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Career and Education Opportunities for Food Service Managers in Las Cruces, New Mexico

If you want to be a food service manager, the Las Cruces, New Mexico area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. Currently, 1,060 people work as food service managers in New Mexico. This is expected to grow 11% to about 1,170 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%. In general, food service managers plan, direct, or coordinate activities of an organization or department that serves food and beverages.

Income for food service managers is about $19 hourly or $41,440 yearly on average in New Mexico. Nationally, their income is about $22 per hour or $46,320 annually. Incomes for food service managers are not quite as good as in the overall category of Services in New Mexico, and not quite as good as the overall Services category nationally. Food service managers work in a variety of jobs, including: food service supervisor, cook manager, and dietary supervisor.

There are six schools of higher education in the Las Cruces area, including one within twenty-five miles of Las Cruces where you can get a degree to start your career 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 Las Cruces 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

New Mexico State University-Main Campus - Las Cruces, NM

New Mexico State University-Main Campus, 2850 Weddell Street, Las Cruces, NM 88003-8001. New Mexico State University-Main Campus is a large university located in Las Cruces, New Mexico. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 17,198 students and an admission rate of 61%. New Mexico State University-Main Campus has a bachelor's degree program in Hospitality Administration/Management which graduated sixty-six 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: Las Cruces, New Mexico

Las Cruces, New Mexico
Las Cruces, New Mexico photo by Yassie

Las Cruces is situated in Dona Ana County, New Mexico. It has a population of over 91,865, which has grown by 23.7% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Las Cruces, 89, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Las Cruces are valued at $133,900 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, six hundred thirty-two new homes were built in Las Cruces, down from nine hundred eighty the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Las Cruces are educational services, health care, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is educational services, public administration, and construction. The average commute to work is about 18 minutes. More than 28.4% of Las Cruces residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 12.1%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Las Cruces is 5.6%, which is less than New Mexico's average of 7.5%.

The percentage of Las Cruces residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 77.3%, is more than both the national and state average. Mesilla Park Baptist Church, Greater Saint John Church of God in Christ and Valley View Baptist Church are among the churches located in Las Cruces. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church.

Las Cruces is home to the Mesquite Street Original Townsite Historic District and the Walden Hall as well as Frenger Park and Preciado Park. Visitors to Las Cruces can choose from Scoggin Blue LLC, SpringHill Suites Las Cruces and Villa Del Telshor Apartments & Corporate Suites for temporary stays in the area.