Food service manager jobs are expected to grow 5 percent, or more slowly than the average for all occupations through 2018. However, job opportunities should be good because many openings will arise from the need to replace managers who leave the occupation.
Employment of food service managers is expected to grow 5 percent, or more slowly than the average for all occupations, during the 2008-18 decade, as the number of eating and drinking establishments opening is expected to decline from the previous decade. Despite these reductions in the number of new eating and drinking places, new employment opportunities for food service managers will emerge in grocery and convenience stores and other retail and recreation industries to meet the growing demand for quick food in a variety of settings. Employment growth is projected to vary by industry. Most new jobs will be in full-service restaurants and limited service eating places. Manager jobs will also increase in healthcare and elder care facilities. Self-employment of these workers will generate nearly 40 percent of new jobs.
In addition to job openings from employment growth, the need to replace managers who transfer to other occupations or stop working will create good job opportunities. Although practical experience is an integral part of finding a food service management position, applicants with a degree in restaurant, hospitality, or institutional food service management will have an edge when competing for jobs at upscale restaurants and for advancement in a restaurant chain or into corporate management.
Food service managers held about 338,700 jobs in 2008. The majority of managers are salaried, but 42 percent are self-employed as owners of independent restaurants or other small food service establishments. Forty-one percent of all salaried jobs for food service managers are in full-service restaurants or limited-service eating places, such as fast-food restaurants and cafeterias. Other salaried jobs are in special food services—an industry that includes food service contractors who supply food services at institutional, governmental, commercial, or industrial locations, and educational services, which primarily supply elementary and secondary schools. A smaller number of salaried jobs are in hotels; amusement, gambling, and recreation industries; nursing care facilities; and hospitals. Jobs are located throughout the country, with large cities and resort areas providing more opportunities for full-service dining positions.
Job Zone 3 - Medium preparation
Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have gone through an apprenticeship program or several years of vocational training to perform the job.
Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related job experience, or an associate's degree. Some may require a bachelor's degree.
Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training, including both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers.
Dental assistants, electricians, fish and game wardens, legal secretaries, personnel recruiters and recreational workers.
These occupations often involve using communication and organization skills to manage and train others.
[Back to Top]
Information about a career as a food service manager, 2- and 4-year college programs in restaurant and food service management, and certification as a Foodservice Management Professional is available from:
- National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation, 175 West Jackson Blvd., Suite 1500, Chicago, IL 60604-2702. Internet: http://www.nraef.org
Career information about food service managers, as well as a directory of 2- and 4-year colleges that offer courses or programs that prepare persons for food service careers is available from:
General information on hospitality careers may be obtained from:
- The International Council on Hotel, Restaurant, and Institutional Education, 2810 North Parham Rd., Suite 230, Richmond, VA 23294. Internet: http://www.chrie.org
Additional information about job opportunities in food service management may be obtained from local employers and from local offices of State employment services agencies.
Sources: O*Net data version 12.0
Occupational Outlook Handbook
Department of Labor
[Back to Top]