2024 Best Online Hotel and Restaurant Management Certificates

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A restaurant management certificate can help prepare you for a managerial career in the hospitality industry. You could earn this certificate to gain experience and knowledge related to the daily operations of a restaurant, hotel, resort, or similar hospitality business.

Best Online Hotel and Restaurant Management Certificates

Earning a certificate in restaurant management could demonstrate to employers that you’re trained in carrying out managerial responsibilities.

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You could learn about tasks such as hiring and supervising staff, assisting with daily operations, identifying the needs of a business, and performing cost control procedures.

Online Hotel and Restaurant Management Certificate Programs

Man taking Online Hotel and Restaurant Management Certificate

Restaurant management training programs are designed to introduce you to the roles and responsibilities of managers in a restaurant.

Holding a certificate proves that you’ve completed various restaurant management classes to prepare you for managerial positions in the hospitality industry. This certificate program may add value to your experience in the hospitality industry and as a manager of a restaurant, hotel, resort, catering business, and other related businesses.

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You can develop a versatile skill set essential to management positions in hospitality, such as communication, interpersonal, organization, decision-making, and problem-solving skills.

Key topics typically explored in online restaurant management courses include:

  • Business plan development
  • Cost control
  • Food and beverage fundamentals
  • Marketing in hospitality
  • Human resources in hospitality

This certificate program combines food production and service fundamentals with business and marketing principles to give you the knowledge to take on a variety of roles and responsibilities.

A hotel management certificate may be merged with a restaurant management certificate program and offer coursework related to running a restaurant and hotel. These programs may also be referred to as hospitality management certificate programs.

While many professionals seek this certificate to become a restaurant or hotel manager, it can also be useful for other supervisory positions in resorts, clubs, catering, and special events.

Restaurant management certificates usually prepare students to sit for the ServSafe examination, which is a nationally recognized exam based on food safety and sanitation knowledge.

Restaurant and Hotel Management Careers & Salaries

Restaurant and Hotel Management Careers & Salaries

A certificate in restaurant and hotel management can be beneficial for several leadership positions in the hospitality industry. These positions may be found in restaurants, lodging, cruise lines, gaming businesses, special events centers, and the retail trade.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, these are the annual median salaries of various restaurant and hospitality careers.

Careers Annual Median Salaries
Food Service Managers — Traveler Accommodation $76,670
Food Service Managers — Special Food Services $73,360
Entertainment and Recreation Managers $67,220
Lodging Managers $61,910
Food Service Managers — Restaurants and Other Eating Places $59,590
Retail Trade Sales Representatives $56,530
Chefs and Head Cooks $56,520
Meeting, Convention, and Event Planners $52,560
Supervisors of Food Preparation and Serving Workers $37,050
Restaurant Cooks $34,110

Some employers may prefer you to earn a bachelor’s degree, such as a hospitality management degree online, to qualify for these careers.

Whether you’re new to the hospitality industry or want to advance from your current position in the field, a certificate in hotel and restaurant management may add value to your current skill set and job experience.

Salaries and job availability can vary depending on the type of business, employer, location, job experience, and education. A food service manager is generally responsible for overseeing the daily operations of a kitchen and restaurant staff. Lodging managers oversee the operations of a hotel, motel, resort, or other similar facilities.

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The marketing and business skills you may learn in a certificate program can also be beneficial to other careers relating to hospitality and retail, such as travel agent, event planner, and retail trade purchasing agent.

Restaurant Management Certificate Curriculum & Courses

students taking Restaurant Management Certificate

Restaurant management courses teach you how to carry out the daily operations of a restaurant in a managerial role. These are some courses that may be offered in this type of certificate program:

  • Introduction to the Hospitality Industry: This course provides an overview of the hospitality industry, including hospitality marketing, franchising, human resources, and management roles and responsibilities.
  • Beverage Fundamentals: Beverage service fundamentals are explored in this course, including popular commercial beverages, beverage serving, and the responsibilities that come with beverage service.
  • Food Fundamentals: This course introduces kitchen and food terminology, along with topics relating to food identification and sourcing, food service operations, and food safety and sanitation procedures.
  • Food Preparation and Science: This course focuses on the preparation of food and teaches you how to perform basic food prep and presentation techniques.
  • Menu Design and Engineering: This course teaches you about the process of creating a menu and strategies used to organize and optimize menus.
  • Human Resources in Hospitality: You’ll learn about the responsibilities associated with human resources in restaurant and hotel management, such as recruiting, hiring, and training employees.
  • Marketing for Hospitality: You’ll study marketing principles and concepts to gain an understanding of how to promote a business and the products and services offered.
  • Cost Control for Food and Beverage: Students are introduced to the financial aspects of restaurant management, including assessing sales, revenue, and costs.
  • Food Production and Service: You’ll examine several key aspects of restaurant operations, including kitchen equipment, food preparation and cooking techniques, menu design and plating, and table service.
  • Concept Development for Restaurants: This course teaches you how to formulate business plans for a restaurant, including legal regulations, floor plan design, equipment and staffing needs, and budgeting.

The amount of coursework offered in a restaurant certificate program can vary depending on the college or university.

Admissions Requirements

Woman preparing requirements for Hotel and Restaurant Management Certificate

The admissions process for undergraduate certificate programs is generally less demanding compared to the requirements for an undergraduate or graduate degree program.

These are some general admissions requirements for certificate in restaurant management programs:

  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • Unofficial or official transcripts
  • Admissions application

Most undergraduate certificate programs, like online catering certificate and hospitality management certificate online programs, require proof of high school completion or equivalent, which may include the submission of any unofficial or official transcripts you have. Along with these materials, an online application is required to be considered. The application may include questions about your academic and career interests and enrollment plans.


University offering Hotel and Restaurant Management Certificate

Accreditation is the process of recognition that colleges and universities can choose to go through to prove they meet national educational standards.

The US Department of Education is responsible for approving regional accrediting organizations. Although accreditation isn’t a requirement, it can help you determine the quality of a prospective school and its facilities and resources. To receive regional accreditation, colleges and universities and educational programs must go through a rigorous evaluation conducted by a regional accrediting agency.

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Attending an accredited school can be important for financial aid eligibility, employment opportunities, and ensuring credibility in your education.

Restaurant Management Licensure and Certifications

Certified Restaurant Manager discussing with the owner

Restaurant managers may seek licensure or certification to add to their qualifications. These are some examples of common restaurant management and hospitality certifications:

  • Certified Hospitality Supervisor
  • Certified Hospitality Sales Professional
  • Certified Restaurant Manager

Certification is generally not required to be a restaurant manager, but it can be beneficial if you want to be a more marketable job candidate. It also demonstrates that you have the proper skills and knowledge to manage a restaurant or perform certain tasks.

A defined amount of work experience and a passing score on an examination is usually required to receive certification or licensure.

Financial Aid and Scholarships

Hotel and Restaurant Management Certificate Financial Aid

There are many financial aid options available that may help you pay for tuition and other college expenses. State and federal aid is government income-based assistance that students can receive if financial need is demonstrated.

If you want to apply for federal financial aid, you can submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) via the US Department of Education. You can also apply for scholarships, which may be awarded by schools, non-profits, and other organizations that want to provide financial assistance to students pursuing higher education.

If you’re eligible for federal aid, you may be offered the opportunity to enroll in a work-study program to help pay for college. Work-study programs assign students to a part-time position, sometimes within their desired field, to earn money to help pay for college.

What Can You Do with a Restaurant Management Certificate?

Food service manager & head chef discussing

A restaurant management certificate may help you qualify for a managerial position in the restaurant industry. This type of certificate can be beneficial to many leadership roles, such as food service manager, head chef, and catering manager.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, some employers prefer to hire food service managers that possess some postsecondary education. Some responsibilities you may have as a food service or restaurant manager include recruiting, hiring, and training restaurant staff. You might also take inventory of food products and supplies, oversee kitchen operations, establish employee standards, and manage the budget.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Hotel and Restaurant Management Certificate Online?

Man taking Hotel and Restaurant Management Certificate online

It may take up to two semesters to earn a hotel and restaurant management certificate online, depending on the program and school. Some certificate programs require more credit hours than others to complete. Many hotel and restaurant management certificate programs online require 18 credit hours, or 6 courses, to complete.

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Some online programs offer an accelerated certificate option, which can be completed in as little as 4 months. It can take up to 6 months to complete a non-accelerated certificate program. If you’re enrolled part-time, it could take longer than 6 months to complete.

What’s the Difference Between a Restaurant Management Certification vs. Certificate?

Restaurant Manager discussing with catering staff

Professional certifications and academic certificates are two different types of credentials.

  • Restaurant management certifications: These industry credentials are awarded to professionals who have completed a defined amount of managerial experience in a restaurant or similar setting and have passed an examination.
  • Restaurant management certificates: These academic credentials are awarded to students upon completion of coursework and examinations in a certificate program.

A certificate is proof you have completed an educational program, while certification is proof that you meet industry standards and possess the qualifications to perform certain tasks. Certifications are generally pursued after completing an educational program or acquiring work experience.

Is a Restaurant Management Certificate Worth It?

Food service manager updating crew with reservation request

Yes, a restaurant management certificate is worth it for many students. An undergraduate certificate can be beneficial if you’re looking for a career change or career advancement. It can also be helpful if you’re looking to assume a managerial role upon entering the restaurant industry.

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Several management positions in the hospitality industry are projected to grow faster than average compared to all occupations. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 10% job growth is projected for food service managers, and 18% job growth is projected for lodging manager positions over the next ten years.

Universities Offering Online Certificate in Hotel and Restaurant Management Programs

Methodology: The following school list is in alphabetical order. To be included, a college or university must be regionally accredited and offer programs online or in a hybrid format.

Central Arizona College

Central Arizona College campus

A Hotel and Restaurant Management Certificate can be earned at Central Arizona College. The program is available online and at all campus locations. Potential coursework includes Introduction to Hospitality, Management of Guest Services, Convention and Meeting Management, and Facilities Management.

Central Arizona College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Nashville State Community College

Nashville State Community College campus

Nashville State Community College offers a Technical Certificate in Hotel Management that can be earned online or at multiple campus locations. The program can typically be completed in 1 year. Courses are designed to be interactive and may be counted toward an AAS in Hospitality Management.

Nashville State Community College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Northern Arizona University

Northern Arizona University campus

Northern Arizona University offers an Undergraduate Certificate in Restaurant Management that can be earned online and at the Flagstaff campus. The certificate can be earned as part of a degree program or as a stand-alone certificate. The curriculum covers how to develop business plans, apply budgeting and cost-volume-profit analysis, and create menus.

NAU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Scottsdale Community College

Scottsdale Community College campus

Scottsdale Community College offers a Certificate in Hospitality: Restaurant Management. The curriculum is designed to help students develop communication skills and business knowledge. Courses are available in online, hybrid, and on-campus formats. Evening and daytime class options are available. Most courses use low-cost textbooks.

Scottsdale Community College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Wake Technical Community College

Wake Technical Community College campus

Wake Technical Community College offers a Hospitality Restaurant Management Certificate. The curriculum is designed to teach practical skills and help students develop their knowledge of the commercial food service industry. The program requires the completion of 14 credits that may be completed on campus, online, or in a hybrid format.

Wake Technical Community College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Getting Your Hotel and Restaurant Management Certificate Online

student getting Hotel and Restaurant Management Certificate online

If you’re interested in becoming a manager in the hospitality industry, a restaurant and hotel management certificate may help you grow your expertise and qualifications.

You can learn about the daily operations of a food service and hospitality business and apply the skills you acquire to be an effective leader. Although on-the-job training is valuable, a certificate program can help give you an understanding of certain responsibilities you may have as a manager in a restaurant, hotel, or similar business.

If you’re ready to earn your restaurant management certificate online, you can begin by researching programs from accredited schools that align with your career goals.

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Amy holds a Bachelor of Arts in History from Old Dominion University, with a minor in English. She previously worked as an educator before starting her career as a writer. Amy spends much of her time researching and writing, with the goal of sharing valuable information with readers.