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Careers in Food Service Management

Careers in Food Service Management

Dan Woog | Monster Contributing Writer

In a tough economy, jobs can be lost when consumers put off buying houses, cars, appliances or clothes, but everyone has to eat. And at a time of belt-tightening, schools, hospitals, long-term care facilities, sports arenas and commercial businesses increasingly contract out their cafeterias, dining rooms and concession stands, making careers in food service management hotter than an industrial oven.

Sodexo alone has increased management hires by 25 percent over the last three years, while retention rates remain flat.

Jobs for managers at companies like Sodexo run the gamut, from technical experts in fields such as engineering, diet/nutrition, communications, technology and plant operations to skilled artisans like executive chefs.

“An excellent example of a typical management position is a general manager,” says Arie Ball, Sodexo vice president of sourcing and talent acquisition. “Oftentimes, this is our main face to both the client and the customers, making it one of the company’s most valuable positions.”

Food Service’s Future

Looking ahead, Ball sees a growing demand for sustainability within the hospitality industry. As green lifestyles become more important, and demand increases for locally grown products, vegan products and fully biodegradable paper and utensils, opportunities will expand for experts in supply management.

In addition, Ball notes, concern for wellness will create additional opportunities for dietitians and food scientists who can address such issues as childhood obesity and promote healthful eating habits.

Geographically some of the highest growth areas for jobs in the hospitality field include the Western states of Nevada, Utah and Colorado, and the Southeastern states of Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Alabama and Kentucky, according to Ball.