Food Service Manager

The primary function of food service managers is to manage the process of serving food to a large number of people. They perform a variety of duties.

Their tasks include:

  • planning menus

  • maintaining safety standards and ensuring excellent hygiene

  • managing personnel (recruiting, training and supervising)

  • liaising with the management of the specific organisation for which they work

  • planning floor plans and layout of the food services section

  • liaising with the dietician, for example, in hospitals

Food service managers also motivate large teams of workers to work quickly and efficiently to produce food that is tasty, attractively served and prepared according to high standards of hygiene. Duties of food service managers depend on the sector of the industry in which they are employed, including:

  • Hospitals: modification of menus to suit certain diets

  • Schools: canteens may require recipes to be standardised

  • Restaurants: menu planning, changing and analysing

Responsibilities include setting up supplier relationships and ordering and storing food. Financial control and administration are important in this line of work eg. financial control of the food products and the wages of the kitchen staff.

Another important aspect of the job is the food service manager’s ability to deal with people effectively e.g. handling staff problems and dealing with dissatisfied customers.


  • hotels and restaurants

  • canteens

  • hospitals, children’s homes, old age homes

  • airports

  • catering companies

  • large canteen services, via contracts with the government or corporations in the private sector

  • factories that provide frozen prepared meals to companies

  • self-employment, with enough experience, initiative and capital, can start own catering business or start and manage a café or a restaurant

Getting Started

  • try to obtain vacation work in a food catering service company

  • make an appointment to speak to a food service manager about this type of career


Africa Institutional Management Services (AIMS), Anistemi College and Training Centre, Boland TVET College, Boston City Campus & Business College, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Capricorn TVET College, Central Johannesburg TVET College, Central University of Technology, Centre for Training and Projects Development (CTPD), Coastal KZN TVET College, College of Cape Town , Durban Computer College, Durban University of Technology , Ekurhuleni East TVET College, Ekurhuleni West TVET College, Esayidi TVET College, False Bay College, Gretsa University, IHT Hotel School, Integrated Polytechnic Regional Centre (East), International Hotel School, International University of Management, Kenyatta University, Kyambogo University, Limkokwing University of Creative Technology, Majuba TVET College, Maluti TVET College, Marian University College, Mauritius Institute of Training and Development, Mnambithi TVET College, Moi University, Monitronic Success College, Mopani South East TVET College, Motheo TVET College, Mount Kenya University, Muhabura Integrated Polytechnic College, New Era College, Northlink College, North-West University, Open University of Tanzania, Orbit TVET College, Private Hotel School, Sedibeng TVET College, Silver Spoon Hospitality Academy CC, South Cape TVET College, South West Gauteng TVET College, Stefano Moshi Memorial University College, Stenden South Africa, Swaziland College of Technology, Thekwini TVET College, Tshwane North TVET College, Tshwane South TVET College, Tshwane University of Technology, Turaco Hospitality, Uganda Catholic Management and Training Institute, Uganda Institute of Allied Health and Management Sciences, United States International University, University of Cape Coast, University of Dar Es Salaam, University of Eldoret, University of Ghana, University of Health and Allied Science, University of Johannesburg, University of Kabianga, University of Mpumalanga, University of Pretoria, University of the Free State, University of Tourism, Technology and Business Studies, University of Zambia, Valombola Vocational Training Centre (VVTC), Varsity College, Victoria University, Vuselela TVET College, Walter Sisulu University, Western TVET College, Wolwedans Foundation Trust, YMCA Comprehensive Institute, Zambezi Vocational Training Centre

Related Occupations