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When you think about culinary school, you think about becoming a chef or a baker. Yet anyone who has ever worked in the industry knows that cooking is only one part of the restaurant business. If your goal is to be a chef, and work in a kitchen, then a typical culinary degree would probably work for you. If, however, you are interested in managing a kitchen, running a restaurant, or opening your own restaurant, a restaurant management degree might be a good option for you.

What you learn in a restaurant management degree:

This can really depend on the particular degree program you choose, as well as your emphasis. The restaurant management degree is likely to include some key classes similar to what you would find in a business management degree – often focused specifically on the restaurant industry. You’ll learn information regarding human resource management, accounting, cost control, marketing, communications, sales, and advertising. Depending on your focus, you will likely learn culinary arts as well. You can learn to become a cook and a manager at the same time.

Why get a restaurant management degree?

Obtaining this degree provides you with a well-rounded education. You’ll learn about culinary arts, but you also learn other important skills – particularly if you have aspirations to run a kitchen or an entire restaurant. You’ll finish your degree with a good understanding of all aspects of the restaurant industry. There is more to a good restaurant than just the food. Arguably, the food is very important. Yet other things, such as service, atmosphere, and location, can motivate people to go to a restaurant just as much as the quality and type of food can. Understanding inventory, cost control, and proper pricing will help restaurant owners and managers maximize the profits they get from selling their food. A clever marketing and advertising campaign can help ensure customers find their way to the restaurant in order to enjoy the food.

What does a restaurant manager do?

The short answer to the question above is “a little of everything.” Restaurant managers often are in charge of hiring employees and employee development. They can also manage the kitchen, or the dining area or both. They are often in charge of inventorying and purchasing products. They are customer relations experts, who work to combine ambiance and great food to produce the best customer experience.

If you are an entrepreneur who is planning on opening your own restaurant, you’ll be doing all of these things, plus managing the business. You’ll make sure that the restaurant has all the necessary licenses and permits. You’ll be in charge of managing expenses and taxes, as well as the quality control for the service and the food.

Finding a good program:

Accreditation is important. When researching degree programs, make sure the school and the specific program are accredited. You can find degree programs in both culinary arts schools and traditional colleges and universities. When choosing which degree program is best for you, it’s important to research the cost of attendance, the reputation of the school itself and statistics of how many graduates continue on to work in positions related to their degree.