Restaurant Management Schools

Everyone loves to eat out, which helps make restaurant management a timeless profession. But it's also a complicated one, so you shouldn't just dive into it alone. Restaurant managers are in charge of all the day-to-day operations, making sure the business remains profitable and that the customers are happy with their service. If this is a career that appeals to you, enrolling in a restaurant management program is a wise first step, so check out this Q&A before you decide where to go.

Why are restaurant management programs well-suited for working professionals?

Restaurant management schools understand that many of their students work, which is why so many restaurant management programs offer evening and weekend courses. If your job or other obligations aren't flexible for those hours, then perhaps an online program in restaurant management, which allows you to do the class work wherever and whenever, is better-suited for you.

Which colleges offer restaurant management degree or certificate programs?

More than you'd expect, actually. Some more well-known programs for restaurant management are at culinary schools, which often have campuses across the country. If you prefer an online program in restaurant management, there are options for that as well. And since restaurant management is often included in hospitality management programs, look into larger schools. Some of the schools that offer a restaurant management option are:

  • Le Cordon Bleu
  • Penn Foster Career School
  • Art Institute of Pittsburgh (online program)
  • University of Nevada, Las Vegas
  • University of Houston

Countless other colleges offer restaurant management training, so check out your local schools to find out what's available in your area.

Which internships are available for restaurant management students?

Internship possibilities differ based on your location and training, but some national chains have options to explore as well. Red Lobster, for instance, has a notable internship program for restaurant management majors. It's a 10-week, paid internship for college seniors that allows students to rotate through a variety of positions, ranging from restaurant manager to baker. If you're interested in pursuing this internship, check out Red Lobster's website for details on the application process. If that's not your style, then check for internships on websites like Intern Match and Internships.com, or ask a career counselor or friends and family if they know of any opportunities.

What financial aid resources are available to help restaurant management students pay for their college education?

For starters, you may qualify for federal grants or loans. Fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid to see if that's the case. Otherwise, look into scholarships at National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation or Scholarships.com, which has a separate listing for hospitality scholarships. And, as always, check the school you want to apply to for scholarship opportunities. Many individual schools also have scholarships that restaurant management students might qualify for.

Which restaurant management-related careers are projected to grow at the fastest rate?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of food service managers is projected to grow by 2 percent nationally between 2012 and 2022. People are expected to dine out, as population and income growth occurs, which means more food joints opening (especially inside grocery and retail stores), according to the BLS. It might be a stable industry, but it's not the most high-growth option, relative to, say, health care technicians. The BLS predicts that most jobs in the restaurant management industry will come from the need to fill existing jobs, rather than new ones.

Three regions of the U.S. -- the Midwest, Northeast and South -- are projected to have negative growth in the restaurant management industry through 2020, though individual states might perform better, according to state data aggregated by Projections Central. The Western U.S. is projected to have higher than average job growth through 2020, at an average of 6.88% for all states in the region. The states with the best expected growth are:

  • California: 30.3%
  • Washington: 19.8%
  • Arizona: 10.2%
  • Alaska: 9.4%
  • New Mexico: 7.8%
  • Wyoming: 7.6%
  • Colorado: 6%
  • Utah: 4%

How can I receive additional information about restaurant management schools or programs?

Looking online for websites with specific information on restaurant management schools is a good place to start, particularly if you're undecided about whether to attend an online school or to find a physical program in your area. If you're interested in a specific school, contacting the admissions office is another way to get information about the program in question.

Sources:

Management Internships, Red Lobster,
http://www.redlobster.com/employment/college/college_management.asp

Serving Up Scholarships, National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation,
https://www.nraef.org/Students/Scholarships

Job Outlook for Food Service Managers, "Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition," Bureau of Labor Statistics, Jan. 8, 2014,
http://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/food-service-managers.htm#tab-6

Long Term Data for Food Service Managers, Projections Central,
http://www.projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm

Hospitality Scholarships, Scholarships.com,
https://www.scholarships.com/financial-aid/college-scholarships/scholarships-by-major/hospitality-scholarships/