Kitchen Manager Jobs: Salary and Career Facts
Explore the career requirements for kitchen managers. Get the facts about salary, job duties, training requirements and job outlook to determine if this is the right career for you.
What Is a Kitchen Manager?
Kitchen managers are responsible for running a kitchen in a restaurant or food service facility. They ensure orders are completed correctly. They hire, train and at times fire staff members. They make sure food preparation is done properly, along with the presentation and portion size of plated food. They make sure all equipment and supplies meet safety standards. Kitchen managers are also in charge of scheduling staff and take care of any customer concerns.
An overview of some of the career information is profiled in the table below.
|Key Skills||Leadership, organization, communication, decision-making|
|Job Growth (2020-2030)||15% (for all food service managers)*|
|Median Salary (2021)||$37,503 (Entry-level), $43,933 (Mid-career), $45,427 (Experienced)**|
Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **PayScale.com
What Training is Available for Kitchen Managers?
Kitchen managers usually rise to their position by accumulating work experience as part of a kitchen staff. However, earning a certificate in kitchen management or an associate's degree or bachelor's degree in food service management can accelerate the process. These programs prepare you to work in a kitchen setting and acquaint you with current trends in the food service industry. Courses cover topics in menu planning, purchasing and cost control, principles of food preparation, food quality and sanitation. Associate's degree and bachelor's degree programs will also include general education courses in composition, the social sciences and the humanities.
Where Do Professionals Work?
Career opportunities are available with any food serving operation large enough to employ a specialized kitchen staff. Restaurants, assisted living centers, nursing homes, bars and nightclubs, catering companies and school dining services are among the institutions that employ kitchen managers. Although it doesn't have figures for kitchen managers, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that there were approximately 309,800 food service managers employed in the U.S. in 2020 (www.bls.gov). Employment of food service managers was projected to grow 15 percent from 2020-2030. Opportunities will come primarily from the need to replace managers who retire or transfer to other occupations.
What Will My Duties Be?
Your main responsibility will be to coordinate the work of cooks, assistant cooks, pantry personnel and other kitchen staffers to make sure food is prepared and served in a clean, efficient and timely manner. In addition to monitoring food preparation, you're also likely to perform a number of kitchen and organizational support duties, including assisting with menu planning, purchasing supplies and kitchen equipment, hiring staff, evaluating staff performance, and consulting with administrators on kitchen policies and procedures.
What Can I Expect to Earn?
According to PayScale.com, as of December 2021, you could earn a median salary of $37,503 as an entry-level manager, while mid-level kitchen managers made a median annual income of $43,933. A median salary of $45,427 was earned by experienced kitchen managers, per PayScale.com.
What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?
If a kitchen manager isn't what you see yourself doing, there are other related career options that might interest you. One option is a lodging manager, which requires a high school diploma. Lodging managers ensure that hotels are run efficiently for guests. They accommodate guests' needs and oversee employees. Another similar option is a waiter or waitress, which does not require any formal education. They take the orders and bring food to customers dining in restaurants.