Food / Beverage

What to expect from a career in the Food Service Industry

The food service and hospitality industry is booming, and with it the demand for skilled workers in the field of food and beverage management. Food and beverage programs at Ontario colleges prepare students to take advantage of the need with skills and training in the industry.

If you welcome the demands of a multi-faceted job and have an interest in the food service and hospitality industry, here’s what you need to know.

Food and Beverage Courses

Ontario college food and beverage programs combine practical learning with an understanding of the food service industry. Theory classes will teach menu planning, mixology, sanitation and more, while business courses in finance, operations, law and cost control will equip you with the practical tools to manage or run a kitchen or bar area.

You’ll also learn important communication skills, including how to manage staff members and how to interact with customers in a professional manner. These skills often mean the difference between average and exceptional in the industry.

Most food and beverage programs at Ontario colleges offer a work placement in the field, an in-house training experience or both. Many institutions have on-campus restaurants run entirely by students in the hospitality and food and beverage programs.

General Food and Beverage Program Requirements

Food and beverage programs require an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent, including a grade 12 English credit and a grade 11 or grade 12 mathematics credit. Courses in hospitality, entrepreneurial studies and accounting, as well as experience in the hospitality or food services industry, are also seen as assets.

Food and Beverage Jobs and Salaries

There are a number of avenues for someone with a diploma in this industry, including (but not limited to):

  • Operating a restaurant, deli or catering service
  • Serving in the hotel industry
  • Bar or entertainment management
  • Restaurant management

Positions include dining room or kitchen supervisors, management trainees or department heads in the food service industry.

Graduates have average starting salaries between $26,000 and $31,000 per year, but can move up quickly. If you choose to work independently, your salary will grow with your experience and development of clientele.

Ontario Colleges Offering Food and Beverage Programs

Use the left-column navigation to refine your search by College, Program Availability, Program Start Date and more, or see the table below for a complete list of food and beverage programs at Ontario colleges.

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