Restaurant and Catering Management Degree

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What is Restaurant and Catering Management?

Restaurant and Catering Management is a field of study in business focused on the delicate blend of hospitality, business acumen, and fine cuisine.  Attention to detail is absolutely essential in managing a restaurant and catering business.

A restaurant manager will take painstaking steps to ensure the décor is appropriate, the restaurant is clean, customer service is exceptional, presentation is top-notch, orders are accurate, staff is professional, and cuisine is memorable.  As such, a catering management degree program runs the gambit from business administration, customer service, culinary arts, pastry arts, culinary nutrition, and interior design.

Top Restaurant Management Degrees

Degree and certificate programs in catering management and restaurant management can be found at a number of accredited colleges and universities.  While some catering professionals elect to jump into the industry without a formal education, a large number choose a degree or certificate to improve the viability of their career.

To help you determine which program is best for you, we have curated a summary of the most popular programs below along with means to connect with top ranked colleges in this domain.

Restaurant Management Certificate Programs

Certificate programs in catering and restaurant management are focused classes designed for direct entry into this employment field.  Students can expect a certificate to take six months to two years to complete given the number of courses taken at a given time coupled with the school’s curricular design.  Classes you may take in a certificate program can include:

  • Principles of Restaurant Management
  • Food Services Sanitation and Nutrition
  • Business Administration
  • Culinary Principles
  • Hot Foods and Food Management
  • Bakery and Pastry Production
  • Garden to Table Operations
  • Food in History
  • Sauces
  • Dining Room Operations

Restaurant Management Associate's Degrees

Associate degrees in this field of study can be conferred in a number of ways that include an Associate of Applied Science (AAS), Associate of Science (AS), and Associate of Arts (AA).  Unlike a certificate program, an associate degree combines general education courses with core classes to provide students with a well-rounded educational experience.  General education classes may include history, math, sociology, psychology, economics, and English composition.

Core classes you may find in a catering management and restaurant management degree program may include a sampling of the following classes:

  • Hospitality and Tourism
  • Food Service Sanitation Management
  • Human Resource Management
  • Quality Food Production
  • Banquet and Catering Management
  • Food and Beverage Management
  • Accounting Fundamentals
  • Marketing Essentials
  • Table Service Etiquette
  • Healthy Cuisine and Nutrition
  • Food and Beverage Purchasing Basics
  • Hospitality Law
  • Wine Essentials
  • Cost Control and Budgeting
  • Sales in Hospitality

Requirements for Restaurant Managers

The educational requirements for restaurant managers and catering managers will be focused on domains in business, hospitality, and food.  Course requirements will vary by program and school but will generally contain similar academic courses.  Examples of courses in restaurant management include the following:

Employment in Restaurant Management

For students that earn a college degree in Restaurant and Catering Management, there are several fields of specialization that one can pursue.  The options range from restaurant manager, hotel manager, food service manager, bartender, chef, head cook, sales managers, event planner, lodging mangers, and marketing manager in the public or private domain to name a few possible career tracks.

Job Titles for Catering Managers

In an effort to better understand the management of catering organizations and restaurants, it is important to recognize similar job titles in the industry.  Below you will find a set of commonly used job titles to represent managers in this field of study.  The most common job titles include:

  • Food Service Manager
  • Banquet Manager
  • Food and Beverage Manager
  • Kitchen Manager
  • Restaurant General Manager
  • Food Service Director
  • Food Service Supervisor
  • Restaurant Manager
  • Catering Director
  • Food and Beverage Director

Restaurant Manager Jobs & Career Outlook

Catering management and restaurant management are projected to increase steadily for the foreseeable future.  In fact, the BLS estimates a steady 9% increase in jobs for food service managers and an 11% hike for event managers during this reporting time.  Compensation for restaurant managers and caterers will be all over the map.  Primary drivers of income include job scope, organization type, work experience, employment arrangement, and population density.

Powerhouse associations such as the NACE and ICA have helped restaurant managers and caterers for years.  National associations can provide education, support, advocacy, and networking that cannot be attained independently.

Job Duties of a Catering Manager and Restaurant Manager

Restaurant managers and catering managers perform a wide variety of jobs from location to location.  Given the span of job duties, we have gathered a list of common job responsibilities to help you set the proper expectations for your career after earning a degree or certificate.  A set of the most popular job responsibilities for a restaurant and catering manger include the following:

  • Keeping accurate records required by state and government agencies regarding inventory, finances, sanitation, and food management
  • Managing customer complaints regarding food service, quality, price, or facility management
  • Designing food preparation methods, ingredients, garnishing, portion sizes, and presentation of food to properly reflect quality attributes of the company
  • Ordering inventory, food, and beverage deliveries to meet demand
  • Scheduling staff and cooks to maximize production given customer flow and demand
  • Establishing customer service standards, personnel management, expectations & rewards
  • Greeting customers and guests & presenting them with menus as needed
  • Coordinating third party vendors to perform routine maintenance of equipment, waste removal, janitorial, and pest control activities
  • Managing patron and employee activities to ensure local liquor regulations are met
  • Monitoring overall budgets, payroll records, and expenses
  • Scheduling facilities for catering events and create contract with customers with specific details of the event
  • Establishing a set of nutritional standards based on industry standards and company preferences

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Career Summary: Restaurant catering management Major




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