Restaurant and Food Service Managers


Employment Prospects


Approximately 352,600 food service managers are employed in the United States. Restaurants and food service make up one of the largest and most active sectors of the nation's economy. Employers include restaurants of various sizes, hotel dining rooms, ships, trains, institutional food service facilities, and many other establishments where food is served. No matter the size or style of the establishment, managers are needed to oversee the operation and to ensure that records are kept, goals are met, and things run smoothly. About 38 percent of restaurant and food service managers are self employed. They own independent restaurants or other small food service establishments.

Starting Out

Many restaurants and food service facilities provide self-sponsored, on-the-job training for prospective managers. There are still cases in which people work hard and move up the ladder within the organization's workforce, finally arriving at the managerial position. More and more, people with advanced education and specialized training move directly into manager-trainee positions and then on to managerial positions.

Advancement Prospects

In large restaurants and food service organizations, promotion opportunities frequently arise for employees with knowledge of the overall operation. Experience in all aspects of the work is an important consideration for the food service employee who desires advancement. The employee with knowledge of kitchen operations may advance from pantry supervisor to food manager, assistant manager, and finally restaurant or food service manager. Similar advancement is possible for dining room workers with knowledge of kitchen operations.

Advancement to top executive positions is possible for managers employed by large restaurant and institutional food service chains. A good educational background and some specialized training are increasingly valuable assets to employees who hope to advance.

Tips for Entry

Visit the following Web sites for job listings:


Read publications about food service, hospitality, and tourism to learn more about trends in the industry and potential employers at

Become certified by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation and the International Food Service Executives Association in order to show employers that you have met the highest standards established by your industry.

Use social media such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter to stay up-to-date on industry developments and learn about job openings.