Food Service Management Bachelor's Degree

If your goal is to manage a professional kitchen, a food service management bachelor's degree program can give you the skills you need. This article shows you how a bachelor's program can start your career as a restaurant manager or head chef and what kinds of classes you can expect to take. Schools offering Restaurant & Catering Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is a Food Service Management Bachelor's Degree Program?

In a food service management bachelor's degree program, you examine all aspects of the food service industry. You develop skills in leadership, management, critical thinking and problem solving.

Food service management bachelor's degree programs require both classroom work and hands-on experiences. Some food service management programs are offered under the umbrella of hospitality management or culinary arts. If you already have some education, you can find programs that cater to students who've already earned a related associate's degree. There are limited opportunities to earn your degree through distance learning and online formats, typically through for-profit schools; however, you must still complete required in-person internships. You can also learn how to work as a sous chef or head chef.

Skills LearnedLeadership, management, critical thinking, problem solving
Courses OfferedFood service sanitation, nutrition, culinary arts, business practices, dining room management
Optional Learning ExperiencesStudy abroad, internships
Median Salary (2018)* $54,240 for food service managers

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

How Does the Program Prepare Me for a Career?

A food service management program provides you with theoretical and practical knowledge, and you usually spend extensive time applying your coursework in real-world restaurant environments. The courses you take include food service sanitation, nutrition, culinary arts, dining room management and business practices. You investigate how to control costs, market your business, lead a kitchen, develop menus and create recipes.

Outside of the classroom, you gain practical experience through observation and practice. Some food service schools operate on-campus dining facilities. Summer internships are common, and you can often arrange study abroad experiences through your school.

What Can I Do With the Degree?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), food service managers need to have plenty of restaurant experience to move forward in their careers ( A 4-year bachelor's degree program can give you a boost in the job hunt, but many food service companies recruit from specific management programs. Additionally, about 34% of food service managers are self-employed, stated the BLS. Food service managers can expect a nine percent growth in employment from 2016-2026, and they earned a median annual wage of $54,240 as of May 2018.

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:

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