Food Service Managers

Last updated January 01, 2015

No one is more involved with the excitement of a kitchen than a food service manager. They make sure that the glasses are clean, the tablecloths are white, and the food is fresh.

Whether filling in for an absent chef or putting out a kitchen fire, managers are responsible for it all. Managers help plan menus, order food, and hire and fire staff. And the very last complaint you’ll hear from them is that their job is dull.

Food service managers oversee the daily operations of restaurants as well as kitchens and cafeterias in places like schools, hospitals, and hotels.

Did You Know?

In limited-service establishments, such as fast food restaurants or coffee bars, it is the food service manager, not the chef, who oversees food preparation.

Are You Ready To...?

  • Be the first to arrive and the last to leave
  • Inspect food to make sure it’s absolutely fresh
  • Fire a chef
  • Hire a hostess
  • Decide whether or not to remove certain items from the menu
  • Oversee lunch preparations for a factory cafeteria

It Helps To Be...

A center of calm. You may be working in an extremely hectic atmosphere, with emergencies ranging from an upset customer to a flooded bathroom.

Make High School Count

  • Develop your communication skills by taking English, drama, speech classes. Since you’ll be managing people, you need to be able to communicate your ideas clearly.
  • Sign up for psychology. An understanding of human nature is a great asset in management.
  • Get a head start with classes in business and family and consumer sciences.
  • Take a foreign language. Some of the people you will be working closely with may only speak Spanish, French, or Italian.
  • Volunteer or intern with a food service organization, such as Meals on Wheels.

Did You Know?

In small restaurants, the food service manager may double as the chef or owner.