Food Management Degrees and Courses

A degree in food management can prepare you for a career as a supervisor in a restaurant or other food service operation. Get information on what is required in certificate and degree programs, and learn about employment options in food management. Schools offering Hotel & Restaurant Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

Food management personnel generally have less than a bachelor's degree, and they enter the field with an associate degree or a certificate from a food service management program. Employers are beginning to seek applicants with a degree and are recruiting from 2- and 4-year schools, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Degrees Associate or bachelor's degree; certificates are also available
Courses Restaurant management techniques, microeconomics, cost control, food industry logistics, financial accounting
Median Salary (2017)* $52,030 for food service managers

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Associate's Degrees Can I Pursue?

An associate degree program in food management teaches you the basic skills required for a career as a food manager. Programs focus on computer skills, management responsibilities and supervisory skills. Associate degree programs with a focus on business will introduce you to business applications, cost control and food production, as well as developing your communication skills. You might choose to enroll in a Food Service Management Associate Degree program, which may enable you to transfer credit to a bachelor's degree upon completion.

What Bachelor's Degrees Are Available?

At the bachelor's degree level, programs focus on the business side of food management. You'll learn about management, supervision and cost control in these programs. Programs introduce you to micro- and macroeconomics, financial accounting, data analysis, marketing and managerial accounting. A Bachelor of Science in Food Service Management program may include these courses:

  • Leadership
  • Financial management
  • Wine and beverage service
  • Project and special event management
  • Facility management
  • Ethics
  • Statistics

What About Certificate Programs?

Certificate programs, such as a Food Management Certificate, are often designed for people who have experience in food management but wish to obtain some formal training. In a certificate program, you'll study management, food distribution and marketing. You'll learn supervisory skills and customer service management in these programs. Food management certificate programs also stress business practices, including retailing, financing and the managing of human resources. Programs teach leadership skills, business-to-business marketing and logistics in the food industry. Hands-on experiences in practicums and internships provide education in a real-life setting.

What Will Training Prepare Me For?

Depending on your level of education, you can find positions in the food industry that can include brand manager, food broker, marketing specialist and retail manager. You'll find managerial positions with distributors, food wholesalers and retailers. Positions may be available in account management and product supervision. The following are a few settings where you might find opportunities:

  • Casual dining restaurants
  • Hotel bars and restaurants
  • Fast food restaurants
  • School food services
  • Long-term healthcare facilities

The National Restaurant Association administers the Foodservice Management Professional (FMP) designation, which candidates who meet eligibility and work experience requirements can apply for.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
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