Earning a degree in food management can provide you with the opportunity to pursue a wide variety of careers in many fields. Graduates from food management programs may work in restaurants, catering companies, and school or hospital cafeterias. Learning about the jobs you can get with this degree can help you find a role that aligns with your professional goals. In this article, we provide a detailed list of nine jobs you can get with a food management degree, including the national average salary and primary responsibilities for each position.
What is a Food Management Degree?
A food management degree is a specialized program that teaches students how to supervise the operations of restaurants and other venues that serve food and beverages. The degree can prepare students to create business plans, develop profitable food service concepts, and market restaurant ventures to target audiences. Many courses emphasize hospitality management, sanitation and safety, food production, and menu planning. Classes also help students learn to manage restaurant and bar issues concerning operations and staffing. Graduates may work in a variety of settings, including casual dining restaurants, hotel bars and restaurants, fast-food restaurants, school cafeterias, and healthcare facilities.
Other topics students may learn about during their degree program include:
Food service systems
Wine and beverage service
Special event management
What can you do with a food management degree?
Below is a list of nine jobs that you might pursue after earning a degree in food management. For the most up-to-date Indeed salaries, please click on the links below:
1. Cafeteria manager
National average salary: $36,775 per year
Primary duties: A cafeteria manager plans, coordinates, oversees, and participates in the preparation, cooking, and serving of food in cafeterias. These professionals have a variety of responsibilities, including opening the kitchen, setting up equipment, and preparing a cafeteria for serving. They often hire and train new employees in operational procedures, maintain accurate food service records, and ensure consistency in food preparation and service. Other duties may include ordering cafeteria supplies, preparing staff schedules, and supervising the cleaning and sanitizing of eating utensils, counters, and equipment.
National average salary: $44,866 per year
Primary duties: Caterers operate the food service at events and parties. These professionals are responsible for preparing and storing food before and during events. They help set up tables and food service areas, serve food to guests, and clean the dining area. Other duties may include creating contracts with clients, ordering supplies for events, and developing menus according to a customer’s preferences and dietary restrictions. A caterer might visit locations before events to assess the kitchen facilities and make necessary plans.
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3. Catering manager
National average salary: $47,893 per year
Primary duties: A catering manager supervises the catering staff at events. These professionals have several duties, such as planning food and beverage menus, scheduling shifts, and coordinating food preparation and serving during events. They often determine client requirements and propose catering options, negotiate contracts and prices, and oversee venue, equipment, food, and service preparations. Catering managers hire and train new catering employees and communicate with chefs and catering equipment providers. Other duties may include creating seating arrangements, tracking catering expenses, and monitoring the inventory of food and supplies.
4. Kitchen manager
National average salary: $48,145 per year
Primary duties: A kitchen manager supervises kitchen duties and staff. These professionals are responsible for controlling food storage, supervising customer service, and managing the pantry and inventory. They often order food supplies and kitchen equipment, schedule shifts for kitchen employees, and work with restaurant managers to determine menu item prices. Their other duties might involve training staff on food preparation, establishing portion sizes, and checking food plating and temperature. Kitchen managers may develop cost reports and maintain sanitation and safety standards in the kitchen area.
5. Restaurant manager
National average salary: $51,374 per year
Primary duties: Restaurant managers supervise the daily operations of dining establishments. They have a variety of responsibilities, including creating work schedules to ensure appropriate staffing and hiring, training, and managing restaurant employees. These professionals often manage inventory levels of food and equipment and order supplies as necessary. Other duties may include addressing questions and complaints from customers, processing employee payrolls, and developing budgets and methods to minimize costs. A restaurant manager reports on the financial performance of their workplace and ensures that staff complies with health, safety, and sanitation regulations.
6. Grocery manager
National average salary: $65,392 per year
Primary duties: A grocery manager oversees the daily operations of grocery stores to meet organizational goals. Their responsibilities often include hiring and training new employees, ensuring compliance with food safety laws, and managing orders and vendor relationships. These professionals may maintain staff schedules, track inventory, and set up product displays. They ensure that products have the proper labeling, manage product storage to reduce damages, and provide performance reviews and feedback to employees. Grocery managers enforce store policies, security measures, and customer service standards.
7. Executive chef
National average salary: $65,768 per year
Primary duties: An executive chef manages kitchen staff, food preparation, and recipe creation. These professionals have a variety of responsibilities, such as designing menus, organizing financial budgets, and sourcing ingredients. Their other duties may include determining the prices of dishes, managing inventory levels, and ensuring the quality and safety of food. They often arrange for equipment purchases and repairs, select plate presentations, and organize, hire, and train new employees.
8. Quality assurance manager
National average salary: $73,290 per year
Primary duties: A quality assurance manager who works in food safety is responsible for ensuring regulatory compliance in a company’s products, policies, strategies, and testing methods. These professionals often help establish quality standards for raw materials and finished products. Other duties may include completing tests required for food product packaging and preparing quality analysis reports. They might keep detailed records of the inspections they complete and review the main causes of quality loss.
9. Product manager
National average salary: $95,855 per year
Primary duties: Product managers who work for food production plants supervise the entire manufacturing process, from development to completion. They’re responsible for placing orders for food and supplies, scheduling food preparation based on menus and recipes, and testing products for quality purposes. These professionals often work with other departments to ensure client satisfaction and manage production delays and problems. Other duties may include maintaining production records and reviewing work for compliance with safety regulations.
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