Job Description of a Cafeteria Manager

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a cafeteria manager. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about training, job duties and certification options to find out if this is the career for you.

View 3 Popular Schools »

Essential Information

Cafeteria managers ensure compliance with health and safety standards and plan and provide nutritious meals. They might work in cafeterias for schools, hospitals or corporate offices or as part of chain restaurants. A high school diploma or GED is the minimum education needed for this job, though candidates wanting to earn a postsecondary certificate or degree can find relevant programs in food service management; some jobs in corporate cafeterias may require postsecondary education. On-the-job training is common for new hires. Experienced cafeteria managers can pursue voluntary certification from the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation.

Required Education High school diploma or equivalent at minimum; undergraduate degree and certificate programs are available
Other Requirements On-the-job training
Certification Voluntary
Projected Job Growth (2012-2022)*2% for all food service managers
Median Salary (2013)*$48,080 for all food service managers

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Job Description and Duties

A cafeteria manager oversees employees and food production. General managerial responsibilities include hiring and mentoring employees and scheduling work hours. Cafeteria managers take inventory, order food and supplies and check the quality and quantity of orders received. They ensure that cafeteria operations follow all sanitation and health regulations and that meals meet nutritional standards.

Managers often handle customer complaints and resolve issues related to food quality. They monitor the food's taste and appearance and may consult with the chef to plan healthy and cost-effective menus. Cafeteria managers keep detailed administrative records regarding meal plans, costs and hours worked. They often handle receipts and cash, and they manage employee information such as tax records.

Cafeteria managers might assist with the promotion of various cafeteria or company initiatives, such as creating an environmentally friendly food service or advertising and arranging for customer donations to a local charity. In a larger cafeteria, they often communicate with the supplier that provides the cafeteria with food.

Job Requirements

Successful cafeteria managers should be calm, flexible and mentally alert. They should be able to handle the stress of juggling multiple activities at once and need to maintain a professional appearance. Cafeteria managers should be able to start projects, lead others and communicate effectively. Many positions require managers to be on their feet and perform heavy lifting. The ability to speak another language might be helpful.

Educational Background

Positions in school cafeterias generally require a high school diploma or GED. Restaurant chains usually offer training programs for employees to move into managerial positions. For employees entering as managers of a corporate cafeteria, a postsecondary degree is increasingly necessary. Cafeteria managers might be recruited from educational programs in hospitality or food service. Bachelor's and associate's degrees are available, as well as certificates. Course topics might include nutrition, sanitation and business.

Experienced cafeteria managers are eligible for the Foodservice Management Professional (FMP) certification, which is a professional credential awarded by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation. The requirements for becoming an FMP include accumulating 2-3 years of managerial experience in the food service industry and holding a lower-level food safety certification, such as the Food Protection Manager Certification from ServSafe.

Salary Info and Employment Outlook

The median annual salary of food service managers, including cafeteria managers, was $48,080 as of May 2013, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Jobs for food service managers were predicted to increase just 2% during the 2012-2022 decade, due to fewer new establishments opening, per BLS reports.

Show me popular schools

Related to Job Description of a Cafeteria Manager

  • Related
  • Recently Updated
  • Popular
Become an Industrial Cafeteria Manager: Step-by-Step Career Guide

An industrial cafeteria manager is the person in charge of setting up and planning meals in a business or organization....

Movie Theater Manager: Career and Salary Information

Movie theater managers require a little amount of formal education. Learn about the experience, job duties and requirements to...

Making Libraries Better: Education Portal Speaks with Daisy Porter, Manager of Innovation

Still deciding on a career path? How does 'Manager of Innovation' sound? Education-Portal.com recently caught up with Daisy...

Salary and Career Info for a Commercial Excavation Manager

Commercial excavation managers require little formal education. Learn about the education, job duties, and certification...

Construction Manager Vs. Architects: What's the Difference?

Popular Schools

Other Schools:

  • School locations:
    • California (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Southwestern College include:
      • Non-Degree: Certificate, Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Associate
    • Culinary Arts and Personal Services
      • Culinary Arts and Culinary Services
        • Catering and Restaurant Management
  • School locations:
    • Montana (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at The University of Montana include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Culinary Arts and Personal Services
      • Culinary Arts and Culinary Services
        • Catering and Restaurant Management
        • Chef Training
  • School locations:
    • Michigan (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Ferris State University include:
      • Graduate: First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Certificate, Coursework
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Culinary Arts and Personal Services
      • Culinary Arts and Culinary Services
        • Catering and Restaurant Management
  • School locations:
    • Kentucky (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Sullivan University include:
      • Graduate: Master
      • Non-Degree: Certificate, Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Culinary Arts and Personal Services
      • Culinary Arts and Culinary Services
        • Baking and Pastry Arts
        • Catering and Restaurant Management
        • Chef Training
  • School locations:
    • Wisconsin (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Milwaukee Area Technical College include:
      • Non-Degree: Certificate, Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Associate
    • Culinary Arts and Personal Services
      • Cosmetology and Related Services
      • Culinary Arts and Culinary Services
        • Baking and Pastry Arts
        • Catering and Restaurant Management
        • Chef Training
      • Funeral Related Services
  • School locations:
    • Colorado (1 campus)
    • Florida (1 campus)
    • North Carolina (1)
    • Rhode Island (1)
    Areas of study you may find at Johnson & Wales University include:
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Culinary Arts and Personal Services
      • Culinary Arts and Culinary Services
        • Baking and Pastry Arts
        • Catering and Restaurant Management
        • Chef Training
  • School locations:
    • Michigan (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Baker College include:
      • Non-Degree: Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Culinary Arts and Personal Services
      • Culinary Arts and Culinary Services
        • Baking and Pastry Arts
        • Catering and Restaurant Management
        • Chef Training

Popular Schools

Avg. Wages For Related Jobs

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics