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Degree Overview: Associate of Culinary Arts in Restaurant Management

Majors Overview May 26, 2013

Aspiring restaurant managers should consider pursuing an Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.), Associate of Science (A.S.), or Associate of Arts (A.A.) in restaurant management or culinary arts management. These degree programs will prepare students to maintain and run restaurants, along with other eating establishments. While enrolled in one of these degree programs, students will have the opportunity to gain practical experience and theoretical knowledge required to successfully run a restaurant.

Associate Degree Program in Restaurant Management and Culinary Arts

Students gain foundational knowledge of management and culinary skills through the degree program that takes two years to complete. Hotel and restaurant management are sometimes combined into a single degree program. Purchasing, marketing and accounting are taught to students while they also learn about the basics of hospitality and food service work. In most programs, students will gain hands on experience through internships or practicums and may be able to work as management trainees in restaurants that are run by the students themselves.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria typically require students to hold a general educational development (GED) certificate or a high school diploma. Additionally, general educational courses are required to be completed by students before they can enroll in a degree program.

Program Coursework

Courses concentrate on both management and culinary skills, which help students responsibly and effectively operate restaurants. Aspiring managers will learn how to create an appealing menu by obtaining and choosing foods that can be safely and effectively prepared, as well as hiring competent employees. Popular program course topics may include the following:

•Business mathematics
•Principles of marketing
•Bulk food purchasing
•Menu writing
•Human resources management (Hospitality)
•Managing a dining room
•Safety and sanitation

Career Options

Once students have completed the associate degree program in restaurant management and culinary arts, they can pursue the following career options:

•Food service manager
•Restaurant manager
•Cook supervisor
•Assistant manager

Salary and Employment Outlook Information

Between 2008 and 2018, food service managerial positions were predicted to rise by 5%, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS – www.bls.gov). The BLS has noted that job opportunities over the same period of time should be good since most openings will come from the need to replace managers who have left the industry, despite the slow growth. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projected that the average annual salary for food service managers was $48,130 during 2010.

Information on Continuing Education

Students who want to pursue restaurant management and culinary arts education beyond the community college level should consider enrolling in a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree program in culinary or restaurant management. Typically, these degree programs build on the fundamentals taught in an associate degree program, generally providing a broader understanding of the culinary and business principles necessary for effective managerial work. Students who have earned their bachelor degree can continue their education at the graduate level by enrolling in a master or doctoral degree program in hospitality or restaurant management.

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