Chef's Special

Module 11

Careers in the Food Service Industry 

Goals & Objectives

In this module, students will know/learn the following:

  • Students will explore a variety of positions within the food industry, including kitchen, server, front and back-of-house careers.

11.03: Food Service Industry Job Market

For professionals with a degree, the employment landscape within the hospitality industry is vital and varied.  Chefs can climb to prominent positions as supervisors and chef/managers within the kitchen, but management roles throughout the industry are also filled by professional chefs. An Associate’s or Bachelor’s would give you a solid trajectory toward any of these jobs.

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Sous Chef

Assists the Executive Chef in running the kitchen. Nearly 18 times as many people are employed as cooks as head cooks & employment is also growing at a similar rate.

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Banquet Chef

Manages the kitchen staff in quantity food production for banquets, conferences, and conventions.

Pastry Chef

Responsible for baking breads, pastries, and desserts.


The BLS Occupational Outlook Handbook predicts 6% employment growth for bakers in the next decade.

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Food Production Manager

Manages the production of quality food in large food service operations.

The BLS Occupational Outlook Handbook predicts 11% employment growth for food service managers in the next decade.

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Executive Chef

Manages the kitchen staff, prepares work schedules, creates menus, and computes food costs.


The BLS Occupational Outlook Handbook predicts 11% employment growth for chefs and head cooks in the next decade.

Purchasing Manager

Responsible for buying and inventory of all products used in a restaurant or hotel.

Private Club and Resort Manager

Manages all of the departments and all of the employees in country clubs and private dining clubs.

Institutional Food Service

Food service opportunities in schools and health care facilities.

Contract Food Service

Food service opportunities within corporations.

Dietary Manager

Nutrition-focused food service professional

Restaurant Owner

Owns and manages and independent restaurant.

Restaurant Manager

Manages restaurant for owner, schedules employees, works with the Chef to promote quality food service that is professional and timely.

Catering Director

Promotes and organizes banquets and catered events.

Food and Beverage Director

Directs food and beverage service. Responsible for cost analysis, training and quality control.

Dining Room Manager

Manages all aspects of restaurant staffing.

Sales for Restaurants and Hotels

Sales and conventions.

Hotel Management Positions

General Manager, Front Office Manager, Housekeeping Manager, and Rooms Division Manager.

The job market for chefs and professional cooks varies from region to region. Major metro areas are fertile grounds for eager foodies looking to break into the food service industry, but don’t discount the culinary job opportunities in suburbs and smaller communities.  Fine restaurants operate in in out-of-the-way locations, so if a slower pace is on your menu, be sure to investigate these pockets of culinary innovation.

Smiling Chef

11.04: Landing Your First Job

Your education should provide the best training in classical culinary technique and kitchen skills, but your school should also help advance your career.  Internships and apprenticing opportunities often lead to full time employment or referrals, so make sure your school is tuned in to the local food scene through partnerships with local employers.

  • Job boards and placement services that match employers with candidates are another visible feature at successful cooking schools, so don’t be afraid to lean on your learning institution for the career guidance you need. Instructors are often working chefs who have staffing needs of their own, so your kitchen skills might even be tapped by a teacher or associate.

  • Engaging in the local food scene during school is another effective strategy for job minded students.  Local festivals and food events are often in need of temporary help for vendor kitchens. Be the key staffer at such an event and you will be remembered at job hunting time! 

  • Participating in festival competitions ala Iron Chef America or Throwdown! is another great way to get involved with the local food culture.  While you are learning to manipulate local ingredients and identifying food trends, you are also establishing valuable connections within the industry.


Your first job in a professional kitchen will not be as executive chef.  Use the resources available to you for opening doors and advancing your career agenda, then show consistency and creativity on the job.  The industry promotes from within, so perseverance and professionalism are rewarded.

11.05: Career Planning

Think outside the box for some challenging chef’s career opportunities.  Restaurants exist at all levels, from fast-food to fine-dining, so there is no shortage of grill space waiting to be occupied by your creations. There are also interesting jobs off the beaten path.

Cooks work at resorts and spas, restaurants, bed and breakfasts, travel agencies, car rental firms, campgrounds, cruise lines, forest preserves and recreational facilities, hotels and motels, state and national parks, retirement homes, railroads, amusement parks/attractions, at tour companies, airlines, country clubs, convention centers, casinos, exposition centers, and schools.


Food entrepreneurism remains a fixture of the American dream, where your culinary masterpieces are embraced by the public in a way that keeps you in the black.  Food trucks, cafes, bistros, taco stands, ice cream carts, chocolate shops, and pizzerias are all creative ways to market your food dreams.  Earning potential is boundless in the industry now, due to the exploded TV food culture and celebrity chef branding.  Rachael Ray, Bobby Flay, Guy Fieri are now household names and very rich chefs.


11.06: Resumes

A resume is an important tool for your job search because it offers a page or two where you can display your top skills and qualities. However, a resume is much more than that. Resumes help employers make hiring decisions and help you get your first interview. That's why it matters how you structure your resume and what information you decide to include. In this article, you'll learn why a resume is important and get actionable resume tips that may help you achieve your next career move.

Why do employers care about your resume?

Resumes, usually accompanied by customized cover letters, get sent to employers to determine your eligibility and qualifications for a job. Employers use resumes to get a deeper understanding of candidate skills, strengths and experience. Your resume should reflect achievements, awards, education, experience and any other outstanding accomplishments that align with your career path and goals. Your resume is your first point of contact with the employer and sets the tone for subsequent steps such as first interview, second interview, pre-screening and on-boarding.

Types of Resumes

Candidates who want to move forward in the interview process need to have a strong resume. There are two types of resumes that can make an impact with potential employers. In this section, we'll review each type so you can decide which is best for you:

  • Chronological order resumes

  • Custom resumes

Chronological Order Resumes

Most resumes are ordered this way. It's traditional to put your most recent job at the top of the experience section. From there, experience goes in descending order. Ideally, you want to display seven to 10 years of relevant work experience, in addition to other accolades. Chronological resumes usually include work experience and education both sorted by chronological order.

Custom Resumes

A custom resume prioritizes relevant education and experience. This might be used by someone who is changing careers or new to the workforce or someone with gaps in their employment. It can also be used for people with a lot of exceptional experience in a specialized industry. Highlighting your most important and relevant career choices by choosing this format may help you stand out.

Custom resumes are excellent for people in industries that require specific qualifications to be met. For example, an outside salesperson who has a career structured around facilities maintenance might use a custom resume to show sales experience related to maintenance before other outside sales experience no matter the chronology.

Why do you need a resume?

In today's competitive market of professional jobs, a resume is usually a base requirement for moving forward in the interview process. A good resume will immediately display to employers why the candidate is a good fit. Here are some reasons why you need a resume to get your next job. An effective resume:

  • Outlines your relevant skills and experience

  • Displays the benefits you offer employers

  • Grabs the attention of employers

  • Matches you to the position

  • Can lead to an interview

Outlines your relevant skills and experience

A well-structured resume clearly highlights your most attractive skills and experience to potential employers. This allows them to move forward with the best candidate. It's important to make sure your most recent skills and experiences are reflected in your resume for this reason. A strong resume uses formatting elements like color, appropriate margins and design to ensure relevant work experience is shown in such a way that highlights achievements.

Displays the benefits you offer employers

More importantly, a resume shouldn't just offer skills and experience, it should tell employers what you bring to the company. For example, if you're leaving a sales position, instead of just saying that you are a "high performer," say you "achieved $250,000 of new media sales in one year". This allows employers to understand the value you bring to the company in terms that are quantifiable.

If you can use three or four achievements under each piece or relevant experience that offer verifiable metrics. Consider things like increasing profit or reducing loss by 5%, growing a social media following by 1,500 users or increasing sales by 10%.

Grabs the attention of employers

The part of the resume known as "above the fold"—usually the top quarter of the resume—is considered the most attention-grabbing. Make sure to include important summarized information above the fold in addition to your name and contact information. Another way you can get an employer's attention is to use a layout that allows for appropriate color or images.

Some people will use a head shot portrait or personal logo to brand themselves to employers. If you have to print your resume, always make sure to use a resume paper stock that sticks out. There are a lot of options to choose from, so pay attention to industry standards when deciding on paper.

Matches you to the position

A good resume matches your skills to the position's needs. One way to do this is by making sure your resume contains the same keywords found in the job description.

For example, if the job description asks for "knowledge of JSON" make sure to include "JSON" on your resume. By doing this, employers will be able to filter what makes you good for the position. If submitting your resume electronically, some companies auto-sort by keywords. To ensure your resume is seen, you should pay attention to them.

Preparing Eggplant

11.07: Review/Critical Thinking

Please complete the following questions. It is important that you use full sentences and present the questions and answers when you submit your work.


Go to the Assessment area in the course to complete the assignment Review and Critical Thinking and submit the work as a file attachment.


The answers to the Review and Critical Thinking Questions are worth 10 points.

11.08: Cooking Assignment #11

You are to make one of the following vegetable side dishes:

This assignment will NOT be graded on presentation so please do not worry if your final product does not turn out perfectly. The goal for you on this assignment is to TRY YOUR BEST!  At a minimum, you should take pictures of: (1) the ingredients prior to cooking, (2) a picture demonstrating a preparation or cooking technique, and (3) the completed product/dish. When you're finished, write a brief description of the techniques you used to prepare the dish. Write a separate paragraph evaluating the results. Include any problems you encountered and how you overcame them. It is ideal to put everything into ONE document/presentation. Submit in the Assessments area.

Vegetable Sides

11.09: Module 11 Quiz

Before you take the quiz for this unit take a moment to review what you have learned.

When you feel that you are ready to complete the Module 11 Quiz, Careers in the Food Service Industry, click HERE.

Careers in the Food Service Industry