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Career and Education Opportunities for Food Service Managers in Columbia, Maryland

For those living in the Columbia, Maryland area, there are many career and education opportunities for food service managers. Currently, 5,710 people work as food service managers in Maryland. This is expected to grow 12% to 6,370 people by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for food service managers are expected to grow by about 5.3%. Food service managers generally plan, direct, or coordinate activities of an organization or department that serves food and beverages.

Food service managers earn about $24 per hour or $50,850 yearly on average in Maryland and about $22 hourly or $46,320 yearly on average nationally. Compared with people working in the overall category of Services, people working as food service managers in Maryland earn less. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Services nationally. Jobs in this field include: restaurant owner, menu planner, and concessionaire.

The Columbia area is home to 109 schools of higher education, including eleven within twenty-five miles of Columbia 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 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 Columbia 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

Howard University - Washington, DC

Howard University, 2400 Sixth St NW, Washington, DC 20059-0001. Howard University is a large university located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 10,696 students and an admission rate of 49%. Howard University has a bachelor's degree program in Hospitality Administration/Management which graduated eleven students in 2008.

Montgomery College - Rockville, MD

Montgomery College, 40 W. Gude Drive, Suite 220, Rockville, MD 20850. Montgomery College is a large college located in Rockville, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 24,452 students. Montgomery College has 2 areas of study related to Food Service Manager. They are:

  • Restaurant, Culinary, and Catering Management/Manager, one to two year which graduated 3 students in 2008.
  • Hotel/Motel Administration/Management, one to two year and associate's degree which graduated zero and fifteen students respectively in 2008.

Anne Arundel Community College - Arnold, MD

Anne Arundel Community College, 101 College Pky, Arnold, MD 21012-1895. Anne Arundel Community College is a large college located in Arnold, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,149 students. Anne Arundel Community College has 2 areas of study related to Food Service Manager. They are:

  • Restaurant, Culinary, and Catering Management/Manager, one to two year which graduated 2 students in 2008.
  • Hotel/Motel Administration/Management, one to two year and associate's degree which graduated seven and eighteen students respectively in 2008.

Baltimore City Community College - Baltimore, MD

Baltimore City Community College, 2901 Liberty Hts Ave, Baltimore, MD 21215-7893. Baltimore City Community College is a medium sized college located in Baltimore, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 6,884 students. Baltimore City Community College has an associate's degree program in Hotel/Motel Administration/Management which graduated one student in 2008.

Prince George's Community College - Largo, MD

Prince George's Community College, 301 Largo Rd, Largo, MD 20774-2199. Prince George's Community College is a large college located in Largo, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 12,005 students. Prince George's Community College has a one to two year program in Hotel/Motel Administration/Management.

Stratford University - Falls Church, VA

Stratford University, 7777 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22043-2403. Stratford University is a small university located in Falls Church, Virginia. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 1,644 students. Stratford University has an associate's degree and a bachelor's degree program in Restaurant/Food Services Management which graduated four and nine students respectively in 2008.

The Community College of Baltimore County - Baltimore, MD

The Community College of Baltimore County, 7201 Rossville Blvd., Baltimore, MD 21237. The Community College of Baltimore County is a large college located in Baltimore, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 20,673 students. The Community College of Baltimore County has an associate's degree program in Hotel/Motel Administration/Management which graduated three students in 2008.

Northern Virginia Community College - Annandale, VA

Northern Virginia Community College, 4001 Wakefield Chapel Rd, Annandale, VA 22003-3796. Northern Virginia Community College is a large college located in Annandale, Virginia. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 41,870 students. Northern Virginia Community College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Hospitality Administration/Management which graduated twenty-one and seventeen students respectively in 2008.

Baltimore International College - Baltimore, MD

Baltimore International College, 17 Commerce Street, Commerce Exchange, Baltimore, MD 21202-3230. Baltimore International College is a small college located in Baltimore, Maryland. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 500 students. Baltimore International College has 2 areas of study related to Food Service Manager. They are:

  • Restaurant, Culinary, and Catering Management/Manager, associate's degree which graduated 4 students in 2008.
  • Hotel/Motel Administration/Management, one to two year, associate's degree, and bachelor's degree which graduated zero, one, and twenty-four students respectively in 2008.

Howard Community College - Columbia, MD

Howard Community College, 10901 Little Patuxent Pkwy, Columbia, MD 21044-3197. Howard Community College is a medium sized college located in Columbia, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 7,905 students. Howard Community College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Restaurant, Culinary, and Catering Management/Manager which graduated three and seven students respectively in 2008.

Morgan State University - Baltimore, MD

Morgan State University, 1700 East Cold Spring Lane, Baltimore, MD 21251-0001. Morgan State University is a medium sized university located in Baltimore, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 7,554 students and an admission rate of 34%. Morgan State University has a bachelor's degree program in Hotel/Motel Administration/Management which graduated twenty-eight 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: Columbia, Maryland

Columbia, Maryland
Columbia, Maryland photo by Jeff Kubina

Columbia is located in Howard County, Maryland. It has a population of over 96,421. The cost of living index in Columbia, 100, is near the national average.

The three most popular industries for women in Columbia are educational services, health care, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, public administration, and educational services. The average travel time to work is about 30 minutes. More than 59.0% of Columbia residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 28.7%, is higher than the state average.

The percentage of Columbia residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 49.3%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Abiding Savior Lutheran Church, Atholton Seventh Day Adventist Church and Long Reach Interfaith Center are all churches located in Columbia. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church and the Southern Baptist Convention.

Columbia is home to the Symphony Woods Office Center and the Rivers Corporate Park as well as Middle Patuxent Environmental Area and Clarksville Environmental Area. Shopping centers in the area include Governor Century Plaza Shopping Center, Atholton Shopping Center and Owen Brown Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Columbia can choose from PFMG, Courtyard by Marriott and Hilton Inn Columbia for temporary stays in the area.