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Restaurant Management Schools

Behind every top chef, there's usually a top-flight restaurant manager. It's an underlying principle in culinary fixer Gordon Ramsey's "Kitchen Nightmares" reality show. And it is a reality. The wait staff and kitchen crew, or "front" and "back" of the house, may be more familiar facets of the food service industry. But skilled restaurant managers play a crucial and often indispensable role at every level, from fast-food franchises and cafeterias to fine-dining establishments, catering companies, hotels and resorts.

While a high school diploma coupled with experience in the field can lead to a career in restaurant management, the sophisticated nature of the food-service industry has created a demand for candidates with specialized vocational training. There are now over 1,100 trade schools, technical colleges, and post-graduate programs in the U.S. that offer associate and bachelor's degrees in the field.

Restaurant management specializations

Working behind the scenes and on the front lines, restaurant managers have broad responsibilities that can include hiring and training staff, overseeing inventory and finances, insuring compliance with health and safety regulations, and building customer loyalty. Many are entrepreneurs who run their own food-service businesses -- roughly 40 percent, according to the most recent Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS.gov) reports. Larger operations often employ a team of managers tasked with specific designations. The National Restaurant Association lists several areas of specialization:

• Dining room manager: supervises wait staff, maintains payroll, aids in menu development and monitors food and beverage costs

• Kitchen manager: oversees back-of-the-house operations, maintains health and safety standards, procures supplies and equipment, plans menus, controls food costs and coordinates kitchen staff

Catering manager: books and plans parties and other larger group functions, on- and off-site, from menu planning and décor to staffing and entertainment

• Beverage manager: coordinates all services related to bars, lounges and other beverage-related components of the business, which can include creating bar menus, booking entertainment and hosting special events

Certifications and degrees in restaurant management

There are a number of different paths to a career in the food business, including apprenticeships and on-the-job promotions. Management candidates come from a variety of educational backgrounds, including community colleges, vocation and technical training programs, culinary schools and four-year colleges, many of which offer internship opportunities. The BLS notes, "some postsecondary education is increasingly preferred for many manager positions, especially at upscale restaurants and hotels."

Training in restaurant management sometimes falls under the larger rubric of "hospitality" or "hotel" management. It is open to students with a high school diploma, and covers everything from food prep and nutrition to business and marketing. Two-year associate and four-year bachelor's degrees programs include courses in the following:

  • Food sanitation and safety
  • Facilities design and maintenance
  • Event planning
  • Accounting fundamentals
  • Strategic marketing

Restaurant manager salary & career outlook

Although the BLS projects only modest growth of 2 percent in food service management from 2012-2022, overall economic health remains strong. The restaurant industry is the second largest private-sector employer in the US, with an average annual salary of $53,130 as of May 2013. Significant growth is expected through 2022 in a number of states, including:

  • Washington: 19.3 percent
  • Arizona: 18 percent
  • Colorado: 17.2 percent

The dynamic nature of the food service industry creates a demand for well-trained, highly motivated creatively minded restaurant managers who are ready to meet the challenges of increasingly enlightened customers looking for a diversity of dining options. Whether it's upscale gastropubs, farm-to-table bistros, quirky food trucks, or whatever the next trend in dining brings, a solid management strategy, and a manager to implement it, is a crucial ingredient for success.

Sources:

Food Service Managers, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, May 2012, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/food-service-managers.htm#tab-1

Food Service Managers, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2013, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes119051.htm

Long-Term Occupational Projections, Food Service Managers, 2014, http://www.projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm

Restaurant Careers, Jobs Outlook, National Restaurant Association, 2014, http://www.restaurant.org/Restaurant-Careers/Career-Development/Jobs-Outlook

Restaurant Careers, Job Titles, National Restaurant Association, 2014, http://www.restaurant.org/Restaurant-Careers/Career-Development/Career-Options/Job-Titles

Summary Report for Food Service Managers, O*Net OnLine, American Job Center Network, 2014, http://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/11-9051.00

Restaurant Management Schools
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With an education from an Art Institutes school, imagine what you could create.

Programs : Food & Beverage Operations (C), Culinary Arts Management (BS), Culinary Management (BS), and more..

Campus Locations :

Charleston: 24 North Market Street Charleston, SC 29401

Sunnyvale: 1120 Kifer Road Sunnyvale, CA 94086

North Hollywood: 5250 Lankershim Boulevard North Hollywood, CA 91601

Charlotte: Three LakePointe Plaza 2110 Water Ridge Parkway Charlotte, NC 28217

Sacramento: 2850 Gateway Oaks Drive Suite 100 Sacramento, CA 95833

Santa Ana: 3601 West Sunflower Avenue Santa Ana, CA 92704

Novi: 28125 Cabot Drive Suite 120 Novi, MI 48377

Portland: 1122 N.W. Davis Street Portland, OR 97209

Phoenix: 2233 West Dunlap Avenue Phoenix, AZ 85021

Dallas: Two North Park East Dallas, TX 75231

San Diego: 7650 Mission Valley Rd San Diego, CA 92108

Pittsburgh: 420 Boulevard of the Allies Pittsburgh, PA 15219

Houston: River Oaks Plaza 4140 Southwest Freeway Houston, TX 77027

Santa Monica: 2900 31st Street Santa Monica, CA 90405

Saint Charles: 1520 South Fifth Street Suite 107 St. Charles Saint Charles, MO 63303

Indianapolis: 3500 Depauw Blvd., Suite 1010 Indianapolis, IN 46268

Minneapolis: 15 South 9th Street Minneapolis, MN 55402

Denver: 1200 Lincoln Street Denver, CO 80203

San Bernardino: 674 East Brier Drive San Bernardino, CA 92408

San Francisco: 1170 Market Street San Francisco, CA 94102

Atlanta: 6600 Peach Tree Dunwoody Road, NE 100 Embassy Row Atlanta, GA 30328

Virginia Beach: 4500 Main Street Suite 100 Virginia Beach, VA 23462

Draper: 121 West Election Road Suite 100 Draper, UT 84020

Durham: 410 Blackwell St. Suite 200 Durham, NC 27701

Seattle: 2323 Elliott Avenue Seattle, WA 98121

Jacksonville: 8775 Baypine Road Jacksonville, FL 32256

Chicago: 350 N. Orleans Street Chicago, IL 60654

Cincinnati: 8845 Governors Hill Drive Suite 100 Cincinnati, OH 45249

Nashville: 100 Centerview Dr. Suite 250 Nashville, TN 37214

Philadelphia: 1622 Chestnut Street Philadelphia, PA 19103

Austin: 101 W. Louis Henna Blvd. Suite 100 Austin, TX 78728

Henderson: 2350 Corporate Circle Henderson, NV 89074

San Antonio: 1000 IH - 10 West Suite 106 San Antonio, TX 78230

Milwaukee: 320 East Buffalo Street Suite 100 Milwaukee, WI 53202

Fort Lauderdale: 1799 S.E. 17th Street Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316

Tampa: Parkside at Tampa Bay Park 4401 North Himes Avenue, Suite 150 Tampa, FL 33614

Helping creative minds bring their ideas to life.

Programs : Hotel & Restaurant Management (BS), Culinary Management (BS), Food and Beverage Operations (C), and more..

Campus Locations :

Pittsburgh: 420 Boulevard of the Allies Pittsburgh, PA 15219

Kaplan University is focused on recognizing the achievements of military and veteran students and offers the flexibility of an online education.

Programs : AAS in Business Administration - Hospitality Management, and more..

Campus Locations :

Fort Lauderdale: 6301 Kaplan University Avenue Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309

Get hands-on training with Le Cordon Bleu Schools of North America.

Programs : Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts Online - Associate Degree in Hospitality and Restaurant Management 60 weeks, Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Scottsdale - Bachelor Degree in Culinary Management Online, Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts Online - Bachelor Degree in Culinary Management, and more..

Campus Locations :

: 8100 E. Camelback Road , CA

Scottsdale: 8100 East Camelback Rd Suite 1001 Scottsdale, AZ 85251

Star Career Academy - the career school of choice. What makes us unique, and unlike other trade schools, is the dedication of our staff to provide performance-based occupational training.

Programs :

Campus Locations :

Newark: 550 Broad St. , 3rd Floor Newark, NJ 07102

Prepare for a career in the culinary arts in as little as 40 weeks.

Programs : Restaurant Management Associate of Applied Science Degree (AAS), Restaurant Management Diploma, Culinary Management Associate of Applied Science Degree (AAS), and more..

Campus Locations :

Portland: 1701 SW Jefferson St. Portland, OR 97201

Pursue your education with Platt College Oklahoma.

Programs : B.S. – Hospitality & Restaurant Management, and more..

Campus Locations :

Oklahoma City: 2727 W Memorial Road Oklahoma City, OK 73134

Earn Your Diploma from Home!

Programs : Cooking & Catering, and more..

Campus Locations :

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Turn your passion for food into a career at the Culinary Institute of Virginia.

Programs : Food Service Management, and more..

Campus Locations :

Norfolk: 2428 Almeda Avenue Norfolk, VA 23513

Discover how different a school can be at Pittsburgh Technical Institute. Earn a degree or certificate in 24 months or less and get started on a career.

Programs : Hospitality - Restaurant Management, and more..

Campus Locations :

Oakdale: 1111 McKee Road Oakdale, PA 15071

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