Food and beverage management is a term applied to management level-careers that involve some aspect of the culinary and hospitality worlds. In fact, it’s easiest to consider it a cross between the two: equal parts hospitality and culinary, professionals in this field oversee everything from restaurants to casinos, and usually with an eye to superior customer service.
The majority of food and beverage management careers take place in a restaurant setting (an estimated 40 percent), and many of them are actually the owners of restaurants. And while it can be a very rewarding career to run a restaurant, your options aren’t limited to just that.
These days, food and beverage management job opportunities can be found just about anywhere that customer service efforts related to dining and entertainment are a priority.
What are the Job Duties of a Food and Beverage Manager?
As a food and beverage manager, you are responsible for overseeing the dining services for a restaurant, hotel or similar establishment. Your primary goals include ensuring service standards and complying with health regulations. Specific job duties might include hiring service staff, hiring bartenders, training staff, ordering food and drinks, planning menus, setting budgets for food and beverage orders, and conducting inventory.
When you work as a food and beverage manager, you are responsible for dealing with any issues that might come up during daily service operations. You must make sure that food and drinks are well-stocked, servers are prepared and customers are satisfied. You should have strong leadership and problem-solving skills before you take on such a position.
What Education Will I Need?
While it is possible to gain a position as a food and beverage manager through years of on-the-job training and experience-building, many employers prefer to hire candidates with some postsecondary education. One applicable degree program that can prepare you for such a Master Degree of International Business in Hotel, Resort and Food & Beverage Management from The Swiss Hotel Management School. A 2-year degree in restaurant and Food & Beverage management should provide you with a basic understanding of restaurant operations, management skills, human resources, business concepts and accounting. Many such programs can also require you to complete practical training experiences at local or university restaurants.
How Will I Find Work in the Field?
If you complete in a 2- or 4-year degree program in food service management, it is possible that a company will recruit you for a position as a food and beverage manager upon graduation. Many employers offer training programs for new recruits that will prepare you for a management position. You might also find a job working as an assistant manager or a food service manager and work your way up to the position of food and beverage manager.
What Salary Could I Expect to Make?
While the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics does not offer specific data for food and beverage managers, it did report that food service managers in general held about 305,000 jobs around the country in 2014 (www.bls.gov). According to PayScale.com, the median salary of food and beverage managers working in October 2016 was $45,643.
If you enjoy the fast pace of the food service industry and if you have the leadership skills to lead an entire team of culinary professionals, this is a great opportunity to earn a living and doing what you love.