August 6, 2021

Having an interest in a culinary career doesn’t automatically mean you need to become a chef. Hospitality management is an exciting industry offering a wealth of opportunity in a wide array of professions. From restaurant operations to hotel kitchen management to food service on cruises or airlines, there are many career paths you can take within this field.

But getting proper industry training is vital for succeeding in this fast-paced, demanding line of work. There are key skills you’ll need to hone before stepping foot into a job interview, and learning the foundations can help prepare you for success. Additionally, having a degree shows future hiring managers that you’re invested in and serious about a career in the industry.

Whether you’ve been working in hospitality for 20 years, or you’ve never held a management position, a degree can provide the tools and skills you need to succeed or take the next step in your career.

While on-campus education might work for some, here are a few reasons you might consider pursuing an online hospitality management degree, and a glimpse into this program at Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts.

Restaurant manager having a conversation with chef with laptop on table

What Does an Online Culinary Education Look Like?

An Optimal Schedule

If you’re questioning whether an online degree that prepares you for hospitality and restaurant operations is for you, consider this. Remote learning provides the ultimate flexibility for a busy schedule. So if you’re a parent or caretaker, you’re already working full-time, or you’re in the military, an online education provides schedule flexibility while still maintaining the structure of a traditional in-person education.

At Escoffier, the school week begins on Wednesday instead of Monday, which allows for weekly assignments to be worked on over the weekend. Approximately 15-22 hours per week are spent on school-related activities, making it feasible for students to take care of the other responsibilities in their lives.

The highly flexible schedule of online education means that students can complete their assignments first thing in the morning, late in the evening, or even on their lunch breaks at their current jobs. For those who are unable or don’t wish to commute, online learning is an attractive option as well. And for anyone located outside of a city, no moves are required to get a degree in hospitality management and restaurant operations — a computer and an internet connection will suffice.

“I think Escoffier’s online education makes a student very competitive. I would absolutely recommend Escoffier. It’s affordable, it’s flexible, and it’s comprehensive. The Chef Instructors are so wonderful, and they care very much about the success of every student.”
Laura DeVries, Escoffier Online Graduate

A Supportive Structure

Each week in Escoffier’s Food and Beverage Operations program begins with assigned readings or research opportunities. Students have access to a variety of course-specific materials and educational tools to aid them in their independent study. They can actively participate in interactions with instructors throughout the week if needed.

Students are expected to complete highly relevant coursework in order to expand their knowledge across the industry. Between the projects, technologies, culinary related assignments, and assessments, students are provided with the skills they need to succeed in the industry.

Students also participate in discussion boards with their peers. These online forums offer a central place for the class to connect on relevant topics and ask any industry-related questions. Each week, there are also live lessons conducted via a video platform, which provide more opportunity for interaction with instructors and classmates.

Most students find that this virtual, interactive format leads to the same synergy and enthusiasm as in-person classes would. Many students end up staying in touch with their classmates and instructors for years to come, and even meeting each other in person!

Chef typing on laptop computer on table with knife, eggs, and vegetables

What Do You Learn in An Online Hospitality Management Program?

Foundational Coursework

Escoffier’s online Food and Beverage Operations program includes a well-rounded education on all the basics of entry-level management, as well as operational aspects of a successful hospitality enterprise.

To earn the Associate of Occupational Studies in Food and Beverage Operations degree, students must complete 60 weeks of coursework that prepares them for a position in hospitality and restaurant operations.

Courses include necessary training in service standards, menu design and management, nutrition science, operations and compliance, and much more. Students can learn relevant skills like providing professional service with high levels of attention to detail in the guest experience, training and coaching line level employees, and meeting food safety and sanitation requirements.

Maria Davenport, Escoffier Chef Instructor“Many of our students have previous culinary experience but are not familiar with Front of the House operations. Our program addresses how to provide your customers with an outstanding Hospitality experience, how to manage employees in various roles throughout the operation, and how to manage the profitability of the establishment.”
Chef Maria Davenport, Escoffier Food & Beverage Operations Lead Instructor

The program was also developed to give students a thorough understanding of the hospitality industry from a business perspective. Therefore, students also receive instruction in business skills like professional communication, human resources, foodservice math and accounting, leadership, and building your own business. Students are trained on current procedures, strategies, and technologies to equip them for a successful career in hospitality management.

Industry Externship

The program’s degree requirements also include completion of a hands-on industry externship. The externship gives students the opportunity for real world application of the concepts they learn in class, helping them develop the skills for their industry career.

The Career Services staff at Escoffier assists students with finding the externship. While students work on putting their new education to use in a professional setting, the externship also provides the networking and relationship-building opportunities that only come from working side-by-side in a functioning hospitality business. Students who are currently working in the industry may also be able to complete their externship at their existing place of work.

John Hadala, Line Cook, Il Posto; Culinary Arts graduate“One of the best parts about Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts is they help you along the way to find externships.”
John Hadala, Escoffier Culinary Arts Graduate

For some students, the industry externship is their first foray into the world of hospitality management and restaurant operations, and the contacts they make may last a lifetime. Some students have even found their first jobs through networking during their externships.

Event planner using checklist while examining delivery of crockery and decorations while positive movers unpacking boxes

Considering an Online Hospitality Management Program?

Hospitality management and restaurant operations is an exciting, ever-growing field. And with continuous innovation in the food service industry, the career possibilities are truly endless. If you’re passionate about managing operations in a restaurant or hospitality setting, consider investing in formal education to equip and empower you with the skills you need to succeed.

Escoffier’s online Food and Beverage Operations degree offers high-quality education that fits into your busy lifestyle. Besides learning the necessary skills for many kinds of hospitality management positions, it’s an opportunity to learn from industry experts and secure an externship that can help prepare you for an exciting future career!

Contact us today to learn how you can start your journey in hospitality management and restaurant operations.

Maria Davenport, Escoffier Chef Instructor“Our program introduces students to the world outside of the kitchen by exposing them to different roles in the Hospitality industry. Students are taught Employee Management skills as well as Financial management skills for various types of operations. Students wanting to venture outside of the kitchen into entry level management positions could find themselves working in a Procurement Department at a hospital, entry level Management at a bar or nightclub, running the Front Desk at a Hotel or Resort, or even opening their own business. Our Instructors are former Industry Professionals with the knowledge and expertise to prepare our students for success.”
Chef Maria Davenport, Escoffier Food & Beverage Operations Lead Instructor

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