Food Service Managers: Salary Overview
Food service managers supervise the daily activities that take place in restaurants and other places that prepare and serve food and beverages.
Their job responsibilities typically include hiring and training new staff, ordering equipment and supplies, inspecting supplies and work areas, overseeing food preparation to ensure that quality and health standards are followed, addressing complaints, and managing budgets.
A food service manager’s job description varies depending on the place of employment and the size of the establishment.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for food service managers was $55,320 as of May 2019, which means that half of all workers in this profession earned less than this amount while half earned more.
Salaries also vary depending on the industry of employment, the region, the size of the established but also based on the manager’s level of experience, education, and skills.
In 2019, the lowest 10 percent reportedly earned less than $33,210 while the top 10 percent made more than $93,040 per year.
Food Service Manager Salary by Industry
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, food service managers held around 352,600 jobs in the United States in 2019 and most of them worked for restaurants and other eating places or were self-employed.
The numbers published by BLS apply to salaried food service managers.
The annual income for those who manage their own restaurant is calculated as earnings minus expenses and it’s dependent upon the place where the establishment is located and how many customers it serves each day, among other factors.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, food service managers who work for restaurants and other eating places reportedly earned $56,140 per year while those who work for the field of special food services made around $64,650 per year, on average.
The average annual wage was $69,830 for food service managers in the field of travel accommodation and $70,990 for those who work for companies that provide management of companies and enterprises services.
Food service managers who worked for elementary and secondary schools reportedly earned $65,730 per year on average.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the highest average annual wage was reported by food service managers who worked for furniture stores- a field that remunerated them on average with $82,350 per year.
These places hire only a few managers who specialize in food service so job openings in this sector may not occur very often.
Another industry where you may earn a higher salary as a food service manager are general medical and surgical hospitals.
Those who managed hospital cafeterias reportedly earned $80,850 per year on average as of May 2019.
Bonuses, Commission, and Other Benefits
Many employers motivate their food service managers by offering commissions, bonuses, and other benefits in addition to a fixed salary.
According to a report published by payscale.com, food service managers can make anywhere between $310 and more than $6,000 per year in bonuses, and up to more than $6,000 per year in commissions plus profit sharing.
Additional cash earnings also vary depending on the place of employment.
Those who manage a high-end restaurant or an eating place located in a busy area typically earn more than those who work for a smaller establishment.
Medical and dental benefits are quite common in this profession.
According to Payscale, 63 percent of all food service managers reported that they receive medical insurance and 54 percent of them had dental insurance.
There are many other factors that can improve a manager’s salary.
Although a high school diploma and several years of experience in the industry may be enough for a promotion to a managerial position, earning a bachelor’s degree in the field can help increase your earnings.
Becoming a certified Food Protection Manager- credential offered by the American National Standards Institute- or earning a Foodservice Management Professional designation by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation can also be a plus.
* Based on information from the May 2021 salary report from the BLS. The figures represent accumulated data for all states of employment for Food Service Managers. BLS data represents averages and medians for workers at all levels of education and experience. This data doesn't represent starting salaries.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.