NORFOLK, Va. - (October 6, 2009) - Culinary Institute of Virginia, the School of Culinary Arts at ECPI College of Technology, is introducing a bachelor of science degree in business administration with a concentration in food service management. Students can earn their bachelor's degree in 2.5 years. Classes begin this fall.
Food service management is a growing field, and there is a demand for managers in a variety of sectors including schools, healthcare, fast food and casual dining operations. "Most other degree programs such as hospitality management are geared for the lodging industry," says John Maxwell, director of food service management education. "This is a focused degree that combines culinary and business curriculums specifically for the food service industry. This degree should have universal appeal because this kind of formal education is currently not available except through in-house training programs."
"I am very impressed with the curriculum that the Culinary Institute has developed to teach critical skills including operations, business development, human resources and finance," says Bruce Molloy, food and beverage director for Westminster Canterbury. "There is a tremendous demand for skilled food service managers in senior living communities, healthcare facilities and business/industry segments, and these jobs are appealing since they provide opportunities to develop healthy and creative dining programs in a 9 to 5, Monday through Friday work environment."
Courses in the bachelor's degree program cover a variety of topics including cost control, marketing, managing employees, menu development, environmental responsibility, purchasing and strategic planning. Students participate in hands-on projects that include a restaurant management simulation where they create a business plan, open their restaurant to customers, and then evaluate the effectiveness of their concept.
"This program will help students understand what it takes to become a good manager," says Christian Kalassy, proprietor of Carrabba's in Virginia Beach and employer of Culinary Institute of Virginia culinary externs and graduates. "Food service managers not only deal with employees, but also customers. This requires industry knowledge, people skills and a passion for the field. The Culinary Institute of Virginia's hands-on approach to learning provides a realistic learning environment for students, which is essential."
Culinary Institute of Virginia expects that the new bachelor's degree in business administration with a concentration in food service management will appeal to students interested in beginning their hospitality careers as well as those with years of culinary or front-of-house experience who are interested in acquiring the skills necessary to move into management.