The Great Hall
Do restaurant managers need culinary school background? The Great Hall: Do restaurant managers need culinary school background?
By Luv2cook (Luv2cook) on Friday, June 30, 2000 - 10:15 am: Edit

I'm 50+ making a career change to HRM - am considering going to culinary school first then HRM school. Is there a need for the culinary school knowledge on the management side of the restaurant business?

By Robert (Robert) on Friday, June 30, 2000 - 11:11 am: Edit

In order to make sound judgements regarding payroll, food costs, menu pricing etc, you should have at least a fundemental knowledge of back of the house operations.
You don't have to go to a pure culinary school, but a least a mangement school that will teach you culinary basics.
In addition to learning the basics culinary principals, schooling will teach you product identification, recieveing, inventory and cost controls.
A apprentice type program would benefit you as well.
Good Luck!

By Teresa on Sunday, July 23, 2000 - 07:06 pm: Edit

Absolutely not!
I firmly believe that schools (culinary or management) teach only theory, whereas experience teaches you practical applications of that theory. It's like the difference between being a physicist and being an engineer.

You said you're over 50, so working your way up through the restaurant ranks might not be terribly practical. But. . .why not find a restaurant that will let you move from position to position as you learn the relevant theory in your classroom work? For example, you could work as a steward (or shadow a professional steward) when learning about food cost controls. There's a terrible labor shortage in this business, particularly in my area, so finding a restaurant or hotel willing to work with you shouldn't be a problem. You might even be able to get internship credit!

Best of luck to you.

By Teresa on Sunday, July 23, 2000 - 07:09 pm: Edit

For the record, I am the General Manager of a fine-dining establishment. My degree is in Engineering as opposed to HR Management. I started off as a cocktail waitress and have, over the course of 10 years, successfully worked every position in the Front-of-the-House and Back-of-the-House. I would never hire a manager who had no practical experience.

There are a lot of amazingly talented people working in the business. Work with them and learn from them. . .it's the best education you'll ever get!

By Chris on Saturday, August 19, 2000 - 03:16 pm: Edit

I believe a person occoupying a management position should know pairing combinations i.e. wine and food. They should also understand regional cooking and wines. They shouldn't have to know how it's prepared though. I am speaking strictly about FOH management. I make this statement because my GM told me I couldn't serve Chianti at a Tuscan wine dinner. I had to laugh and he is no longer with us.

By alysonh on Thursday, November 02, 2000 - 07:25 am: Edit

I think it would be an invaluable asset. If you are going to be a FOH mgr., you should know what is happening in the HEART of the restaurant!!

Add a Message

This is a private posting area. A valid username and password combination is required to post messages to this discussion.