Reading Time: 10 minutes
Posted On: January 8, 2018 by Henry R. Steele

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.

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 We 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

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.

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.

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 Education

Degree

National Salary

The national average salary estimate for Food Service Director was $55,529. This number is estimated from over 502,024 employees, users past and present job advertisements from Indeed.com. This equates to an hourly salary of $28.92 and monthly of $4,627.

  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$14,000

$128,000

Salary Distribution

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.

Alabama Kentucky Ohio
Arkansas Louisiana Oklahoma
Arizona Massachusetts Oregon
California Maryland Pennsylvania
Connecticut Michigan South Carolina
DC Minnesota South Dakota
Delaware Missouri Tennessee
Florida Mississippi Texas
Georgia North Carolina Utah
Iowa North Dakota Virginia
Idaho Nebraska Vermont
Illinois New Jersey Washington
Indiana New Mexico Wisconsin
Kansas New York West Virginia
Alabama$49,852 Rank: 29th

The average salary ranks 29th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Executive Leadership Solutions, Metz Culinary Management, Express Employment Professionals, and Restaurant Management Search.

  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$14,000

$115,000

Salary Distribution
Arkansas$51,106 Rank: 25th

The average salary ranks 25th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Goodwin Recruiting and Opaa Food Management, Inc..

  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$14,000

$124,000

Salary Distribution
Arizona$59,259 Rank: 9th

The average salary ranks 9th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Aramark.

  • .
  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$19,000

$120,000

Salary Distribution
California$70,980 Rank: 4th

The average salary ranks 4th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Goodwin Recruiting, AppleOne, Hilton, and Jewish Family Service of San diego.

  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$16,000

$165,000

Salary Distribution
Connecticut$57,176 Rank: 12th

The average salary ranks 12th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Aramark.

  • .
  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$14,000

$128,000

Salary Distribution
DC$75,919 Rank: 2nd

The average salary ranks 2nd among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like ALC Staffing Associates, Staffing Solutions Group, LLC, and Metz Culinary Management.

  • .
  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$25,000

$152,000

Salary Distribution
Delaware$59,461 Rank: 8th

The average salary ranks 8th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Metz Culinary Management.

  • .
  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$26,000

$106,000

Salary Distribution
Florida$53,475 Rank: 20th

The average salary ranks 20th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Alexander Hotel, Miami Beach, FL, Aramark, Tunie's Natural Grocery and Vitamin Market, and Marriott Vacations Worldwide.

  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$14,000

$130,000

Salary Distribution
Georgia$58,861 Rank: 10th

The average salary ranks 10th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Executive Leadership Solutions, University of Georgia, TalentServed Hospitality Recruiters, and ABL Management.

  • .
  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$17,000

$124,000

Salary Distribution
Iowa$47,471 Rank: 37th

The average salary ranks 37th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Horizon Hospitality.

  • .
  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$15,000

$97,000

Salary Distribution
Idaho$58,331 Rank: 11th

The average salary ranks 11th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Shore Lodge.

  • .
  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$18,000

$121,000

Salary Distribution
Illinois$55,378 Rank: 16th

The average salary ranks 16th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Goodwin Recruiting, TAHER, INC, Trinity Services Group, Inc., and Aramark.

  • .
  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$14,000

$122,000

Salary Distribution
Indiana$51,175 Rank: 24th

The average salary ranks 24th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Goodwin Recruiting, Aramark, LGC Hospitality, and The Course at Aberdeen.

  • .
  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$19,000

$97,000

Salary Distribution
Kansas$43,074 Rank: 40th

The average salary ranks 40th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Hotel and Restaurant, Consolidated Management Company, Opaa Food Management, Inc., and CBM Managed Services.

  • .
  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$15,000

$86,000

Salary Distribution
Kentucky$50,283 Rank: 27th

The average salary ranks 27th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Executive Leadership Solutions and Aramark.

  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$14,000

$140,000

Salary Distribution
Louisiana$48,878 Rank: 32nd

The average salary ranks 32nd among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Restaurant Management Search.

  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$14,000

$139,000

Salary Distribution
Massachusetts$54,094 Rank: 18th

The average salary ranks 18th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Aramark.

  • .
  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$19,000

$106,000

Salary Distribution
Maryland$59,978 Rank: 7th

The average salary ranks 7th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Metz Culinary Management, Aramark, and Harper Associates.

  • .
  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$18,000

$126,000

Salary Distribution
Michigan$50,474 Rank: 26th

The average salary ranks 26th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Harper Associates, Trinity Services Group, Inc., and Aramark.

  • .
  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$18,000

$99,000

Salary Distribution
Minnesota$53,907 Rank: 19th

The average salary ranks 19th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Horizon Hospitality, Aramark, and CBM Managed Services.

  • .
  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$19,000

$106,000

Salary Distribution
Missouri$44,761 Rank: 39th

The average salary ranks 39th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Friendship Village Sunset Hills, Aramark, Restaurant Management Search, and Opaa Food Management, Inc..

  • .
  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$14,000

$98,000

Salary Distribution
Mississippi$47,869 Rank: 35th

The average salary ranks 35th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Goodwin Recruiting and Restaurant Management Search.

  • .
  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$16,000

$97,000

Salary Distribution
North Carolina$47,902 Rank: 34th

The average salary ranks 34th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Aramark, ABL MANAGEMENT, INC, and Restaurant Management Search.

  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$14,000

$119,000

Salary Distribution
North Dakota$60,442 Rank: 6th

The average salary ranks 6th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Holiday Inn Riverside Minot.

  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$30,000

$92,000

Salary Distribution
Nebraska$47,808 Rank: 36th

The average salary ranks 36th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like State of Nebraska.

  • .
  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$17,000

$92,000

Salary Distribution
New Jersey$52,599 Rank: 21st

The average salary ranks 21st among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Pinnacle Dietary and Protechockey Ponds LLC.

  • .
  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$19,000

$102,000

Salary Distribution
New Mexico$50,265 Rank: 28th

The average salary ranks 28th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Aramark.

  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$14,000

$151,000

Salary Distribution
New York$64,355 Rank: 5th

The average salary ranks 5th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Metz Culinary Management, EJ Total Staffing, Nutrition Management Services Company, and Alvin Kahn and Associates.

  • .
  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$17,000

$141,000

Salary Distribution
Ohio$54,575 Rank: 17th

The average salary ranks 17th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Aramark, Restaurant Management Search, The Nutrition Group, and Warren County institution.

  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$14,000

$140,000

Salary Distribution
Oklahoma$40,564 Rank: 41st

The average salary ranks 41st among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Trinity Services Group, Inc., Karsten Creek Golf Club, and Opaa Food Management, Inc..

  • .
  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$14,000

$82,000

Salary Distribution
Oregon$49,781 Rank: 30th

The average salary ranks 30th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Petra Memory Care.

  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$14,000

$114,000

Salary Distribution
Pennsylvania$45,825 Rank: 38th

The average salary ranks 38th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Clinical Jobs, Metz Culinary Management, Central Care Solutions, and DeVore Recruiting.

  • .
  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$14,000

$96,000

Salary Distribution
South Carolina$56,923 Rank: 13th

The average salary ranks 13th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Aramark, Restaurant Management Search, and Trinity Services Group, Inc..

  • .
  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$17,000

$120,000

Salary Distribution
South Dakota$30,355 Rank: 42nd

The average salary ranks 42nd among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like CBM Managed Services and CBM Managed Services McCrossan Boys Ranch.

  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$8.00

$25.60

Salary Distribution
Tennessee$52,269 Rank: 22nd

The average salary ranks 22nd among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Madison Hotel, Executive Leadership Solutions, Metz Culinary Management, and Aramark.

  • .
  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$20,000

$99,000

Salary Distribution
Texas$56,112 Rank: 15th

The average salary ranks 15th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Arch Staffing Group, Aramark, Compass Group, and Sage Dining Services.

  • .
  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$14,000

$127,000

Salary Distribution
Utah$51,178 Rank: 23rd

The average salary ranks 23rd among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Friendship Manor.

  • .
  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$16,000

$106,000

Salary Distribution
Virginia$56,576 Rank: 14th

The average salary ranks 14th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Goodwin Recruiting, Aramark, and CBM Managed Services.

  • .
  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$14,000

$128,000

Salary Distribution
Vermont$49,399 Rank: 31st

The average salary ranks 31st among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Metz Culinary Management.

  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$14,000

$119,000

Salary Distribution
Washington$80,072 Rank: 1st

The average salary ranks 1st among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Thomas Cuisine Management and Goodwin Recruiting.

  • .
  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$27,000

$160,000

Salary Distribution
Wisconsin$48,464 Rank: 33rd

The average salary ranks 33rd among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Northern Star Council, BSA, Express Employment Professionals of Green Bay, and Aramark.

  • .
  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$18,000

$92,000

Salary Distribution
West Virginia$72,686 Rank: 3rd

The average salary ranks 3rd among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Metz Culinary Management, Goodwin Recruiting, and Aramark.

  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$36,000

$114,000

Salary Distribution

Top 20 National 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

Learn More

Related Careers

Career Name Average Salary
Henry R. Steele
Henry R. Steele
Managing Editor
Henry is Managing Editor of BusinessStudent.com. He is a seasoned business professional who regularly consults with local business's throughout Southern California. Henry pursued his undergrad in Business and Economics at the University of San Diego and gained valuable life changing experience through a unique internship upon graduation.Follow on Twitter.com

As Seen On

BusinessStudent.com provides students of business with the opportunities to get ahead in their career.

“It doesn't matter how many times you have failed, you only have to be right once.” - Mark Cuban