Job competencies expected of entry-level foodservice managers: Implications for curriculum development

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Higher Education


John Centra


business education, hospitality industries

Subject Categories

Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Other Education | Science and Mathematics Education | Student Counseling and Personnel Services


The field of hospitality management continues to grow and develop as a professional field. Developing qualified entry-level managers will continue to be important for on-going success of the industry and the continuing development of the profession. One of the critical factors in positioning this growth is the level of agreement between the practitioners in the industry and the educators within the academic programs that assist in the development of future management level employees.

The primary purpose of this study was to compare the level of importance given to a series of knowledge and skill competency statements by hospitality industry practitioners and hospitality management educators. The study also investigated recommendations of these two groups concerning the desired ratio of technical knowledge to general hospitality knowledge and general education areas in the restaurant and foodservice management curricula.

A survey instrument was developed to measure the importance ratings of 79 competency statements related to conceptual and technical areas of restaurant and foodservice management. Respondents were also asked to allocate a percentage of the total curriculum to a set of general education courses and to provide feedback on the amount of prior work experience expected of entry-level managers.

The sample consisted of 319 Council on Hotel, Restaurant, and Institutional Education members and 1086 practioners from the National Restaurant Association's membership from full menu, limited menu, and hotel/motel foodservice operations. An overall response rate of 43% was achieved.

The t-tests for independent samples indicated that while the educators rated the importance of the competency statements significantly higher, the overall rank ordering by both groups was very similar (r$\sb{\rm s}$ =.93). Mathematics, writing, and public speaking courses were reported to be the most important of the general education courses tested.

A multiple range test was performed to determine if any significant differences existed on the importance ratings of the variables between the three strata of NRA foodservice classifications. The multiple comparison revealed that out of a total of 79 competency statements, 25, or 31.7% were found to be rated significantly lower by the limited menu group, while the hotel/motel and full menu groups did not differ significantly.


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