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Food Service Manager

Career Overview: Food Service Manager

Food service managers are responsible for the operations of restaurants, institutional kitchens and other establishments that prepare and serve food to customers, patients or residents. A food service manager may manage the kitchen in a hospital, a hotel or any sort of restaurant. Institutional food service managers are responsible for making sure that special dietary needs are met; in hotels the food service manager must see to it that five hundred hot meals are delivered at once to a banquet.

Another job responsibility is staff oversight, including hiring and firing. Food service managers order from suppliers, anticipating needs for the upcoming week. Food service managers are also responsible for heeding complaints and rectifying any problems.

Required Education

The most common route to a food service manager job is up through the ranks, from a position as cook, waiter or waitress. Increasingly institutions are hiring graduates of two and four year hospitality management programs, the best of which require on-site internships.


There were approximately 350,000 food service managers employed in 2007. There are probably a number of restaurant owners/operators who were overlooked in this census. Salaried positions are found in hotels, institutions such as hospitals and prisons, schools and industrial or governmental food service areas.

Job Outlook

Job growth is expected to be modest, but there will be a change in orientation that will create opportunities for newcomers. More full service restaurants will be in operation while the number of limited service establishments will decline.

Salary Range

Lowest 10%  $13.58  $28,240
Median Salary  $21.43  $44,570
Highest 10%  $35.61  $74,060

Source: U.S. Department of Labor

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