Culinary Arts School: Is it Worth it for a Future Food Service Manager?
Everything else aside, we all enjoy having good food in lovely places. However, beyond the fine dining, scenic views and charming personnel is a business with profit objectives. If you are the kind of person that walks into a nice hotel and is fascinated by how perfectly everything seems to fall into place, then food service management maybe the right field for you. If you have a passion for excellent customer service, good food and the business aspect behind it all, you have all the fundamental qualities to be a successful food service manager.
What is Food Service Management?
Food service facilities are businesses just like any other business. In fact, the USDA reports that food service facilities such as coffee shops, family restaurants and diners in the US grossed over $731 Billion in 2014. In addition to keeping customers happy, these also need to make profits and survive.
For this to happen, many things have to be put in place and everything must run smoothly. In short, a person must be in charge of managing all resources available and coordinating efforts towards the achievement of the specified goals. Food service management aims to fulfill this role.
Food service managers, FSMs, use their interpersonal and organizational skills to ensure that the facility gives customers the best possible service at the lowest cost. Food service facilities have a reputation of failing within the first few years of operation. While there are many factors that contribute to this failure, good management practices can help evade these statistics. Food service management, therefore, has the following main objectives.
- Controlling costs. Every commercial food service facility needs to make sure it earns the highest possible profits without compromising on customer experience.
- Managing customer service. Customer opinion and feedback can make or break a facility. An FSM must make sure that any arising problems are dealt with professionally and that customers are satisfied with their service.
- Managing employees. FSMs are responsible for training, coordinating, motivating of employees and ensuring that they all work to their full potential.
What Is A Normal Day Like For A Food Service Manager?
As the center of activity, their tasks and duties touch on every task of the business. These broadly include managing resources, supporting customer service, assuring the quality of food and services, ensuring health and safety compliance as well as other administrative duties.
Here is a list of other duties an FSM might attend to on an average day.
- Schedule employee shifts with an objective to make sure duties are fully covered with minimum impact on the bottom line.
- Train employees and equipment and procedures in the facility
- Monitor employee performance and ensure quality standards are met
- Submit orders for supplies such as food ingredients and paper goods
- Assist customers with complaints or other issues
- Record payroll data
- Reconcile daily cash flow
- Inspect customer areas, storage and food prep area for safety and cleanliness
It is important to note that the duties of an FSM vary from each restaurant. In smaller restaurants, the FSM may be in charge of the above and even the hiring and firing of staff among other additional responsibilities.
In high-end facilities, there might be several FSMs with split duties or an executive chef which leaves the FSM with the front of the house duties such as coordinating customer service and employees. Regardless of the scope of their duties, FSMs are the power behind the curtain that guarantees efficient functioning of commercial eateries.
Why Do You Need Formal Education As A Food Service Manager?
The extensive scope of duties that an FSM is required to accomplish means that you need to have a passion for such a position. Some people start in the back room washing dishes and rise up to this position. However, businesses are changing and the pressure to maintain efficiency is even greater.
For this reason, many food service facilities are looking for FSMs that understand the rules of business as well as restaurant operations. Formal education should equip you with technical and soft skills to excel in the whole range of duties. From record keeping, budgeting and cost control to communication and interpersonal skills, formal education helps you learn the tools to excel in the modern facilities.
A degree in food service management encompasses many of the skills and knowledge you need to be a top food service manager. With this degree, you could stand out among other job applicants who do not have formal training. A degree in this field also helps you form a solid foundation on to which you can progress in your career and maybe even run your own restaurant one day.
Are You Ready to Become an FSM?
If you are fascinated by the prospect of working as a food service manager, earning a Bachelor of Science Degree in Food Service Management at ECPI University’s Culinary Institute of Virginia is the perfect starting point. For more information, connect with our friendly admissions advisors today.
It could be the Best Decision You Ever Make!
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