What Does A Food & Beverage Management Career Look Like?
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 said 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.
Other Fields In The Industry To Consider
Depending on where you live, your professional goals, and your education, you may be able to consider careers in any of the following fields:
- Institutional/Governmental Food Service (prisons, hospitals, nursing care facilities, etc.)
- Commercial Food Suppliers (manufacturing plants, bakeries, etc.)
- Educational Services (school cafeterias)
- Amusement Parks
- Casinos/Gaming Services
- Cruise Lines
- Banquet Halls
- Room Service/Food Delivery Services
In order to work as a food and beverage manager in any of these settings, you’ll need the required experience and education. Most professionals working at the management level have at least a four-year Bachelor’s degree in hospitality management, restaurant management, or culinary arts. Master’s-level degrees are also fairly common, especially if you intend to work at a larger chain or established name in the industry.
The reason so many top employers look for advanced degrees in food and beverage management is that there is a combined focus on culinary skills and business/industry savvy. Being a manager takes a lot more than overseeing a large staff or knowing how to prepare large quantities of food; it means being able to manage things like marketing, business administration, and human resources.
Much of the job is performed behind a desk, and it’s not uncommon for huge stacks of paperwork to keep you there during evening and weekend hours. Of course, food and beverage management isn’t all work and no play!
If you enjoy the fast pace of the food service industry and have have the leadership skills necessary to lead an entire team of culinary professionals to success, this is a great opportunity to earn a living doing what you love.
Read, Read and Read Some MoreOne of the best suggestions I have for anyone thinking of going to culinary school or just getting into the restaurant industry is to read everything you can get your hands on. Learn from professional chefs who have worked in the industry and those who have taught in culinary schools.
There are many great books available to get you started in your culinary education and I suggest you read as much as possible before making that big decision to make sure this is the right move for you. Below is just a sample of books you might be interested in checking out.
For a much more comprehensive list of books for aspiring culinary, baking and restaurant management students, I suggest checking out my post on books for future culinary students and chefs.