Careers a Hospitality & Restaurant Operations Management Degree Can Prepare You For

Discover thousands of careers you can pursue now with a Hospitality & Restaurant Operations Management degree from Escoffier!

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August 29, 2022 7 min read

A degree in the food world can open up a vast range of career opportunities. The culinary arts can prepare you to work as a cook or start your own restaurant, be a food writer, open a food truck, or develop cookbooks. In pastry arts, you could work toward opening your own bakery, become a patissier, or decorate lavish cakes.

A degree in Hospitality & Restaurant Operations Management can be a gateway to several different types of positions within the hospitality industry. Learn more about some of these exciting careers, and how an associate’s degree from Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts can help prepare you to step into the hospitality career of your dreams!

Hospitality & Restaurant Operations Management Careers

When it comes to the world of hospitality and restaurant operations management, you can choose a path that best suits your interests and plays to your strengths.Some roles are customer facing, and some are on the administrative or operations side. Some positions are in small independent operations, while others are with large multinational chains and corporations.

Where do you envision yourself?

Restaurant & Bar Careers

When you think about hospitality and restaurant operations management, naturally you might imagine a management position in a restaurant or bar environment. To no surprise, these positions are often considered the “front lines.” They typically have you working directly with servers, bartenders, and cooks, often doing long-term business planning and managing employees day-to-day. These managers often interface with customers on a day-to-day basis too.

Some hospitality and restaurant operations management careers in this market include:

  • Restaurant or restaurant chain manager
  • Bar or nightclub owner/manager
  • Food truck owner/operator
  • Catering company owner/manager
  • Cafe/coffee shop owner/manager
Restaurant manager and waitress holding a tray smile for a photo while standing in a restaurant

Large Scale Food Operation Careers

Managing a restaurant that seats 100 people is very different from managing a food operation for a 1,000-room hotel or resort!

These businesses have large staffing requirements to meet the needs of thousands of customers at a time. Roles may be customer-facing, like managing the dining room on a cruise ship or running an event venue. On the flipside, they could also be behind-the-scenes. For example, as a manager with an airline’s food program, you might work with suppliers, cooks, and the airline, but not directly with airline customers.

Some of these careers include:

  • Hotel or resort manager
  • Front of house manager
  • Banquet hall or event venue manager
  • Airline food services manager
  • Cruise line manager
  • Casino manager
  • Administration and management at food operations that service schools, workplaces, nursing homes, and hospitals, like Aramark and Sodexo
Hotel manager standing next to a desk in the lobby

Chef Jason Goldman, Hospitality and Restaurant Operations Management Instructor“When we think about the hospitality industry, we’re not just thinking about restaurants. We’re also talking about hotels, we’re talking about country clubs, we’re talking about even nursing homes or care facilities, maybe even hospitals. It’s a pretty broad range of opportunity in the business sector that we would classify as ‘hospitality.”*
Jason Goldman, Escoffier Lead Chef Instructor, Pastry Arts and Hospitality & Restaurant Operations Management

Support & Education Careers

There’s a host of career opportunities in the food and service industries that provide added support, guidance, and resources to staff and managers. These positions are not customer-facing. Instead, they help restaurants and their employees navigate complicated financial rules or increase their industry knowledge to better serve the end customer.

These careers include:

  • Human resources for hospitality businesses
  • Facilities and technology operations management
  • Accounting or bookkeeping
  • Restaurant operations or management training
  • Education or tutoring

Chef Maria Davenport“Escoffier Hospitality & Restaurant Operations Management graduates can choose from a variety of hospitality establishments. They can work for restaurants, bars, hotels, catering companies, etc. There are a wide range of options for our students.”*
Maria Davenport, Escoffier Chef Instructor, Hospitality & Restaurant Operations Management

Distribution Careers

Restaurants and other food operations work with a network of distributors and suppliers to get everything they need. These business-to-business (B2B) companies may require extensive product knowledge in their niche to follow certain legal restrictions, like beer or wine. They may also provide wholesale food and beverage products to retailers like liquor stores or grocery stores.

For some positions, further training may be helpful, like a sommelier certification.

Some possible careers in distribution:

  • Food and beverage distributors, like Sysco and U.S. Foods
  • Beverage distribution management, like Molson Coors Beverage Company or Republic National Distributing
  • Beverage retailers, like Total Wine
  • Grocery or wholesale club management, like Sam’s or Costco

How to Get Started in Hospitality Management

As you can see, there’s a huge variety of hospitality and restaurant operations management careers! But how can you break into such a broad industry?

Education and experience are both valid tracks to success in hospitality management. But education may help future managers get ahead of their competition. Successful hospitality and restaurant managers may need to understand financial statements and purchasing, human resources, target customer psychology, and business and professional communications. While many of these skills can be discovered on the job, a dedicated educational curriculum may shape entry-level managers into more effective, well-rounded leaders.

Plus, with a hands-on industry externship like the one required to graduate from Escoffier, you can also gain hands-on experience while getting your degree.

Chef Maria Davenport“A strong educational background can help someone with limited experience become a valued contributor to their employer. They can utilize the skills taught at Escoffier to work their way into a management position.”*
Maria Davenport, Escoffier Chef Instructor, Hospitality & Restaurant Operations Management

Plus, investing in your education can help prove to potential employers that you possess a strong work ethic and are committed to your future in the hospitality or food industry.

Hospitality & Restaurant Operations Management at Escoffier

Escoffier’s hospitality degree is designed to give students a bird’s eye view of the industry from an employer and operator standpoint.

Completed entirely online with an in-person industry externship, the program can prepare students for entry-level management over 60 weeks of coursework. Some courses cover general business topics, like Business and Professional Communications, Introduction to Psychology in the Workplace, and Leadership and Development—although they’re generally focused on the hospitality industry.

Other coursework is more specialized to cover the breadth of several niches. Catering and Event Operations can help students understand the organization and planning necessary to tailor an event to meet a client’s needs. Menu Design and Management explores food & beverage menus and design, including price analysis and layout. Students can also learn to view the menu as an effective communication and financial tool. In Culinary Foundations, students may study some of the kitchen basics, like sanitation and hygiene, seasoning, and fundamental knife skills. While this program is not focused on cooking, these skills can help students evolve into effective, business-minded managers of kitchen staff.

After the coursework, students complete a hands-on industry externship. Students must secure their own externships at an approved hospitality and restaurant business, but Escoffier’s Career Services department can help with resume writing, interview prep, and in some cases may be able to introduce students to specific employers, like Sodexo or Omni Hotels & Resorts.

Mary Ann Mathieu, Senior Recruiter, Sodexo“What I think makes Escoffier the best culinary school for us to recruit from is the fact that their graduates are predictable. I know they have been trained properly, and I know they have a real passion for providing quality food for our customers.”*
Mary Ann Mathieu, Executive Recruiter, Sodexo

Externs get the opportunity to earn resume-building experience, as well as explore the day-to-day lives of hospitality professionals.

Explore What Escoffier Can Offer You

Whether you aspire to become a revered restaurant owner, hospitality educator, food truck owner, or something else entirely, the Hospitality & Restaurant Operations Management program is specifically designed to help you manage several aspects of the hospitality industry in just 60 weeks!

By exploring a breadth of hospitality-focused concepts through a business lens, you can build your confidence and begin to step into the specific path you choose.

To learn more about an associate’s degree from Escoffier, contact us today!

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This article was originally published on December 14, 2020, and has since been updated.

*Information may not reflect every student’s experience. Results and outcomes may be based on several factors, such as geographical region or previous experience.

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