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Degree Overview: Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Degree in Food and Beverage Operations

Majors Overview October 7, 2014

The bachelor’s degree program in food and beverage operations can provide interested students with the necessary culinary arts and hospitality management skills for work in the industry of food and beverage. Career opportunities are available to graduates through schools, nursing homes, hospitals, and restaurants.

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Degree Programs in Food and Beverage Operations

The bachelor’s degree program in food and beverage management is offered at some schools, while a bachelor’s degree program in hospitality is offered at others, with food and beverage management as a concentration. Hands-on classes and classroom instruction are combined to impart students with a thorough grasp of food and beverage service operations.

A range of disciplines are explored by students, including culinary ideas and techniques, event management, cost control, and human resources management. Opportunities to explore marketing or entrepreneurship may also be offered.

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a GED certificate or a high school diploma. Additional prerequisites, such as graduation from an accredited cooking program, certification from the American Culinary Federation (ACF), or successful completion of ACF-approved apprenticeships, may also be required in some schools.


Readings and simulations are used in coursework to give students an introduction to concepts such as customer service, risk management, cost controls, and buying. Students might also be able to gain real-world experience via participation in an internship. Apart from general education classes, such as math, English, and science, core coursework may include topic areas such as:

•Beverage management
•Commercial food service
•Quality food purchasing
•Food service management
•Food service nutrition

Career Choices

Those that successfully complete the program gain the interpersonal skills and a good grasp of the food service system that are needed to be able to seek entry-level positions with non-commercial food services, universities, corporations, or restaurants. Some may wish to become entrepreneurs running their own business. Graduates can pursue job titles such as:

•General manager
•Food service manager
•Beverage manager

Job and Wage Outlook

A job growth rate of 2% has been predicted for food service managers over the 2012 – 2022 decade (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). The slower-than-average employment growth is attributable to an expected decline in the number of drinking and eating establishments. In May 2012, these workers brought home an average annual wage of $47,960.

Continuing Education Choices

Those that graduate from a food and beverage operations bachelor degree program might choose to pursue continuing education via a master’s degree program. Schools offer a master’s degree in food and business economics and a master’s degree in hospitality management, among potential options. Coursework in a master’s degree program delves into concepts in financial management, organizational behavior, and service operations.

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