Food Service Management | 4 mins read

What You Need To Know About Food Service Management

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Cynthia Vespia

By Cynthia Vespia

Principles of Food Service Management

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Foodservice management comes with a host of responsibilities that revolve around running the daily operations of the food establishment. Foodservice managers direct staff to ensure the guests have a satisfying dining room experience. They manage the business administration and calculate food costs for a profitable ROI.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates a growing need of up to 9% for food service managers in the United States.

Managing the day-to-day of the eatery requires an understanding of the basics of restaurant management to ensure a safe and profitable food business. The following are some of the important principles of foodservice management.

Basic Principles of FoodService Management
The foodservice industry has a major impact on the economy. According to The National Restaurant Association, restaurants brought in $799 billion in sales during 2017 alone.

To ensure those stats continue to grow, food service managers plan their business administration around these basic principles-


  • Value - Food service managers work alongside chefs to create menu options that are delicious but also won't strain the establishment's budget. The service patrons receive in the dining room is also part of the value offered by the establishment. Foodservice management will encompass the role of the staff as it relates to their professionalism and how they treat the customers. When customers are unhappy, it's the role of the foodservice manager to restore harmony.

  • Cost control - Food and labor costs are a big part of foodservice management. Providing high-quality service and food options while maintaining profit is a big responsibility for food service managers. Knowledge of resources management is needed to keep an operation profitable. The budget needs to be analyzed and managed by tracking food inventory and other resources management.

  • Laws and regulations - Commercial kitchens need to follow national, state, and local legal requirements to maintain dining room operations. Foodservice managers will need to understand each law and train their staff on them. Staying up-to-date with all necessary regulations is a major part of food service management. If the updated laws aren't available a service manager can request information to learn them. This can mean obtaining and renewing licenses or paying government taxes and fees.
These basic principles build the foundation of successful hospitality management. Food service managers use these rules to inform their daily actions and decisions.

  • Food Beverage Safety
  • Food Preparation Safety
  • Maintaining Regulations
  • Value of Service in the Dining Room
  • Cost Control through Business Administration

Disadvantages of Being a Food Service Manager

Restaurant and hospitality management in the food service industry can be very rewarding. Managers play an important role in making certain a restaurant is profitable. The variety of duties a restaurant manager performs keeps the day from turning monotonous but can also bring some challenges.

  • Stress - According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, food service managers can work up to 15 hours per day, seven days per week. These long hours can lead to exhaustion and ultimately stress. Throughout the day, managers also face others duties such as filling in for staff, training new staff members, and placing orders for inventory. Coupled with the tense situations in hospitality management such as dealing with a customer complaint, the level of stress can often be overwhelming.

  • Employee Turnover - Human resources management is a difficult challenge in the food service industry. According to the People Report from Human Capital Intelligence, turnover of faculty staff was over 60 percent for fine-dining restaurants in 2011. Casual dining restaurants exceeded 70 percent turnover rate. This means the resource management of recruiting and training new employees seems like an endless task for a restaurant manager.

  • Changing Jobs - According to the People Report, foodservice management roles also see a high turnover at 22 percent. Opportunities for advancement are available when working within a national restaurant chain but often it requires relocation to take advantage of such opportunities. Working within an independently owned food service business has its own challenges. The only way to increase salary after a certain time is to move to a different restaurant.

  • Job Outlook - Another disadvantage to being a food service manager is the decline in job growth. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the industry saw slow growth through 2018. The decline in the number of new restaurant and bar openings contributed to the slow down. However, there may be opportunities in other types of culinary arts such as grocery stores or nursing homes. Continuing education or a degree program could round out skills for future advancement.

  • Stress
  • Job Change
  • Job Growth
  • Faculty Staff Turnover

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Food Service Management Conclusions

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  • Hiring and firing restaurant staff is an important responsibility for foodservice management. This becomes more challenging by significant employee turnover.
  • Turnover in fine-dining restaurants was greater than 60 percent during the first quarter of 2011.
  • According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, service managers can work up to 15 hours per day, seven days per week. The Bureau also explained that the food service industry saw slow growth through 2018 due to a decline in the number of new restaurant and bar openings.
  • The National Restaurant Association states that restaurants brought in $799 billion in sales during 2017.

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