Food Production Management Jobs: Salary and Career Facts

Find out about the types of jobs you could pursue in food production management. Read on to learn more about career options along with education requirements and job duties information. Schools offering Art of Cooking degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is a Food Production Manager?

A food production manager is a supervisor at a dining establishment. They oversee employees, perform administrative duties like financial allocation, ensure excellent customer service and implement safety and sanitation standards. Food production management positions contain job titles such as assistant manager, food service manager and executive chef. While chefs tend to focus their work more specifically on food preparation, menu development and kitchen oversight, managers may be more involved in the business operations of the establishment.

The table below outlines the general requirements for these career options.

Assistant Manager Food Services Manager Executive Chef
Degree Required Associate's degree or bachelor's degree recommended Associate's degree or bachelor's degree recommended High school diploma; postsecondary graduates of culinary arts preferred
Education Field of Study Food service management, restaurant and hospitality management Food service management, restaurant and hospitality management Culinary, meal planning and sanitation courses
Other Requirements On-the-job training, prior related work experience common, certification is voluntary On-the-job training, prior related work experience common, certification is voluntary On-the-job training, prior related work experience common, certification is voluntary
Key Responsibilities Work under guidance of food services manager; hire, train and oversee workers; order food and evaluate potential suppliers; oversee restaurant inspections Manage daily operations; handle customer complaints; supervise cleaning of dining and kitchen areas; manage payroll Oversee operations of a kitchen; coordinate the work of sous chefs and other workers; design menu; train cooks and other food workers
Job Growth (2014-2024) 5% (for all food services managers)* 5% (for all food services managers)* 9% (for all chefs)*
Median Salary $35,742** $48,690* $57,700**

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2015) **Payscale.com (2017)

What Education Is Required for Food Production Management Jobs?

Many food production management workers don't have bachelor's degrees. However, you might choose to acquire an undergraduate degree in food service management or restaurant and hospitality management, because employers prefer to hire candidates with some formal training. You can find options in technical and community colleges, as well as many universities. Training programs are also offered by national restaurant chains and food service management organizations, which offer a combination of classroom instruction and hands-on work experience.

An associate's degree in hospitality management might offer classes in food preparation principles, accounting, safety and sanitation, beverage management, human resources management, hospitality law and food production quantity. Food service management programs at this level consist of courses in baking, international cuisine, applied hospitality, beverage service, dining room management, menu planning, cost control, pastry and nutrition.

A bachelor's degree program in hospitality management may consist of classes in hospitality marketing management, resort and hotel operations, professional cooking, hospitality management law, economics, accounting, hospitality finance and information technology. A hotel and restaurant management program offers training in business finance, management fundamentals, sales and marketing, sanitation management, food service operations, commercial food production and culinary fundamentals. Some of your degree training programs might also include internship opportunities.

What Job Duties Would I Have?

Job responsibilities in food production management may include training employees, handling customer complaints and supervising the cleaning of dining and kitchen areas. As a food production management professional, you might handle payroll and cash receipt balancing, enforce sanitation and safety regulations, schedule employees for work, monitor restaurant expenditures and prepare bank deposits. Other job duties might include choosing and pricing menu items, maintaining inventory, ordering supplies from vendors as needed and examining food deliveries to ensure good quality.

Can I Become Certified?

Certification is available, though not required, through the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation. It awards the Foodservice Management Professional (FMP) credential to experienced applicants who successfully pass their written examination in food service management subjects. Certification can be a good option for managers who received most of their experience through on-the-job programs and classroom training.

How Much Money Could I Expect to Earn?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, food service managers who worked in full-service restaurants earned a mean annual salary of approximately $51,000 as of 2015 (www.bls.gov). Professionals in the traveler accommodation industry earned about $62,570 per year, while special food service employees earned $58,470. Along with healthcare and other opportunities, job benefits may include free meals per shift. Payscale.com reported that assistant managers in restaurants earned a median annual salary of $35,742 in January 2017, while executive chefs earned a median salary of $57,700 in the same month and year.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

If you want to work directly in food production at a dining establishment, you might consider getting a job as a cook or baker. Although no formal education is required, these workers can hone their skills by completing a culinary arts or baking/pastry arts certificate program. Alternatively, you might be interested in a job as a lodging manager, where you would oversee operations at a hotel, motel or other hospitality industry establishments. For this job, you need to have earned a high school diploma or the equivalent.

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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