When you work in the culinary arts field, you belong to a profession that ranks among the highest in job satisfaction. Though being a chef is hard work, like most creatives, chefs typically choose their career field based on what they love to do and are most passionate about. Chefs are also very well paid. In fact, a six-figure-salary is not unusual for those who work at top-grossing restaurants or for celebrities.
However, not everyone wants to slave away in a kitchen forever. Even so, to branch into neighboring fields, you will need more than culinary management skills. You may also need experience in hospitality management or a hospitality management degree.
Depending on where you study in the world, or the school you attend, culinary arts and hospitality management may be taught together. Alternatively, the degrees may sometimes share a department head, but are otherwise separated.
What is Hospitality Management?
So, what is hospitality management in more specific terms? It is a field of study and practice that involves the management of a resort, hotel, casino chain, or even a restaurant. A hospitality manager’s primary role is to oversee all the administrative tasks of these businesses.
In short, they serve very much the same functions of a CEO, but have the skill sets necessary to navigate the specific idiosyncrasies of the hospitality business. Here are some of the responsibilities that may fall under hospitality management:
- Recruiting and training new employees
- Setting room prices
- Coordinating front office-activities
- Planning and managing events on-site
- Handling customer complaints
What are Some Hospitality Management Careers?
Naturally, just as not all who work in medicine are medical doctors, not all who work in hospitality management are hospitality managers. Here are some of the many hospitality management careers that are available:
- Cruise ship director
- Events manager
- Hotel manager
- Catering manager
- Restaurant manager
You may notice that the last three examples on this list are directly related to the culinary arts. This is because food plays a very important role in hospitality.
How Well Does Hospitality Management Complement a Culinary Career?
Now that you see the close relations between the culinary and hospitality fields, you may have a much better understanding of how one complements the other. Here are some more specific benefits of combining work experience and educational qualifications from both fields to boost your career.
No matter how much you love something, there comes a time when you may need a break. This may be due to health reasons or personal preferences. The problem with a culinary arts degree is that it teaches a very specific skill set related almost exclusively to what goes on in the kitchen. Holding a hospitality degree can complement your culinary qualifications and give you room for lateral movement.
Opportunities for Promotion
If you have already maxed out at the highest level in the culinary arts field, you may be wondering what’s next. What can an executive chef move on to in a hotel or on a cruise ship?
With proven hospitality management qualifications, it’s possible for an executive chef to make the jump to branch manager of a hotel or regional manager of a chain of hotels in a specific area, such as the Caribbean. Cruise lines are also always on the hunt for top-performing managers who have the skills necessary to coordinate the complex activities and hospitality operations involved in running a cruise ship smoothly.
Opportunities for Entrepreneurship
Almost every chef dreams of eventually owning their own high-grossing restaurant. However, some chefs dream even bigger. These are the chefs who plan to build a boutique hotel or start an events management business that also caters.
Hospitality management provides you with the knowledge and skills you need to not only set off on your own, but to build a successful business with its own unique selling-point while doing so.
How Can You Gain Qualifications in Hospitality Management?
Now that you know how well hospitality management can complement a culinary arts degree, the next step is obtaining that new qualification. Here are just a few paths you can take to do so:
- Obtain a diploma, associate’s degree or higher in hospitality management.
- Complete a professional certification in hospitality management.
- Apply for other jobs in hospitality management to expand your knowledge. Because the culinary arts is a close cousin, you may get the job even without direct hospitality management experience.
- Seek out a mentor.
- Partner with a hospitality manager to launch your own business.
Choosing the Right School
Are you thinking of taking the plunge and going back to school? At Oregon Culinary Institute we offer both an AOS degree focused on culinary hospitality management and a diploma in the culinary arts.
For more information about our programs, tuition costs and how to apply to our institute, contact us today. We look forward to providing you with the educational qualifications and practical experience you need to jump-start your career in hospitality and the culinary arts.