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

If you want to be a food service manager, the Columbia, Missouri area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. There are currently 3,150 jobs for food service managers in Missouri and this is projected to grow 6% to 3,340 jobs by 2016. 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. Food service managers generally plan, direct, or coordinate activities of an organization or department that serves food and beverages.

Income for food service managers is about $25 per hour or $53,300 yearly on average in Missouri. Nationally, their income is about $22 per hour or $46,320 yearly. Compared with people working in the overall category of Services, people working as food service managers in Missouri earn less. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Services nationally. People working as food service managers can fill a number of jobs, such as: lunchroom operator, menu planner, and food service director.

There are thirteen schools of higher education in the Columbia area, including one within twenty-five miles of Columbia where you can get a degree to start your career as a food service manager. Given that the most common education level for food service managers is less than a high school diploma, it will take only a short time to learn 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 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.
  • 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

University of Missouri-Columbia - Columbia, MO

University of Missouri-Columbia, 105 Jesse Hall, Columbia, MO 65211. University of Missouri-Columbia is a large university located in Columbia, Missouri. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 30,130 students and an admission rate of 85%. University of Missouri-Columbia has a bachelor's degree program in Hotel/Motel Administration/Management which graduated eighty-eight students in 2008.


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.


Columbia, Missouri
Columbia, Missouri photo by Grey_Wanderer

Columbia is situated in Boone County, Missouri. It has a population of over 100,733, which has grown by 19.2% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Columbia, 85, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Columbia are valued at $171,800 on average, which is below the state average. In 2008, three hundred thirty-five new homes were constructed in Columbia, down from six hundred fifty-three the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Columbia are educational services, health care, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is educational services, accommodation and food services, and health care. The average travel time to work is about 15 minutes. More than 50.5% of Columbia residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 24.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Columbia is 6.8%, which is less than Missouri's average of 8.9%.

The percentage of Columbia residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 40.9%, is less than both the national and state average. Sugar Grove Church, Fairview Church and Emmanuel Church are among the churches located in Columbia. The most common religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the Catholic Church and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

Columbia is home to the Columbia Country Club and the Columbia Plaza as well as Nickell Park and Stephens Park. Shopping centers in the area include Whitegate Shopping Center, North County Shopping Center and Biscayne Mall. Visitors to Columbia can choose from Churchill's, Columbia Super 8 Motel and Arrow Head Motel LLC for temporary stays in the area.