California Occupational Guides

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Summary Guide for

Food Service Managers in Santa Clara County

May also be called: Banquet Directors; Restaurant Managers; Cafeteria Managers; Fast Food Service Managers; and Catering Managers

What Would I Do?

Food Service Managers are responsible for the daily operations of restaurants and other food service establishments. They ensure that customers are satisfied with their dining experience, as well as handle the human resource and administrative functions of operating the establishment. They hire and fire, train, discipline, schedule, and motivate employees.

Food Service Managers typically divide their time between the kitchen, dining room, and office. Managers commonly work 10-12 hours per day up to six days a week. They often experience the pressure of coordinating a wide range of activities. In addition, Managers resolve customer complaints and monitor employee activities.

Will This Job Fit Me?

Food service management positions will appeal to those who enjoy activities that include starting up and carrying out projects, leading people, making decisions, working with food, and attending to detail. A willingness to relocate often is essential for advancement to positions with greater responsibility.

What Wages and Benefits Can I Expect?

Wages for Food Service Managers tend to be higher than the rest of the industry in larger or more upscale hotels, resorts, and special food services.

The median wage in 2021 for Food Service Managers in California was $59,305 annually, or $28.51 hourly. The median wage for Food Service Managers in San Benito and Santa Clara Counties was $76,103 annually, or $36.59 hourly. The median is the point at which half of the workers earn more and half earn less.

Change to Hourly Wages
Annual Wages for 2021Low
(25th percentile)
(50th percentile)
(75th percentile)
San Benito and Santa Clara Counties$52,236$76,103$97,048
Source: EDD/LMID Occupational Employment Statistics Survey, 2021 Wages do not reflect self-employment.
View Wages for All Areas

Vacation, sick leave, and medical insurance plans are part of the benefit package for almost all salaried Food Service Managers. Some employers pay partial dental, vision, life insurance, and retirement benefits. Employers may also provide merchandise discounts, stock options, and bonus opportunities. Managers who are self-employed must provide their own benefits.

What is the Job Outlook?

Most new jobs will develop in full-service restaurants and limited-service eating places as the number of establishments increases to meet the demand of a growing population. Manager jobs are also expected to increase in special food services, such as contractors, as more businesses and institutions contract out their food service.

How Do I Qualify?

Many management companies and restaurant chains prefer to hire Food Service Managers who have associate's or bachelor's degrees. However, experienced food service workers demonstrating potential for handling increased responsibility sometimes advance to assistant Manager or management trainee jobs, particularly in self-service and fast-food companies. Some Food Service Managers may be required to be certified in food safety (ServSafe).

Finding a Job

Direct application to employers remains one of the most effective job search methods. Newspapers, online classified ads, professional journals, and trade publications advertise job opportunities as well. College career placement centers provide other contacts for work. Online job opening systems include JobCentral at and CalJOBSSM at

To find your nearest One-Stop Career Center, go to Service Locator. View the helpful job search tips for more resources. (requires Adobe Reader).

Learn More About Food Service Managers