Food Service Management

One of the Largest and Fastest-Growing Industries in the Nation and World

The Food Service Management Program at Tennessee State University prepares students for careers substantially  above an entry-level management position in food service. This level of learning will provide leadership in the delivery of food service management of individuals in Tennessee and globally

The food service industry is one of the largest and fastest-growing in the nation and developed world today. Employment in the commercial and non-commercial food industries approximates 12 million people with sales in the billions. The U.S. Department of Labor predicts continued high employment of food service managers, with the need growing at a faster rate in contracted food service than in privately owned facilities. Many opportunities are provided both on– and off-campus for students to gain experience in their profession before graduation. These experiences enable students to learn about cultures and take on leadership roles before they enter the workforce. Thus, these experiences enhance learning and may provide an advantage in the job market.

Food Service Management as a Profession

Food Service Managers are dynamic, confident individuals with outstanding work habits, initiative, and people skills. In addition, they must be goal-oriented, innovative thinkers who are able to motivate others to assist them in achieving the companies goals. Good communication skills and the ability to speak well, often in several languages, are a plus.

Food Service management professionals are responsible for the overall functions of dining, meals, health, and sanitation of for-profit and non-profit organizations or companies. They oversee the total operations of the department that encompass validity of departments needs to stakeholders; 

  • Menu planning
  • Customer service
  • Procurement
  • Sanitation and safety codes, procedures and practices, safety
  • Human health and nutrition
  • Capital
  • Regulations, standards, and laws 

Besides coordinating activities among various departments, such as production, customer service, financial management, and acquisition, food service managers safeguard the food service operation for total quality assurance.

In addition, they oversee the inventory and ordering of food, equipment, and supplies and arrange for the routine maintenance and upkeep of the restaurant, its equipment, and facilities. Managers generally are responsible for all of the administrative and human-resource functions of running the business, including recruiting new employees and monitoring employee performance and training.

Professional Opportunities

Food Service Managers perform a variety of tasks, such as keeping employee work records, preparing the payroll, and completing paperwork to comply with licensing laws and reporting requirements of tax, wage and hour, unemployment compensation, and Social Security laws. Some of this work may be delegated to an assistant manager or bookkeeper, or it may be contracted out, but most general managers retain responsibility for the accuracy of business records. Managers also maintain records of supply and equipment purchases and ensure that accounts with suppliers are paid.

Many Food Service Managers work in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, assisted living, and extended care facilities, in addition to universities and public schools. Because so many people eat meals away from home, graduates of this program will be found managing both non-commercial and commercial foodservice operations where they apply nutrition knowledge and managerial skills in the delivery of meals to children and adults.

The strong business background provided by this program allows for diversity in career options. Our graduates are found working in non-food service facilities such as banks, insurance companies, and department stores.

For more information contact Professor Sharon Suggs

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P. O. Box 9609
Nashville, TN 37209

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B.S. in Family and Consumer Sciences with a Concentration in Food Service Management


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