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What Does a Food Service Director Do?

A food service director makes sure kitchen equipment meets safety standards.
Luxury hotels often hire food service directors.
A food service director might oversee a cafeteria at a college campus.
Schools, hospitals and offices need food service directors.
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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 11 November 2014
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Food service directors are management professionals who are responsible for the operation of food preparation facilities, including the quality of the food that is offered at the facility. Sometimes referred to as a food manager, the director position is one of the most demanding of all food service jobs, often requiring long hours and the ability to handle a variety of tasks both in and outside the kitchen. Training in this role can provide the individual with a wide variety of options when it comes to employment, however, such as resorts, luxury hotels, school cafeterias, and even the possibility of opening a private catering service.

While this professional is involved in many different aspects of food preparation and presentation, the core of the process has to do with maintaining adequate supplies for the preparation of meals. The food management process also involves making sure that the equipment used to prepare the food meets local safety standards, and that the kitchen area complies with local health codes. In many instances, the food service director is either charged with the task of hiring and firing kitchen and dining room help, or at least shares the responsibilities with other executives in the business.

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It is not unusual for a food service director to also function much like any manager in any company. This means preparing work schedules for each employee, administering corrective action when necessary and processing payroll information on behalf of everyone on the kitchen and dining room staff. Directors of this type may also involve speaking with potential vendors, placing orders for new equipment or additional food, and overseeing the work of the maintenance staff assigned to the kitchen and dining area.

The food service director is also the troubleshooter, intervening when unusual circumstances create a situation that the staff is unable to deal with effectively. In general, he or she is likely to work in excess of 12 hours each day, and sometimes longer.

When hiring a director of food service, many employers look at both the practical experience and the educational background of each candidate. Larger businesses, such as hotel chains, resorts, and university cafeterias, tend to go with candidates who have some type of formal education in the hospitality industry, such as a two- or four-year degree in food service management. Even smaller businesses, such as local restaurants and high school cafeterias, often prefer candidates with at least some formal training. This is because most institutions that offer hospitality education programs require that students serve an internship before they are eligible for graduation.

While a person qualified for work as a food service director can choose to work for someone else, there are also other food service careers that he or she can consider. Along with opening his or her own food service consulting business, a qualified director may choose to function as a temporary director, accepted short term assignments from a range of clients. A director may also choose to operate a catering business, focusing on providing services to a wide range of clients or to a niche market in the local community.

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dkarnowski
Post 4

because of the highly specialized nature that a food service director must have in his training and education, the job openings and availability for this specific market can be limited. At the same time, there will always be a need for properly handled food that is safe to deliver to the mouths of hard workers.

In that sense, food service directors would be hard-pressed to go without work because of the essential functions that they provide for our society.

youbiKan
Post 3

Food service director salaries can vary greatly depending on the area in which the kitchen is as well as the size of the kitchen that the food service director works for.

Because of this great spread and abilities as well as opportunities, salaries can range from anywhere in the 20,000s all the way to over 100,000 for large-scale operations require the oversight of kitchens cooking for thousands of people.

High-end jobs often require four-year bachelor's degrees often in the subject area of nutrition. The ability for for these food service directors to work with their nutritionist on planning proper meals is key in their duties to providing healthy food.

GraniteChief
Post 2

Food service directors often work directly with food distributors that service the establishments in which they are running. Handling supplies and inventory re critical abilities that must be dealt with properly for proper food distribution.

Often a food service director can choose a food distributor based on a variety of factors but most importantly the ability for the food distributor to work well with the food service director.

Director of food service jobs take specialized training that often can be completed at the community college level. Unfortunately, education is not the only answer to qualifications for getting a job in the food service sector. Often, states will require a specialized license or certificate program that ensures the safe handling of foods inside of a restaurant or service kitchen.

ronburg44
Post 1

What might seem basic the truth is, a food service to director is a very important person in the food service industry. The skills they have and bring to the table when working for a restaurant cafeteria are vital to the health of the customers of that establishment.

Ultimately it is the responsibility of the food service director to ensure that the food you are consuming is capable of proper nutrition and meets the minimum health safety standards for any given area.

Food service directors are often responsible for many things inside of a restaurant kitchen. The purchase of restaurant supplies, food inventory, and the employment management of servers and cooks at the establishment is also a duty that a food service director must handle.

The most important of these duties of course is keeping the sanitary functions of the kitchen in line with standards so that people who consume the food created in that kitchen will not become ill as a result.

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