Hotel Hospitality
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Career Paths

Food PrepGraduates of the Hotel/Restaurant/Hospitality Management Programs are eligible for middle management positions in hotels, restaurants, food service companies and related areas of the hospitality industry, but need to remember that it is important to gain experience in diverse areas: the more experience that is shown on your resume as you move toward your ultimate goal, the better.And the proof of your diversity will become apparent on the job.For instance, many successful food service managers or owners began their careers as culinarians.

Currently, graduates report an entry-level salary in the middle to upper thirties. But to keep it in perspective, salaries are generally driven by supply and demand of quality graduates (the key operative is QUALITY), and the region in which you choose to work.It is also reasonable to expect that graduates who have had previous experiences in diverse operational settings will be offered starting salaries in the upper thirties to lower forties.But the more experience in diverse areas you have, the higher your worth to the company.

The various institutions of higher learning in the United States offer lectures, and/or simulated operations, hands-on laboratories, industry training (externships), and emphasize operations management, asset management, and/or service management. Most four-year institutions though, offer management-oriented lectures and an industry training module within their bachelor's degree program.

Consider the kitchen supervisor.He/she is often a front-line cook who has been promoted from the ranks, and may not have had any formal training in the techniques of supervision, training or management.In today's marketplace, the traditional duties of the chef have been expanded from the "hands-on skills- only" position, to include outstanding supervisory ability, ability to train support staff effectively, and management competencies in leadership and communication.Emphasis is also placed on technical skills in safety and sanitation, nutrition, and culinary preparation and presentation.Teamwork is stressed, and quality at all levels of culinary practice is demanded.

Consider too, that in order to be an effective manager in the front of the house, one needs a strong background in the heart of the house.To understand customers' needs and plan cost-effective menus, a knowledge of the production capabilities of the kitchen staff is essential.Also consider that work-experience in an institutional setting, for instance, will offer practical experience in quantity production and budgetary cost containment, perfect for banquets and catering later in his/her career.

In addition, the hospitality student should gain a good knowledge of computers and using computer programs.This doesn't mean that he/she should become a "computer nerd", but by graduation time, he/she should have a working knowledge of the Internet, word processing, spreadsheets, presentation software packages, recipe and inventory software, and point-of-service systems.

Many leading computer service firms which cater to the hospitality industry employ recent graduates of hospitality and culinary arts programs because of their knowledge of scheduling and operational details of food service.