November 26, 2020

Restaurants and food-service businesses take a large team to run successfully. From the newest host all the way to the owner, every member of the staff has to work together to provide great food and a good guest experience, without letting costs spiral out of control.

Unlike other industries where the barriers to entry could include specialized education or experience, many restaurant employees are in the workforce for the first time. In fact, nearly a third of Americans report that their first job was in a restaurant!

That’s why experienced management is so important. Training and supervising a staff that ranges from teenagers to seasoned professionals takes great communication and skillful delegation.

A career in Food and Beverage Management can be both exciting and challenging. Learn more about industry leadership and what it takes to be successful as a Food and Beverage Manager.

What is Food & Beverage Management?

Food & Beverage (F&B) Management is a segment of the hospitality industry that focuses on operations in restaurants, hotels, resorts, catering companies, hospitals, hotels, and more. It includes the business side of food, like ordering and inventory, managing budgets, and planning and costing menus.

It also includes Human Resources functions, like hiring, training, and managing both front of house and back of house staff. On the customer side, these managers will focus on improving the guest experience with a focus on building loyalty and maintaining high service standards.

Smiling woman in white shirt standing in front of food workers
F&B Management is a varied and exciting field. Managers rarely do the same thing every day. Instead, their work will shift between finances, staff, customers, and quality control. With an expert in the field on staff, a foodservice establishment can run more smoothly and improve profitability and longevity.

Why Study F&B Operations?

Many F&B managers have no formal training at all. In fact, 91% of restaurant managers’ first job was entry-level, and they worked their way up over many years.

With dedicated education, you may stand out among the other management hopefuls. And a degree may reduce the time it takes for you to earn that management position.

Gina Marano, Escoffier Lead Instructor“These students are able to get a bird’s eye overview of what the hospitality industry looks like, from an employee and operator standpoint. This is going to prepare them for an entry level management position, and the skills that they would need to be successful in that role and to successfully manage those employees.”
Gina Marano, Escoffier Lead Instructor, Food & Beverage Operations

There are virtually zero positions in a restaurant or hospitality business that a degree in F&B operations would not help. With specialized training, graduates may find they’re able to make a more meaningful contribution to their work — without 20 years of industry experience.

Whether you are responsible for the front of house or back of house, this education will help a new manager to understand the synergy between both positions, and the challenges that come with each. This could help them become more empathetic and effective managers.

It also gives students a better understanding of restaurant finances, so they can reduce costs and maximize profits. This knowledge can be a great help — especially during difficult times like the coronavirus pandemic. As the industry faces new challenges, employers may be looking for skills like financial literacy and greater efficiency than ever before.

African American businessman wearing a protective black face mask and standing at his restaurant during Coronavirus.
Chefs can also benefit from this education. If you want to make yourself more valuable to your employer, or gain skills that will help you become a chef/owner, F&B Operations can bridge the gap between your cooking skills and your business skills.

Food & Beverage Operations at Escoffier

Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts’ newest online program is the Associate of Occupational Studies Degree in Food and Beverage Operations. This course of study lets students earn their degrees 100% online, finishing with an in-person industry externship in their area.

Female student taking notes while looking at computer with earphones
The flexibility of the program means you can continue to work full- or part-time while studying and working toward your degree. And the business-focused curriculum is designed to help graduates become more effective future managers.

Students will spend some of their coursework concentrating on communications, including professionalism, conflict resolution, debate techniques, and human resources. By researching and practicing communication skills, students become better managers and leaders for their teams. Students will also explore cultural differences — especially important in a tourist-focused industry.

Gina Marano, Escoffier Lead Instructor“I’ve never met a school that cares more about their students and sees them as people as opposed to enrollment numbers. They do everything possible to make the degree as flexible as they can, and set students up for success, so that they can complete that degree. They’re just really innovative.”
Gina Marano, Escoffier Lead Instructor, Food & Beverage Operations

Some courses also focus on the finances. Topics like sales forecasts, food & labor costs, and purchasing help grads to assess where the business is flourishing and where it needs to cut expenses.

In the Catering & Events course, students will work on organization, planning, and project coordination. In Beverage Service Operations, they’ll explore laws & regulations, budgeting, and inventory for the boozy side of the business.

And in the Building Your Own Business course, topics include credit management, business planning, and leadership. At the end of the course, students will create and present their own business plans for a foodservice operation.

After they conclude their coursework, students will complete an industry externship in their local area. This provides an opportunity to gain real-world experience and increase your skills while developing industry contacts.

The Path to Leadership

Food & Beverage Management is an important role in the culinary industry, and education can help you be a more effective and successful administrator and leader.

If you dream of being the boss, a degree in Food & Beverage Operations may be a good place to start! Contact our admissions department to learn more about degrees and diplomas from Escoffier.

Interested in learning more about culinary education?