The following article discusses the career path of Food Service Director. Learn about how to become one, education requirements, job duties, traits and qualities, national salary outlook as well as top national employers of Food Service Directors.
Food Service Director Job Duties
Food service directors hold responsibility for the functioning of dining services. They organize, implement, and manage different departments. They must be fully up to date with all the relevant health and sanitation codes, and the various safety regulations. They make sure that their department complies with these codes and regulations, as well as with internal policies and procedures. They also hold responsibility for the department’s budget, overseeing staff, and maintaining inventory and stock levels.
This professional can be found in a range of environments, including staff canteens, hospital restaurants, banquet halls, school lunch rooms, restaurants, and more. Sometimes, the director also has to have contact with customers. However, more often than not, they work in an office during normal office hours, although overtime is often required during crisis situations.
Other job duties of a food service director include:
- Holding responsibility for all staff operations, budget development, and budget planning
- Focusing on full compliance with safety, nutritional, quality, and sanitation standards based on local, state, and federal requirements
- Planning, implementing, and directing various nutrition services programs
- Holding responsibility for all inventory and product distribution
Where Food Service Directors Work
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 308,700 food service managers in 2016. The largest employers of these professionals were:
- Restaurants and other eating places: 47%
- Self-employed workers: 34%
- Special food services: 4%
- Accommodation: 3%
How to Become a Food Service Director
Typically, a food service director will have a bachelor’s degree in a field such as dietetics, nutrition, culinary arts, hospitality, or business. Some employers look for those with a graduate degree. Work experience is also very important, with three years usually being the minimum. Many also have other certificates, including those offered by Servsafe.
Food Service Director Education Requirements
In order to take on a director position, it is generally expected for someone to hold a bachelor’s degree as a minimum, as well as having significant work experience. Some of this experience will be obtained during degree internships. Common subjects studied at bachelor level include hospitality management, restaurant management, and institutional food service.
These degree programs teach students about food preparation, sanitation, and nutrition, but they also look at the business element, focusing on business law, accounting, and management. These are required skills for a director in this position. Additional training in areas such as record keeping, personnel management, company policies, security, sanitation, and food preparation may also be required.
There are a number of certifications that those in this field can choose to obtain, including the Food Protection Manager Certification (FPMC), accredited by the American National Standards Institute. The Foodservice Management Professional (FMP) designation can be obtained through the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation as well.
Food Service Director Traits & Qualities
The most effective food service directors have the following traits to some degree or other:
- Excellent business acumen
- Strong communication skills, both oral and written
- Excellent customer service skills
- Detail oriented
- Strong leadership and motivational skills
- Great organizational skills
- Physical stamina
- Problem solving skills
Minimum Food Service Director Education
National Food Service Director Salary
- Most Reported
Food Service Director Salary by State
The following section lists Food Service Director salaries in each state around the country. The figures are based on the total number of job postings through Indeed.com. For example, Washington had the largest quoted salary of $80,072 while South Dakota had the smallest quoted salary of $30,355.
Top 20 National Food Service Director Employers
According to Indeed.com, the following states had employers looking to hire a Food Service Director. The quoted salary figure represents the average salary from all job postings by this employer.
|Employer Name||Location||Average Salary|
|CPG Food Service Director||Texas||$155,076|
|Clinical Management Consultants Food Service Director||California||$122,511|
|Harper Associates Food Service Director||Maryland||$100,000|
|Goodwin Recruiting Food Service Director||Texas||$100,000|
|Health Search Food Service Director||New York||$100,000|
|ALC Staffing Associates Food Service Director||DC||$92,941|
|Staffing Solutions Group, LLC Food Service Director||DC||$92,197|
|Arch Staffing Group Food Service Director||Texas||$90,000|
|Thomas Cuisine Management Food Service Director||Washington||$86,528|
|Metz Culinary Management Food Service Director||New York||$85,000|
|AppleOne Food Service Director||California||$84,761|
|Shore Lodge Food Service Director||Idaho||$80,000|
|Aramark Food Service Director||Maryland||$70,084|
Food Service Director Learn More
- Food Service Manager – Bureau of Labor Statistics
- Become a Food Service Manager – Careers – The College Board
- 11-9051.00 – Food Service Managers – O*NET OnLine
Related Food Service Director Careers
|Career Name||Average Salary|
|Human Resources Generalist||$54,497|