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Culinary Manager

Manage food services for hospitals, schools, and other large institutions.

What does a Culinary Manager do?

Moms and dads do it every day. They plan meals. They buy food. They cook. And they do it all while being sensitive to taste, budget and nutrition.

A Culinary Manager, or Foodservice Manager, does what parents do – only on a much larger scale (and without the nightly arguments about who’s doing the dishes). That is: Culinary Managers feed people.

In that sense, being a Culinary Manager is a lot like being a Chef. While a Chef usually manages a restaurant kitchen, however, in this position you’re more likely to manage a larger foodservice operation, where food is just one component in a broader business – a cafeteria, for instance, a hotel, a dining hall, a camp or even a cruise ship.

Also, a Chef is more likely to focus on food preparation; you, on the other hand, are more likely to focus on food management, which involves both culinary and corporate tasks, including: developing recipes, planning menus, hiring and scheduling staff, monitoring food quality, managing food costs, minimizing food waste, sourcing vendors, managing customer expectations, and ordering supplies and equipment. Basically, your staff usually cooks and serves the food, but you typically plan and manage it.

Like a Manager in any business, you’re focused on lowering costs, improving quality and delivering superior customer service. For that reason, you must understand not only food and foodservice, but also business fundamentals, including sales, marketing, procurement, finance and human resources. As a result, your job is hectic, just like a parent’s; it’s also rewarding, however, especially when your customers – or kids – clean their plate!