Dining Room Management

Dining room management involves the practical aspects of making a restaurant or other food establishment run smoothly and efficiently, as well as business skills to ensure a profitable and successful operation. Studies in dining room management can provide you with the skills necessary to assume managerial and supervisory positions within a variety of food service establishments. Read on to learn more.

Is Dining Room Management For Me?

Career Details

Dining room managers, also referred to as food service managers, are responsible for overseeing the dining experience in restaurants and other establishments. They supervise the dining room staff, attend to customers' dining needs and ensure that the operations of their restaurants are running efficiently. These workers also enforce strict sanitation practices to keep establishments in compliance with health and safety codes. As a dining room manager, you'll need excellent interpersonal communication skills to build a good rapport with customers and staff, as well as good problem solving skills to effectively resolve workplace issues.

Career Options

Studies in dining room management can prepare you for a career in a variety of settings and dining establishments. You may work in a hotel, restaurant, school, banquet facility, resort or club. You could also pursue a career in catering and conferencing, managing food services for special business and entertainment events. Depending on the type of establishment you work in, your job title may be food and beverage manager, dining room manager, guest services manager, banquet operations director or catering manager.

Employment Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), jobs for food service managers are projected to grow very little, if at all, between 2012 and 2022, with only 2% growth expected (www.bls.gov). The best job prospects may be found by those with bachelor's degrees and related work experience. The BLS also reported that the median annual salary for food service managers as of May 2012 was $47,960, with the top ten percent earning over $81,000.

How Can I Become a Dining Room Manager?

Training and Education

Work experience in a restaurant or other food establishment is essential to developing the skills and qualifications needed to manage these facilities. However, some employers prefer candidates with formal educational training as well. Dining room management is most often offered through associate's and bachelor's degree programs in hospitality management, food service management or restaurant management. Such programs may be found within community colleges, universities and culinary institutes.

Many associate's degree programs in the field include transfer options to 4-year bachelor's degree programs. Related certificate programs are also available in many schools that can also be applied toward associate's or bachelor's degree programs. If you wish to study at a more advanced level, you may consider earning a professional master's degree in food service management that can further prepare you for high-level industry positions. Research-based master's and doctoral degree programs are also available in closely related fields that can prepare you for an academic career in a college or university. The American Culinary Federation Education Foundation Accrediting Commission accredits degree programs in this field in the United States.

A dining room management program can teach you how to achieve high standards of sanitation, prepare and serve food, operate equipment, plan menus and understand the financial operations of a dining facility. Specific coursework typically includes food preparation, beverage service, nutrition, financial accounting, marketing and menu pricing. Many programs further require completion of an internship for practical experience in a food service establishment.

Specialization and Certification

Some schools incorporate coursework that is part of a national certificate program sponsored by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF), where you can earn a certificate while simultaneously pursuing your degree. Further specialization is often available as well, such as in sustainability, nutrition, beverage and pastry arts.

Beyond formal education, you may consider pursuing professional credentials to enhance your qualifications and advance within the field. The NRAEF offers the Foodservice Management Professional credential, which requires meeting certain work and training qualifications, as well as passing an exam (www.nraef.org). The American Culinary Federation awards the Certified Culinary Administrator credential to those who meet experience, education and certification criteria (www.acfchefs.org).

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