If you would like to manage a restaurant, hotel or resort, you’re going to need two things — experience and education.
We’re going to talk a little bit about the education side.
You can find classes or complete college degree programs that will help train you for a position in restaurant or hospitality management.
These programs can be as simple as being just a few restaurant management classes at a culinary school, or as involved as a four-year university bachelor’s degree program.
Is This the Career for You?
Restaurant managers often work in a hectic environment, where they have to multi-task under pressure. Managers need to efficiently run the business, inspire and lead their employees, handle the many customer service issues that come up and make good decisions quickly.
Restaurant management is responsible for organizing and managing staff work shifts and activities, and handling staff comments and complaints about those shifts. The manager is also the final answer to customer concerns, questions and complaints. They also need to oversee the ordering of food, equipment and all the necessary supplies as well as the overall adherence to health codes and workplace safety regulations.
A good restaurant manager must be attentive to details. The manager is responsible for making sure that burned out light bulbs are replaced, the bathrooms are always clean, the parking lot is clear of snow in the winter, the glass in the front door is spotless, the kitchen staff is happy, bank deposits are made, and on and on.
There is so much activity going on in the workplace that the manager’s shift seems to go by fast. Most of the time, the manager works on his or her feet, supervising the main room and the kitchen. There is some desk work involved, especially near the end of the business day, but managers do a lot of work on their feet.
What About Formal Training?
Education in restaurant management can be either in the form of a short certificate program, a two-year degree or an undergraduate degree program. An associate degree in hotel or restaurant management can be a great way for someone who doesn’t want to spend four years at college or for someone who is already working in the industry and wants to work up into management. A certificate or associate’s degree can often be found at a culinary school.
Four year degrees are typically either a Bachelor of Science in Restaurant Management, a Bachelor of Science in Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Management, or a Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Industry Studies, which will vary by college. Some colleges will offer a minor in restaurant management. A few universities will offer a graduate degree in hospitality management for managers already in the business.
The mission behind these courses and degree programs is to provide you with the foundation in management, communication, culinary arts and other practical skills that will help you to operate a dining establishment successfully.
What Will I Learn?
What you learn will vary by what kind of school you attend. A culinary school will tend to focus more on the kitchen aspect and hands-on practice of restaurant management, while a state university or college will have more typical classroom settings and theory.
At either type of school, students will have classes the teach the basics of food science, food safety, management, business, health codes and event management.
Other areas of culinary management that students will study include hiring and keeping employees, customer retention, utilization of tables, increasing table turn times, dealing with daily or holiday rush periods, and food service costs and issues.
Potential restaurant managers learn effective employee communication, training and motivation techniques, leadership skills and dealing with customers. Students will also study kitchen management. Kitchen management deals with operating a kitchen efficiently and working with head chef and the kitchen staff.
If a student can build a solid foundation in management, business administration, culinary basics and people skills, that student will have the tools to succeed in the restaurant management business.
Schools to check out:
Turn your passion for food into a career at the Culinary Institute of Virginia.
What Are You Waiting For?
- Food Service Management