in the Chicago, Illinois area. About 10,140 people are currently employed as food service managers in Illinois. By 2016, this is expected to grow by 10% to about 11,150 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 $20 per hour or $43,240 yearly on average in Illinois. Nationally they average about $22 hourly or $46,320 per year. Incomes for food service managers are not quite as good as in the overall category of Services in Illinois, and not quite as good as the overall Services category nationally. People working as food service managers can fill a number of jobs, such as: cafe operator, boarding house manager, and hospitality manager.

The Chicago area is home to 180 schools of higher education, including thirteen within twenty-five miles of Chicago where you can get a degree as a food service manager. 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 studying to be 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 Chicago include:

  • Academic Director. Plan, direct, or coordinate research, instructional, student administration and services, and other educational activities at postsecondary institutions, including universities, and junior and community colleges.
  • 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.
  • Funeral Director. Perform various tasks to arrange and direct funeral services, such as coordinating transportation of body to mortuary for embalming, interviewing family or other authorized person to arrange details, selecting pallbearers, procuring official for religious rites, and providing transportation for mourners.
  • Healthcare Manager. Plan, direct, or coordinate medicine and health services in hospitals, clinics, managed care organizations, public health agencies, or similar organizations.
  • 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

Northwestern College-Southwestern Campus - Bridgeview, IL

Northwestern College-Southwestern Campus, 7725 South Harlem Avenue, Bridgeview, IL 60455. Northwestern College-Southwestern Campus is a small college located in Bridgeview, Illinois. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 995 students and an admission rate of 90%. Northwestern College-Southwestern Campus has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Hospitality Administration/Management which graduated zero and one students respectively in 2008.

College of DuPage - Glen Ellyn, IL

College of DuPage, 425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn, IL 60137-6599. College of DuPage is a large college located in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 25,668 students. College of DuPage has 2 areas of study related to Food Service Manager. They are:

  • Restaurant, Culinary, and Catering Management/Manager, one to two year and associate's degree which graduated three and four students respectively in 2008.
  • Hotel/Motel Administration/Management, less than one year, one to two year, and associate's degree which graduated three, one, and seven students respectively in 2008.

Nothwestern College - Chicago, IL

Nothwestern College, 4829 North Lipps Avenue, Chicago, IL 60630. Nothwestern College is a small college located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 847 students and an admission rate of 83%. Nothwestern College has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Hospitality Administration/Management which graduated zero and four students respectively in 2008.

The Illinois Institute of Art-Chicago - Chicago, IL

The Illinois Institute of Art-Chicago, 350 N Orleans St, Chicago, IL 60654-1593. The Illinois Institute of Art-Chicago is a small school located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,900 students and an admission rate of 48%. The Illinois Institute of Art-Chicago has a bachelor's degree program in Restaurant, Culinary, and Catering Management/Manager which graduated twenty-one students in 2008.

Roosevelt University - Chicago, IL

Roosevelt University, 430 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60605-1394. Roosevelt University is a medium sized university located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 7,708 students and an admission rate of 43%. Roosevelt University has less than one year, bachelor's degree, and master's degree programs in Hospitality Administration/Management which graduated nineteen, zero, and zero students respectively in 2008.

Purdue University-Calumet Campus - Hammond, IN

Purdue University-Calumet Campus, 2200 169th St, Hammond, IN 46323-2094. Purdue University-Calumet Campus is a medium sized university located in Hammond, Indiana. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 9,325 students and an admission rate of 74%. Purdue University-Calumet Campus has a less than one year and a bachelor's degree program in Hotel/Motel Administration/Management which graduated one and twenty-four students respectively in 2008.

Harper College - Palatine, IL

Harper College, 1200 W Algonquin Rd, Palatine, IL 60067-7398. Harper College is a large college located in Palatine, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,250 students. Harper College has 2 areas of study related to Food Service Manager. They are:

  • Hospitality Administration/Management, associate's degree which graduated 6 students in 2008.
  • Hotel/Motel Administration/Management, less than one year which graduated 4 students in 2008.

Oakton Community College - Des Plaines, IL

Oakton Community College, 1600 E Golf Rd., Des Plaines, IL 60016-1268. Oakton Community College is a large college located in Des Plaines, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 10,552 students. Oakton Community College has an associate's degree program in Hotel/Motel Administration/Management which graduated one student in 2008.

Moraine Valley Community College - Palos Hills, IL

Moraine Valley Community College, 9000 W. College Parkway, Palos Hills, IL 60465-0937. Moraine Valley Community College is a large college located in Palos Hills, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 17,477 students. Moraine Valley Community College has 2 areas of study related to Food Service Manager. They are:

  • Restaurant, Culinary, and Catering Management/Manager, less than one year and associate's degree which graduated three and two students respectively in 2008.
  • Hospitality Administration/Management, one to two year and associate's degree which graduated nine and six students respectively in 2008.

Joliet Junior College - Joliet, IL

Joliet Junior College, 1215 Houbolt Rd, Joliet, IL 60431-8938. Joliet Junior College is a large college located in Joliet, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 14,088 students. Joliet Junior College has less than one year, one to two year, and associate's degree programs in Hospitality Administration/Management which graduated two, one, and fifteen students respectively in 2008.

Kendall College - Chicago, IL

Kendall College, 900 N. North Branch Ave, Chicago, IL 60622. Kendall College is a small college located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,958 students and an admission rate of 99%. Kendall College has a bachelor's degree program in Hospitality Administration/Management which graduated forty-two students in 2008.

Triton College - River Grove, IL

Triton College, 2000 5th Ave, River Grove, IL 60171-1995. Triton College is a large college located in River Grove, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,547 students. Triton College has 2 areas of study related to Food Service Manager. They are:

  • Hotel/Motel Administration/Management, one to two year and associate's degree which graduated one and six students respectively in 2008.
  • Restaurant/Food Services Management, associate's degree which graduated 6 students in 2008.

Lexington College - Chicago, IL

Lexington College, 310 South Peoria, Chicago, IL 60607-3534. Lexington College is a small college located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 53 students and an admission rate of 50%. Lexington College has an associate's degree and a bachelor's degree program in Hospitality Administration/Management which graduated two and seven students respectively 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.

LICENSES

FOOD AND BEVERAGE MANAGER

Licensing agency: Illinois Gaming Board
Address: Willard Ice Building, P.O. Box 19474, Springfield, IL 62794-9474

Phone: (312) 814-4700
Website: Illinois Gaming Board

FOOD SERVICE SANITATION MANAGER

Licensing agency: Illinois Department of Public Health Division of Food, Drugs and Dairies
Address: 535 W. Jefferson St., Springfield, IL 62761

Phone: (217) 785-2439
Website: Illinois Department of Public Health Division of Food, Drugs and Dairies

FOOD SERVICE SANITATION MANAGER CERTIFICATION INSTRUCTOR

Licensing agency: Illinois Department of Public Health Division of Food, Drugs and Dairies
Address: 535 W. Jefferson St., Springfield, IL 62761

Phone: (217) 785-2439
Website: Illinois Department of Public Health Division of Food, Drugs and Dairies

RESTAURANT MANAGER/FOOD & BEVERAGE MANAGER

Licensing agency: Illinois Gaming Board
Address: Willard Ice Building, P.O. Box 19474, Springfield, IL 62794-9474

Phone: (312) 814-4700
Website: Illinois Gaming Board

LOCATION INFORMATION: Chicago, Illinois

Chicago, Illinois
Chicago, Illinois photo by Dschwen

Chicago is situated in Cook County, Illinois. It has a population of over 2,853,114, which has shrunk by 1.5% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Chicago, 114, is well above the national average. New single-family homes in Chicago are valued at $200,500 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, three hundred eighty-one new homes were built in Chicago, down from eight hundred seventy the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Chicago are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 35 minutes. More than 25.5% of Chicago residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Chicago is 11.6%, which is greater than Illinois's average of 10.5%.

The percentage of Chicago residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 57.6%, is more than both the national and state average. Southlawn United Methodist Church, Southern Missionary Baptist Church and Lakeside Evangelical Church are all churches located in Chicago. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Muslim Estimate and the Lutheran Church.

Chicago is home to the Five Crossings and the Wrigley Field as well as Monticello Park and Wilson Playground. Shopping centers in the area include Lincoln Village Shopping Center, Market Place at Six Corners Shopping Center and Kimbark Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Chicago can choose from Extended Stay America, Embassy Suites Lakefront and Cottage Inn for temporary stays in the area.