Making Your Restaurant Stand Out

How To Research Food Service Programs

by Aiden Carpenter

Choosing the right food service programs for you will take a bit of time and exploration. Here are some steps to take to find the best fit:

Gather Recommendations

If you are already in the food service industry, gather recommendations from coworkers and bosses about which food service programs to take. Each has its own learning curve and slightly different skill sets that you will come away with. Asking your boss is an especially important step because many employers are able to fully or partially sponsor employees to take food service programs. Or, you might be able to get a discount as a person who is already in the industry. 

Research Program Timing and Requirements

Some programs allow you to complete coursework at your leisure. These are programs with a mainly online focus, although some of them will ask you to participate in in-person exercises as well. Be sure to look at the average time to complete for each food service program. If you will need to devote a significant amount of time to studying or even cut back on your working hours, it will be important to make sure that you can commit to the duration of the program before you begin. 

Look at the Curriculum

Assess why you're interested in the program and what kind of focus or skills would benefit you most. Some programs will focus a little more on the food safety issues, while others are geared towards business owners or managers who need a more general rundown of food service best practices. Whatever interests you about food service programs, check to make sure the program you choose is geared towards you. Even if you are mostly interested in one aspect of food service, remember that the best employees in the industry have a little bit of background in many areas. That makes them great candidates for leadership positions since most managers have to interact closely with leaders in different categories. 

Check on Cost

Again, your cost may be heavily subsidized by an employer. You could also skew towards looking at programs like New Horizon Foods that are mainly online if cost is going to be an issue for you. But this is one reason that it's important to look at a wider variety of programs; the cost can vary a lot between programs. 

Get Reviews

Finally, don't sign up for a program without meeting students or teachers, or at least getting some trustworthy, positive reviews on the program.