California Occupational Guides

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Summary Guide for

First-Line Supervisors of Food Preparation and Serving Workers in California

May also be called: Dietary Supervisors; Food Service Supervisors; Kitchen Managers; Food Service Managers; Cafeteria Supervisors; Caterers; and Supervisors of Food and Nutrition Services

What Would I Do?

First-Line Supervisors and Managers of Food Preparation and Serving Workers oversee those who prepare and serve food and beverages in restaurants and institutional facilities. They train workers in food preparation, and in sanitation, and safety procedures. Supervisors and Managers evaluate employees and work procedures to ensure quality standards and service. They also specify food portions, courses, production and time sequences, and workstation arrangements.

While it can be very exciting to work in an attractive restaurant setting, meeting new people, it can also be challenging. First-Line Supervisors and Managers of Food Preparation and Serving Workers often experience the pressure of coordinating a wide range of activities. When problems occur, it is the responsibility of the Supervisor and Manager to resolve them with minimal interruption of service. The job can be hectic during peak dining hours, and dealing with upset customers or uncooperative employees can be stressful.

Will This Job Fit Me?

The job of First-Line Supervisors and Managers of Food Preparation and Serving Workers may appeal to those who enjoy starting up and carrying out projects.

What Wages and Benefits Can I Expect?

The median wage in 2020 for Food Preparation and Serving Workers Supervisors in California is $36,681 annually, or $17.63 hourly. The median is the point at which half of the workers earn more and half earn less.

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Annual Wages for 2020Low
(25th percentile)
(50th percentile)
(75th percentile)
Source: EDD/LMID Occupational Employment Statistics Survey, 2020 Wages do not reflect self-employment.
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Benefit packages vary from employer to employer. Most First-Line Supervisors/Managers of Food Preparation and Serving Workers employed with larger establishments may expect to receive health insurance, paid vacation, holiday, and sick leave. Those working at government institutions, such as school or college districts, prisons, or State hospitals, also receive pension benefits.

What is the Job Outlook?

The need for First-Line Supervisors/Managers of Food Preparation and Serving Workers will remain strong because restaurant and beverage establishments increase as the population grows.

How Do I Qualify?

Many employers prefer to hire applicants with a high school diploma or equivalent. Also, many restaurant and food service manager positions, especially in self-service and fast-food, are filled by promoting experienced food and beverage preparation and service workers from within the company. A large number of restaurant chains and food service management companies offer management training programs for new Managers.

Finding a Job

Direct application to employers remains one of the most effective job search methods. Many vocational schools operate placement centers for their students. Jobs may also be found through classified advertisements in newspapers and trade publications. State and county personnel administration offices provide job announcements and related entrance requirements. 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 Preparation and Serving Workers Supervisors