Food Service Management Requirements: Is a Degree Mandatory?
Food service management is a field the food industry can't live without, and it takes a lot of special knowledge to successfully handle all of the different components that go into running a food-related establishment. It is actually not necessary to have a specialized food service degree to enter and succeed in the business; you could start in an entry-level job and work your way up. But that's often not the most efficient way to proceed. A degree in food service management might not be required, but it definitely gives you advantages, starting from your first day.
Entering a food service management career by getting an entry-level job does give you a very good view of how the job works day to day. However, that job is likely to be a position in the kitchen washing dishes, or as an entry-level administrative assistant. There's nothing wrong with those jobs, but they don't give you management training right off the bat, and it can take several years to reach management level.
In an educational program, however, you do start focusing immediately on what the management side entails. Your days are spent learning what goes into that exact job (or rather, the field, as each job can vary by a substantial amount).
Don't misunderstand; experience working the front- or back-of-house at a restaurant in food preparation is extremely valuable because managers need to know what conditions can be like. Managers who have this type of food service experience will have realistic expectations of what their staff can do, and it's advisable that you do get some work experience in a restaurant-style setting.
But if you're sure you want to focus on the management side, an educational program can be a direct route to gaining the knowledge you need.
Expanded Recruitment Options
A degree in food service management doesn't guarantee that you'll get your dream job. But it does give you an extra recruitment path. For those focusing on management, a college degree is very desirable as the organizations that look for managers like to see additional education on your resume. This is especially true if your goal is to work on the corporate side instead of in a restaurant itself.
Wider Views of Food Service
Because the term "food service management" contains the word management, it brings to mind images of restaurant managers in back offices, occasionally coming out to deal with a customer. And for many establishments, this is often part of what managers do. But there is a wide, wide world associated with food management, including human resources, menu and recipe creation, and sales.
By getting a formal education in food service management, you'll be introduced to these aspects and more. You'll get a better idea of where in the food service management world you belong. For example, maybe you want to work on the supply chain side in a restaurant's corporate headquarters, or maybe you want to be on the food science team, looking at how to make menus healthier. If you enter management solely through working in a restaurant, you could miss these additional opportunities.
Do you dream of becoming a food service manager? If you want to learn more about earning a Bachelor of Science in Food Service Management, ECPI University’s Culinary Institute of Virginia offers this program at an accelerated rate. For more information, connect with a helpful admissions counselor today.
It could be the Best Decision You Ever Make!
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Gainful Employment Information – Food Service Management - Bachelor’s