An Online Degree in Food & Beverage Operations

The Associate of Occupational Studies Degree in Food and Beverage Operations program helps prepare students for a wide variety of positions within hospitality and restaurant operations. Throughout the program, students can develop their understanding of the hospitality industry from a business perspective, from entry level management through the skills necessary to successfully manage operational aspects of a successful hospitality operation.

Some key program elements include:

  • Analyzing relevant operations data to make sound decisions for a profitable operation,
  • Planning and providing professional service with high levels of attention to detail in guest experience,
  • Training and coaching line level employees in operations,
  • Understanding available business technologies and providing consultation based on an operation’s needs, and
  • Understanding and developing the operation as a concept.

Degree Courses

Students in the degree program explore the theory and applications of the following courses:

  • Professionalism and Service Standards

    In this course, students learn the basics of professional conduct. Students develop their understanding of hygiene, guest service, and communication standards in order to act in a professional manner, not only in a hospitality setting but in any industry or situation.

  • Business and Professional Communications

    This course emphasizes the principles and practical application of effective professional communication behaviors. Important communications skills particular to the hospitality industry are addressed. Listening skills, verbal and nonverbal communication, conflict resolution, cultural differences in communication, and debate techniques are also covered.

  • Menu Design and Management

    This course explores different types of menus (including both food menus and beverage menus) and their applications. The course covers all aspects of menu planning and design, ranging from visual design to price analysis to making use of available resources. The menu is both a financial tool and a communication tool, and students learn about its uses as both.

  • The Science of Nutrition

    This course covers the basic principles of nutrition, emphasizing nutrients, food sources, and their role in growth, development, and overall health. Contemporary and global nutritional issues are also discussed.

  • Catering and Event Operations

    In this course, students learn the procedures for preparing an event to client specifications, with an emphasis on organizing and planning. Students learn how to create project plans, forecast needs, and learn strategies for coordinating multiple departments.

  • Introduction to Psychology in the Workplace

    The goals of psychology are to describe, explain, predict, and influence behavior and mental processes. With these goals in mind, students will study the scientific process and learn to explain psychological phenomena. They will learn about how those phenomena fit into major psychological theories, and how to practically apply the ideas of psychology.

  • Foundations in Human Resources

    This course teaches students to look at their career and others’ through a human resources lens. The course covers the employee ‘life cycle,’ starting with onboarding and training and moving into compensation and performance evaluation.

  • World History & Culture from the Culinary Perspective

    Food has impacted societal organization, industrial development, military conflict, and economic expansion. As epicure and gastronome Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin stated, “Gastronomy governs the whole of human man.” This course examines the role of food and its contribution and influence over history, culture, religion, economics, and politics.

  • Leadership and Development

    This course prepares students for a leadership role. Students learn how to effectively motivate and coach employees on an individual basis, as well as how to plan and drive organizational change.

  • Foodservice Math and Accounting

    Foodservice Math & Accounting introduces students to managerial accounting and cost control concepts and explains their applications to specific operations within the hospitality industry including expenses, revenue, food, beverage, labor, and other controllable and non-controllable costs. Income statements and profit analysis are covered as well.

  • Cost Control

    This course focuses on the financial side of restaurant operations: managing inventory, creating sales forecasts, and managing food and labor costs. Students learn how to respond to real-world scenarios to minimize costs and maximize profits.

  • Purchasing

    This course covers the process of purchasing, receiving, and storing. Students learn procedures and strategies for ensuring a smooth, efficient, and sanitary experience of inventory management.

  • Beverage Service Operations

    In this course, students learn how to manage beverage operations in a legal and profitable environment. The course covers laws and regulations regarding beverage operations, as well as budgeting, menu planning, and inventory control.

  • Facilities Operations and Compliance

    This course focuses on the physical space of a food and beverage operation. Students learn about local, state, and federal government regulations for food and beverage spaces; emergency plans; and familiarize themselves with building and equipment maintenance.

  • Operations Technology and Innovation

    This course focuses on automation using hospitality technologies. Students discuss the pros and cons of automating various tasks and the money-saving capabilities of various technologies, with an emphasis on information management.

  • Culinary Foundations I

    The Culinary Foundations class begins with course work concentrating on food safety and sanitation in the professional kitchen. The class focuses on the importance of proper hygiene, food handling, food storage, cleaning, pest control and HACCP in a food service operation are explored.

    Students will gain an introduction to the professional kitchen as they become acquainted with tools, utensils, and equipment and discuss kitchen layout. Basic cooking techniques, culinary terminology, equipment operation, the use and effect of heat, and seasoning principles are taught in this course. This course also includes fundamental knife skills, cutting techniques, and the concept of mise en place.

  • Building Your Own Business

    This course covers such topics as business planning, pricing, credit management, government regulation, legal concerns, and business ethics. Students learn how to manage and how to lead. For the final project for this course, the student will complete and present a business plan for a food service operation.

  • Externship

    This course provides opportunities for real life experiences in an operational restaurant or related business and builds on the skills and techniques covered in previous courses. In the course, students apply the skills they’ve learned in practical ways to real-world situations. Students gain hands-on experience in the kitchen that mirrors their future work in the industry and develop the skills necessary for a culinary career. Immersion in a work environment also allows students to develop industry contacts and build working relationships.