Restaurant Management Degree

Created by Henry Steele

By Henry Steele - November 16, 2017
Reading Time: 5 minutes
Reading Time: 5 minutes

An important position in any restaurant is restaurant manager. These key professionals in a restaurant have many important duties to ensure that the business is run in a profitable manner and stays with the competition in the area. Restaurant managers are responsible for the hiring, firing and retention of staff, and they also must keep on top of inventory to keep the restaurant running every day.

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For example, restaurant managers must regularly order food, drinks, cleaning supplies, linens, dishware and more. They also need to keep the bar stocked with beer, liquor wine, glassware, etc. Further, restaurant managers need to make the schedule every week and be sure that there are enough staff to keep the restaurant running smoothly. Restaurant managers also need to ensure that everything is being running smoothly on the financial side of the business involving bookkeeping and accounting.

Above all, the restaurant manager must achieve the operational objectives of the restaurant and ensure that the business is maintaining profitability for the owners.

What Is Restaurant Management?

Restaurant management involves the proper management of all areas of an eating establishment to ensure profitability.

Effective restaurant management involves balancing many different areas effectively: PR, inventory, staff management, customer service, taxes and bookkeeping and more. Below are the things that are the most important aspects of restaurant management:

  • Customer service is critical. The customer’s complaint might be unfair or unreasonable, but how you handle it will control whether the customer comes back or not.
  • Clear restaurant goals and expectations. All staff in the restaurant have to be well suited for their jobs and understand that good service and profits are most important.
  • Cash flow has to be watched closely. Good restaurant managers watch to ensure that more cash comes into the business than goes out every day.
  • Expand sales through catering. Restaurant managers can increase profits by doing catering for events.
  • Daily business reviews can track sales. This is a daily report that allows the restaurant manager to have a history of the business and to analyze how sales are going.
  • Restaurant menu should be regularly updated. People’s tastes change, and so do the prices. It is important to review the menu every few months and make updates to keep it profitable.
  • Small things save money. Using high efficiency light bulbs can really save on the electric bill.


The Bureau of Labor Statistics or BLS reports that there will be a 9% increase in demand for food service managers by 2026, which is faster than average. Population and income growth are expected in many parts of the country, which will possibly lead to faster growth in demand for restaurants and restaurant managers. As the economy continues to get stronger, it is expected that people will be going to more restaurants again.

It is believed that restaurant managers with an education and experience in the field will have the best job possibilities in this growing market. To get a job in an upscale restaurant, it is helpful to have a bachelor’s or master’s in restaurant management or a related field, and several years of experience.


BLS reports that the median salary for restaurant managers is $50,800, and the top 10% earn more than $87,000 per year. The BLS also reports that the following industries have these median salaries:

  • Accommodation: $60,100
  • Special food services: $57,700
  • Restaurants and related establishments: $48,200

The cities that tend to have the best higher end opportunities for restaurant managers are these:

  • San Francisco: People with higher incomes tend to eat out more. San Francisco has some of the highest incomes and real estate prices in the country. This city has homes that cost typically $460 per square foot, and this means that people here have a lot of money to go out to eat, and there is a very strong food culture here.
  • New York: Real estate is also expensive in this city and there are a whopping 25.3 restaurants per 10,000 homes. This makes it the fourth in the country for restaurants per capita.
  • Seattle: Food lovers definitely flock to this city and there are 25 restaurants per 10,000 homes. This is the fifth most in the US.
  • San Jose: This area near San Francisco is also wealthy and has a very high number of restaurant for the population.
  • Boston: Seafood is very popular in Massachusetts, and there are 24 restaurants per 10,000 residents. This is a very good destination for restaurant managers with a strong interest in fish and seafood.


All major US cities have a variety of different quality restaurants that are worth considering for employment. But if you are thinking about being a restaurant manager for a chain, below are some of the best, in terms of wages, benefits, career advancement and industry reputation for food quality:

  • Texas Roadhouse
  • Five Guys Burger and Fries
  • In-N-Out Burger
  • TGI Friday
  • Chipotle


A bachelor’s degree in restaurant management can offer the aspiring restaurant professional with the entry level and foundational training that is needed to get an entry level or mid level role in fine dining, catering or banquet service. Students in this program will learn how to hire and manage servers, develop skills to solve problems, manage operations and finances and solve customer issues. Common courses include:

  • Hospitality law
  • Decision making
  • Food and beverage management
  • Human resource management
  • Hospitality management


A master’s degree in restaurant management gives you a strong background in the methods and theories in restaurant management and hospitality needed to land high level positions. Students will build upon experience in the real world of restaurant management that include accounting, finance, marketing and operations management. Typical coursework includes hospitality research methods, contract management, pricing management, event administration and accounting and bookkeeping.

Admission Requirements

Requirements to enter a master’s program in restaurant or hospitality management include:

  • GRE scores
  • 0 GPA
  • Bachelor’s degree in a related field
  • Transcripts
  • Writing samples
  • 3 recommendations


Some courses that you may take in a master’s in restaurant and hospitality management program include:

  • Corporate Finance
  • Managerial Finance
  • Operations Management
  • Marketing Management for Services
  • Organizational Behavior
  • Management Communication
  • Properties Development and Planning
  • Marketing Management for Services


Students who want a career in restaurant management may consider these scholarships to help them to pay for their education:

  • California Hotel and Motel Education Scholarship: Various amounts
  • Grocery Manufacturers Food Industry Scholarship: Various amounts
  • Joe Filoni Scholarship: $1000
  • Robert E Rich Aspiring Entrepreneurs Scholarship: $2500
  • Rachael Ray’s Yum-O! Organization Scholarship: $1000
  • Arthur J. Packard Memorial Scholarship: Various amounts
  • Anthony Narigi Hospitality Scholarship: $5000
  • ASTA Princess Cruises Scholarship: Various amounts


Restaurant managers who want to enhance their career prospects may earn the Foodservice Management Professional (FMP) certification. The FMP certification helps to recognize high quality managers and supervisors that have achieved the highest level of knowledge, professionalism and experience in the field of foodservice management.


These associations may be worth joining to increase your job possibilities in restaurant management:

  • National Restaurant Association
  • Green Restaurant Association
  • American Restaurant Association
  • Council of State Restaurant Associations

The restaurant management field is growing in many parts of the country as the economy is continuing to strengthen. Earn a degree in restaurant or hospitality management today to take advantage of the many strong management possibilities available at restaurants across the country.


  • Top 5 Cities for Restaurant Management Jobs. (n.d.). Retrieved from
  • Food Service Managers. (2015, Dec. 18). Retrieved from
  • What Does a Restaurant Manager Do? (n.d.). Retrieved from

Henry Steele
Managing Editor
Henry is Managing Editor of 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.

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