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Degree Overview: Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) Degree in Food and Beverage Management

Majors Overview February 3, 2014

Students will be prepared to facilitate the operation of establishments that serve drink and food to the public. Students will also be taught the basics of safety regulations, standard business practices and food preparation.

A.A.S. Programs in Food and Beverage Management

Vocational schools, culinary art schools and community colleges are among the most common postsecondary institutions that offer an Associate of Applied Science in Food and Beverage Management degree program. Coursework covers every aspect of commercial food and beverage operations; in the process, they learn how to monitor labor costs and foster employee development apart from gaining knowledge on inventory controls and purchasing functions.

Courses may cover food and beverages as offered in catering, institutional, commercial food service, or hotel and restaurant settings. The principles of accounting, menu planning, and preparation and handling as well as safe food storage are imparted to students enrolled in the program. Many programs augment classroom lectures with internship and fieldwork programs to allow students to gain real-world experience.

Educational Requirements

Criteria in most programs require applicants to hold a GED certificate or high school diploma. Some schools offer open-access programs that require prospective students to submit high school transcripts. Enrolled students may also have to pass placement tests in English and math.


Coursework typically combines classroom lectures with cooperative education opportunities and laboratory sessions that involve the exploration and implementation of core concepts in business and hospitality. Coursework typically includes topic areas such as:

•Technology in the restaurant industry
•Human resources in hospitality settings
•Purchasing for food and beverage operations
•Food safety practices
•Accounting for restaurants
•Food and beverage facilities management

Job and Wage Outlook

A job growth rate of 2% has been projected for food service managers during the period from 2012 to 2022 (source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)). While the projection is below the average growth projections for many industries, employee turnover could boost the number of job vacancies. In May 2010, food service managers took home an average annual wage of $47,960.

Certification and Continuing Education Choices

Corporate training is provided to newly hired managers by several hotel chains and restaurants that may also foot the cost of outside courses devised to help managers perform their job duties. These professionals can also avail voluntary certification options.

The ManageFirst Program is operated by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEP) for those who seek continued education. Candidates can pass exams in topic areas such as controlling expenses, customer service, alcohol service and responsibilities, human resources management, and sanitation. The voluntary ManageFirst Professional (MFP) credential may be earned through the completion of a mandatory minimum number of exams in required and elective subjects.

Managers with a minimum recommended amount of experience and training and who obtain a passing score on the certification exam can aim for the NRAEP’s voluntary Foodservice Management Professional (FMP) certification. Qualification criteria for the exam require candidates to have obtained the ServSafe Food Protection Manager Certification that calls for food safety training and the passage of an examination, with a focus on food storage, preparation and receiving, in addition to workplace sanitation and personal hygiene, all aimed at minimizing the risk of pest management and cross-contamination in food service environments.

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