Food Service Management Careers
Management careers in food service give individuals opportunities to participate in either preparing the food or maintaining a high level of customer service. Restaurants typically have a general manager who is responsible for the overall operations of the restaurant. Levels of management that report to the general manager include assistant managers and executive chefs. These individuals are responsible for their own specific areas of the restaurant. Catering managers help with special events and any private party facilities operated by the restaurant.
The general manager is responsible for monitoring the financial success of a restaurant. The general manager supervises both the assistant managers and the executive chef. S/he is responsible for tracking the income and expenses of the restaurants. S/he does cost analysis of the profit margin the restaurant is making on the sale of food and adjusts pricing as necessary. The general manager also works on marketing campaigns to attract new and repeat customers to the restaurant. The general manager has the final say on financial aspects of the management of the restaurant. General managers can operate more than one restaurant at a time, especially if the restaurant is part of a chain. General managers make an average of $46,000 a year. However, the pay scale can vary greatly depending on a number of factors.
Assistant managers in large restaurants handle what is know as "the front" of the restaurant. This area includes the dining area along with any private rooms. S/he is also responsible for handling catering private events if the restaurant does not have a catering manager. The assistant manager is responsible for keeping the customers happy. S/he monitors the performance of the employees in the dining area and assist where needed. The assistant manager interacts with customers on a regular basis and solicits their feedback on their dining experience. The assistant manager should do everything he can to remedy any issues that need corrected brought to his attention by his staff or a customer. The assistant manager is responsible for hiring and training the waiters, waitresses and hosts or hostesses to work on the dining floor. She is also responsible for hiring and training the bartenders, as well. Assistant managers may sit in on meetings with vendors to supply input on decisions regarding food, decorations and dining supplies. Assistant managers make an average of $38,000 a year. Again, this pay range here is significant depending on things like market, restaurant type, experience and other factors.
In full service restaurants, an executive chef is responsible for what is known as the "back" of the house, which is the kitchen. S/he is responsible for planning the menu for the restaurant. S/he is also responsible for ensuring the quality of the food that comes out of the kitchen. To do this, the executive chef has control over the operations in the kitchen. S/he is the one who assigns duties within the kitchen, takes responsibility for training the other members of the kitchen staff and participates in the hiring process in some restaurants. The executive chef is expected to keep up with current trends in the food service industry. To do this, she should read publications for the food service industry and attend trade show events to learn about new trends. The executive chef frequently meets with vendors along with the manager of the restaurant and sometimes the general manager will attend, as well. Executive chefs make an average of $50,000, but this salary does not reflect the often six-figure salaries that more exclusive chefs can command at high-end restaurants.
The catering manager is responsible for all special events at the dining facility. S/he meets with clients and helps them in planning their event. The catering manager can recommend outside vendors that he might have a working partnership with, such as photographers, entertainers and disc jockeys. S/he is responsible for monitoring the success of special events at the facility. S/he may work with an executive chef for large events, and possibly an assistant manager as well. The catering manager is responsible for hiring her own staff and making sure they are trained properly for catering the events the facility hosts. S/he will design the menu for his clients, possibly along with the assistance of an executive chef. Catering managers make an average of $45,000 a year, depending on experience.