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Supervising in Food Preparation

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Food Preparation is a rewarding area for people who want to fulfill the artistic nature of their personalities. How can that be possible in food preparation? Careful perception while thumbing through a magazine would reveal beautiful pictures of Citrus Champagne Punch, Spicy Sweet Potato Pancakes with Holiday Guacamole, or Holiday Hens with Fig Glaze and Cornbread Stuffing. Remember seeing all those festive tables with beautiful dishes of food displayed on attractive trays with sprigs of parsley or other garnishment to add to its appeal? That's art and people in food preparation help to create it. Tasty and attractive dishes are usually for paying customers.

A Supervisor in Food Preparation will be overseeing all the tasks that need to be accomplished to produce a table or buffet of delectable dishes for clients.

A supervisor’s duties include:

  • Ordering and purchasing food and ingredients
  • Analyzing menus
  • Adjusting recipes
  • Providing supervision to any one involved in the preparation process from cooks to dishwashers
  • Other services including sales and marketing
  • Sanitation
  • Budget
  • Fiscal management
A food service Supervisor can have different tasks and workers assigned to him for
The assignments can differ by the job needed to be done. Some supervisors provide informational reports to managers and directors. The supervisory position includes overseeing helpers, cooks, and waiting staff. An employee in this position works an eight-hour shift as directed by the division director. However, working hours are subject to change based on need.

Job Scope

Individuals who work as Food Service Supervisors usually report to the food service administrator and serve on the internal planning team in some larger organizations. He or she participates with the food services administrator in long and short range planning:
  • Evaluation of commercial equipment
  • Other large purchases
  • Menu analysis
  • Employee development
Job scope may include:
  • Employees and activities at a kitchen or location
  • Management activities for revenue and expenditure controls
  • Planning and organizing food service operations at a building or location
  • supervising all aspects of food services including, meal preparation, customer service and relations, sales and marketing, sanitation, safety, purchasing
A supervisor in this area must also provide for staff supervision including employee recruitment, training, motivation, and development. A supervisor should be responsible for profitability by:
  • Controlling expenditures
  • Generating sales and revenues
  • Implementing an efficient bookkeeping system
  • Analyzing menus
  • Controlling quality of meals prepared
  • Performing other food preparation activities which meet government nutritional standards, if food preparation is being done for children in a school setting.
Knowledge, Ability, or Skills

A supervisor is skilled in overseeing all the personnel in his department who are subordinate to his/her position. He or she has a demonstrated ability of food preparation techniques and the commercial equipment used in cooking and baking. A good knowledge and practice of storing perishables and evaluation of the purchase of perishables is required. The supervisor has to evaluate the food product or equipment to be purchased and follow any government standards for storing food. There are also sanitation and safety procedures when supervising food preparation for the public. Public Health Departments require food handlers in public kitchens to take a class and be certified.


Minimum qualifications to be hired as a Supervisor of Food Preparation are a four year degree or school, and restaurant or corporation food service experience. The experience will include aspects of quality control, purchasing, budget management, and technical supervision of other food service workers.

Supervisors must have the State Food Handlers' Certificate for the state in which they work. In general, most employers require one year experience as a cook supervisor or food manager with experience in:
  • Menu planning
  • Estimation of food requirements
  • Requisition of supplies
  • Supervision of food preparation and service
  • Graduation from a standard high school or possess a GED.
One of the requirements above is supervision of food preparation and service. This experience requires a supervisor to have two or more years of supervisory or management experience in a large-scale food preparation service, involving:

● Menu planning
● Estimation of food requirements
● Requisition of supplies
● Supervision of food preparation and service

Some supervisors in hospital and food service management need four year college degree form and accredited college or university specializing in dietetics, nutrition, foods and nutrition or food service management.

Work Environment

Work is performed in a kitchen, cafeteria using hot ovens and dishwashers. Supervisors oversee production of elegant food to be served many times in lovely ambience. But behind the scenes, where the preparation takes place, you will usually find the supervisor working most the time.

The Job Hunt

When you are looking for a job as a Supervisor in Food Services the titles of the jobs are very specific that it is in food service and that it is a supervisory position, there are names of the company in the title sometimes. None the less the positions can easily be found when doing a search. Here's a job advertisement for a supervisor and it is in line with all the specifics given for duties, education, and skill requirements discussed this far. It is in the children health care business and does require meeting standards set by the US government for children's nutrition. The average pay for a supervisor is from $19 to $21 per hour and usually with benefits.

Food Service Supervisor

The Food Services Supervisor ensures that patient requests or nutritional needs are met, that the cafeteria is set up on time, and that department and JCAHO (The Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Health Care Organizations) standards are upheld.

Essential Job Duties and Responsibilities:
  • Supports and participates in the continuous assessment and improvement of the quality of care and service provided.
  • Plans, organizes and directs all activities of food service staff. Prepares weekly work schedules and covers for unexpected staffing shortages.
  • Responsible for timely evaluations for all Food Service Staff.
  • Responsible for the department orientation for all new employees and for giving an in-service as assigned to all staff
  • Oversees the patient tray line and Café services
  • Timeliness of set up and delivery
  • Speed of tray set up and delivery
  • Quality of food
  • Accuracy of menus and trays
  • Food presentation
  • Food temperature maintenance
  • Portion control for all menu items
  • Food handling and techniques and prices
  • Bachelor's degree or its equivalent work experience preferred.
  • A minimum of five years experience in a cafeteria, catering, or hospital food service setting with at least 2 years in a Supervisory capacity.
  • Thorough basic knowledge of guest relations, supervisory/leadership skills and teamwork.
  • Must be familiar with food preparation and cooking methods, local food service sanitation codes and practices when dealing with but not to equipment, food supplies food handling, physical plant and personnel.
  • Must be able to focus staff on superior service, superior sanitation, timeliness and teamwork.
  • Good oral and written communication skills.
  • Maintain continuing education.
May your career choice be a long and happy one.
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Popular tags:

 college degrees  health departments  on the job training  personality  managers  workers  trays  ingredients  food services  safety

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