Many food preparation jobs are entry-level jobs in the culinary industry, however some jobs are at a higher level. Typically, people don’t need a degree to enter the food preparation industry, however, professionals seeking a food preparation career may benefit from completing a culinary program.
Food preparation employees take care of routine tasks such as slicing vegetables, slicing meats and measuring ingredients. Food preparation workers also make sure they work in a clean environment.
Many employers seek food preparation workers with at least a high school diploma. Most food preparation workers receive on-the-job training.
This section provides pertinent, reliable information about food preparation/hospitality and tourism careers. We provide detailed information such as employment outlook, salary, training, education and much more.
Education and Certifications Bartenders Need
Typically, to enter a bartender career, workers need to be 18 and older and complete short-term on-the-job training. There are no educational requirements required for a bartender career. However, people who desire to work at higher end restaurants or establishments need more experience and some vocational training.
Training programs include teaching bartenders about customer service, cocktail recipes, state and local laws, how to deal with difficult or unruly patrons, teamwork and proper food procedures.
What They Do
Working as a bartender is not as easy as it sounds. To be a successful mixologist, another name for bartenders, workers need to not only learn the art of creating the perfect drink, but also how to deal with difficult customers (especially ones that reach their drinking limit), fix broken equipment that can cost the bar time and money, memorize food menus as well as hundreds of drinks and mix them on command.
A bartending career includes informing patrons of drink specials, taking drink orders, serving wine, draft or bottled beer as well as other alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks, and mixing cocktails and other drinks. A bartender career also includes checking ID, cleaning glasses and tables, stocking the bar area, operating the registers and collecting payments as well as ordering liquor, bar and related supplies.
Career Advancement Opportunities
Though possible, career advancement for bartenders is relatively limited. In order to find a better job, bartenders need to locate a busier or more expensive restaurant where the pay and tips are higher. After becoming more experienced, mixologists can advance into managerial positions such as restaurant general manager, maître d’ or dining room supervisor.
Essential Career Information
Chefs and Head Cooks
Education and Certifications Chefs and Head Cooks Need
Typically people need a high school diploma, formal training from a technical, culinary arts school or community college and experience to enter a head cook career. Some chefs learn skills through apprenticeships or in the armed forces.
Culinary programs and vocational schools offer classes under experienced chefs in areas including food sanitation procedures, kitchen work, menu planning and purchasing/inventory methods. Many programs require head cooks to gain real world kitchen experience through apprenticeships. Associations such as culinary institutes, and trade unions and the U.S. Department of Labor sponsor apprenticeships; they typically last for about two years.
Certification in the culinary arts can show competence in the field and aid in advancement, however certification is not required.
What They Do
Chef careers attract people with a love of cooking and all-things food. Chefs and head cooks manage daily food preparations, food-related issues and staff members at restaurants or other eating establishments. Managerial, business and marketing skills are also a large part of becoming a talented and efficient chef.
A chef career and head cook career involve monitoring food freshness and ingredients, managing, training and hiring other cooks and workers, planning menus and creating recipes, deciding on food presentation and ordering kitchen tools, equipment and supplies.
Chef careers and head cook careers include overseeing all equipment and supplies as well as work area sanitation and safety.
Essential Career Information
Food Service Managers
Education and Certifications Food Service Managers Need
Individuals typically do not need a college degree to begin a food service management career. However, increasingly employers seek candidates with some postsecondary education and training. Many food service management companies and national restaurant chains recruit at college hospitality and food management programs. Technical schools and community colleges provide training for individuals interested in a food service manager career.
Most certification and degree programs offer work-study training as well as classes in areas such as nutrition and food preparation, business management and computer science. In addition, restaurant chains and food management companies, such as healthcare food service management, offer intensive training programs. These programs include food preparation, nutrition, employee management and education on company procedures.
Food services managers don’t need certification; however the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation offers the Foodservice Management Professional (FMP) certificate to recognize outstanding professional service of food service managers.
What They Do
If you enjoy restaurant management, customer interaction, and the food services industry, then food service management may be in your future. A food services manager wears many hats; they ensure customers are satisfied, oversee daily restaurant operations and occasionally serve food and drinks to patrons.
A food service manager career involves reviewing daily food and beverage inventory, restaurant equipment and supplies and overseeing culinary preparation and meal quantity. A food service manager career also includes complying with all health codes as well as employee and food safety.
Food services managers hire and fire employees and make sure employees receive training. A food services manager career also involves finding resolutions for any customer complaints, designing and planning employee schedules and duties and reviewing all payroll, budget and financial transactions. Professionals in food service management also design and implement employee performance and patron service standards.