Career Development

What Does a Food Service Director Do?

Find out what a food service director does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as a food service director.

Food service directors are responsible for overseeing all aspects of their organization’s food services. They may also be referred to as “executive chefs,” and they commonly hold the title of executive chef or director of culinary services.

As a result of this position, food service directors have a great deal of influence over the quality of the food that is served at their establishment. They may also play an important role in shaping the culture of their company by helping to develop new menus, training staff on proper procedures, and ensuring that employees are happy with their working conditions.

Food Service Director Job Duties

A food service director typically has a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Ensuring that all food service staff are following proper sanitation procedures during preparation and serving of food
  • Overseeing the operations of a school cafeteria to ensure that it is operating efficiently
  • Monitoring the inventory of food items and supplies to ensure adequate levels at all times
  • Evaluating the quality of food service operations and recommending changes as needed
  • Training and supervising kitchen staff and cafeteria workers to ensure that they are performing their jobs properly
  • Managing inventory of food items and supplies to ensure adequate levels at all times
  • Training new staff members on proper procedures for food preparation and service
  • Managing the overall budget for the food service program, including labor costs and food costs
  • Preparing a menu for each day of the week, coordinating with food suppliers to purchase ingredients for meals

Food Service Director Salary & Outlook

Food service directors’ salaries vary depending on their level of education, years of experience, and the size and location of the restaurant or food service company. They may also earn additional compensation in the form of bonuses.

  • Median Annual Salary: $60,500 ($29.09/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $87,500 ($42.07/hour)

The employment of food service directors is expected to grow at an average rate over the next decade.

Growth will be driven by the continued growth of large restaurants and foodservice establishments, such as theme restaurants, which employ multiple foodservice directors. However, the consolidation of restaurants and foodservice establishments may limit employment growth for foodservice directors.

Related: Food Service Director Interview Questions and Answers

Food Service Director Job Requirements

A food service director typically needs to have the following qualifications:

Education: Food service directors are typically required to have at least a high school diploma or equivalent. Some employers may prefer a candidate who has completed some college courses. Those who want to advance to a supervisory role may consider earning a bachelor’s degree in hospitality management.

Training & Experience: Food service directors typically receive on-the-job training in their entry-level positions. This training provides them with the skills and experience they need to advance to a management position. Food service directors may also receive additional training in the form of conferences or seminars. These events can help food service directors learn about new food preparation techniques, food safety regulations and more.

Certifications & Licenses: Certifications enable professionals to prove their qualifications to current and future employers. Food service directors can earn certifications to gain more practical knowledge of their daily responsibilities, test their professional skills and further advance their career.

Food Service Director Skills

Food service directors need the following skills in order to be successful:

Leadership: Food service directors are responsible for managing a team of kitchen and dining room staff. They often oversee multiple locations and may be responsible for hiring and training new employees. Effective leadership skills can help a food service director maintain a positive work environment and encourage their team to perform at their best.

Communication: Food service directors communicate with many people, including employees, managers, customers and suppliers. They use verbal and written communication skills to convey messages, provide feedback and answer questions. They also use communication skills to develop and implement company policies, procedures and training programs.

Organization: Food service directors often have excellent organizational skills, which can help them manage large teams and multiple projects at once. Organization skills can also help them delegate tasks and responsibilities to their team members.

Problem-solving: Food service directors often oversee large operations, so they need to be able to solve problems quickly and effectively. As a director, you may be responsible for overseeing the operations of several restaurants or cafeterias, so you need to be able to identify and solve issues that may arise in any of them.

Teamwork: A food service director needs to be a team player to work with their staff and other members of the organization. They need to be able to work with their staff to ensure that they have the resources they need to complete their duties and that they are meeting the organization’s goals. They also need to be able to work with other departments to ensure that the food service is meeting the needs of the organization.

Food Service Director Work Environment

Food service directors work in a variety of settings, including restaurants, hospitals, schools, and other institutions. They typically work full time, and some may work more than 40 hours per week. They may work evenings, weekends, and holidays, and their hours may vary depending on the needs of their facility. Food service directors often have to deal with customer complaints and may be under pressure to keep costs down and meet budget targets. They may also be responsible for supervising and training food service staff, which can be stressful.

Food Service Director Trends

Here are three trends influencing how food service directors work. Food service directors will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Demise of the Family Dinner

The traditional family dinner is becoming a thing of the past, as more and more families are opting to eat out or have food delivered. This is due in part to the increasing demands of work and school, which leave little time for cooking and eating together as a family.

As a result, food service directors will need to find new ways to attract customers and keep them coming back. This may include offering unique menu items, providing excellent customer service, or creating a fun and welcoming atmosphere.

A Focus on Healthier Options

As people become more health-conscious, restaurants are beginning to focus on healthier options. This trend is being driven by a number of factors, including the rising cost of healthcare and the popularity of diets like Paleo and vegan.

Food service directors can capitalize on this trend by offering menu items that are both healthy and delicious. This may involve sourcing high-quality ingredients or developing recipes that are easy to replicate at home. In addition, restaurants can promote the health benefits of their dishes to encourage customers to try something new.

More Attention Paid to Employee Engagement

Employee engagement has become an increasingly important topic in recent years, as businesses have realized the impact it can have on productivity and overall success. As a result, food service directors are now being asked to play a larger role in employee engagement efforts.

This means that food service directors need to be able to not only create a positive work environment, but also understand the factors that contribute to employee engagement and how to measure it. They also need to be able to identify strategies that will help employees feel connected to the company and motivated to do their best work.

How to Become a Food Service Director

A food service director career can be a great way to advance your culinary skills and become an expert in the foodservice industry. As a food service director, you’ll have the opportunity to lead a team of chefs, cooks, and servers, and oversee all aspects of the dining experience.

To become a food service director, you’ll need to have at least 5 years of experience working in the foodservice industry. You should also have a strong understanding of food safety regulations and best practices, as well as knowledge of menu planning, cooking techniques, and kitchen operations.

Advancement Prospects

The food service director is responsible for the overall operation of the food service department. This includes menu planning, food preparation, and service. The food service director may also be responsible for purchasing food and supplies, and for supervising the food service staff. The food service director typically reports to the general manager or the owner of the restaurant.

The food service director may be promoted to general manager or owner if the restaurant is successful. The food service director may also open their own restaurant.

Food Service Director Job Description Example

At [CompanyX], we provide food service for a variety of clients, including corporate cafeterias, hospitals, and schools. We’re looking for an experienced food service director to join our team and oversee all food service operations. The ideal candidate will have experience managing a food service team, developing menus, and working with food vendors. They will also have a strong understanding of food safety and sanitation regulations. The food service director will be responsible for ensuring that all food service operations are running smoothly and efficiently, and that all customers are satisfied with the food and service.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Oversees all aspects of food service operations for a large organization, including budgeting, menu planning, staff supervision, and quality control
  • Develops long-term plans to improve overall food service operations in line with the organization’s strategic goals
  • Creates annual operating budgets for food service department and monitors expenditures to ensure adherence
  • Works with purchasing department to negotiate prices for food and supplies, and develop relationships with vendors
  • Plans menus for various occasions, taking into account dietary restrictions and special requests
  • Supervises a team of cooks and other kitchen staff, ensuring that meals are prepared on time and meet quality standards
  • Inspects food preparation areas to ensure they are clean and meet health and safety regulations
  • Monitors food service staff performance and provides feedback and coaching as needed
  • Investigates complaints about food quality or service and takes corrective action as necessary
  • Keeps abreast of new trends in the food service industry and implements changes as appropriate
  • Oversees catering operations for special events and meetings
  • Performs other duties as assigned

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in food service management, hospitality, or related field
  • 7+ years of experience in food service management, including 5+ years in a supervisory role
  • Proven track record of successful menu development and implementation
  • Extensive knowledge of food safety standards and compliance (HACCP)
  • Strong financial acumen, with experience developing and managing budgets
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • Master’s degree in food service management or related field
  • 10+ years of experience in food service management
  • Culinary arts training or certification
  • Experience working in a corporate dining setting
  • Familiarity with employee scheduling software


What Does a Junior Banker Do?

Back to Career Development

What Does an Assistant Vice President Do?