Food Service Manager

The primary function of food service managers is to manage the process of serving food to a large number of people. They perform a variety of duties.

Their tasks include:

  • planning menus
  • maintaining safety standards and ensuring excellent hygiene
  • managing personnel (recruiting, training and supervising)
  • liaising with the management of the specific organisation for which they work
  • planning floor plans and layout of the food services section
  • liaising with the dietician, for example, in hospitals
Food service managers also motivate large teams of workers to work quickly and efficiently to produce food that is tasty, attractively served and prepared according to high standards of hygiene. Duties of food service managers depend on the sector of the industry in which they are employed, including:
  • Hospitals: modification of menus to suit certain diets
  • Schools: canteens may require recipes to be standardised
  • Restaurants: menu planning, changing and analysing
Responsibilities include setting up supplier relationships and ordering and storing food. Financial control and administration are important in this line of work eg. financial control of the food products and the wages of the kitchen staff.

Another important aspect of the job is the food service manager’s ability to deal with people effectively e.g. handling staff problems and dealing with dissatisfied customers.

Personal Requirements

  • self-disciplined
  • initiative and leadership qualities
  • able to motivate and direct a team of workers
  • good communication skills
  • able to cope with crises effectively
  • well-groomed appearance, because of the contact with the public
  • able to cope with the pressure at peak times
  • able to deal effectively with unhappy customers and uncooperative kitchen staff


  • hotels and restaurants
  • canteens
  • hospitals, children’s homes, old age homes
  • airports
  • catering companies
  • large canteen services, via contracts with the government or corporations in the private sector
  • factories that provide frozen prepared meals to companies
  • self-employment, with enough experience, initiative and capital, can start own catering business or start and manage a café or a restaurant

Getting Started

  • try to obtain vacation work in a food catering service company
  • make an appointment to speak to a food service manager about this type of career


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