What Is Food Production Management?
Whether working for a college cafeteria or an independent catering company, a food production manager is charged with overseeing many day-to-day business and planning tasks. If you're organized, work well with others, and would like a career in the food service industry, a job in food production management might be right for you.
You can find food production management positions in a variety of food service businesses, but most jobs have a similar function: ensuring that operations run smoothly. As a food service manager, you would use a wide range of skills relating to administration, nutrition, sanitation, technology, and communications. You apply these skills to keep a food service business operating in the safest and most cost-efficient manner. Because this position involves staff oversight, you probably need good interpersonal skills as well.
Important Facts About Food Production Managers
|Median Salary (2018)||$54,240 (for food service managers)|
|Job Outlook (2016-2026)||9% (for food service managers)|
|On-the-Job Training||On-the-job training may be provided, especially for restaurant chains or service management companies.|
|Similar Occupations||Lodging (e.g. hotel, resort) manager, chef, bartender, sales manager|
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Food production management jobs mainly exist in three types of establishments. Food production plants process raw food materials to produce goods for consumers. Institutional cafeterias serve food to workers or members of organizations such as schools, nursing homes, or corporations. Privately-owned food service establishments prepare food for the public and include restaurants and catering companies. In each of these businesses, food production managers are expected to maximize profits and safety while minimizing waste and employee conflict.
Duties and Responsibilities
Typical duties include purchasing food items and materials, hiring and firing employees, creating budgets, planning menus, maintaining sanitation regulations, and overseeing food preparation. You may also maintain inventory, handle customer issues, and complete operational paperwork.
Most employers look for job candidates with either experience or some formal education. To prepare for a career in the field, you might consider earning a certificate or associate's degree in food production management. These programs typically include courses on meal planning, culinary arts, sanitation, restaurant operations, marketing, and food preparation, with some programs offering hands-on experience to facilitate a smooth career transition. If you're interested in earning a bachelor's degree, you might consider majoring in either food service management or hospitality management, both of which include courses relevant to food production management.