2006 Compensation Study: What I make

Salaries increased 1.9% for FSDs last year. Did yours?

Degrees pay off: Advanced degrees continue to pay off in foodservice. Eighteen percent of respondents holding graduate degrees earn more than $80,000 per year, the study shows, while only 12% of those with just a culinary certification are at that level.

Other statistics show that the average foodservice director is 49 years old, has been in the foodservice industry for just under 25 years and has held his or her current position for 10 years.

Hot jobs: A related FSD survey explored readers’ attitudes toward their own staffs—specifically those staff positions that directors feel will be the hardest to fill in the coming year. Results from that survey show that:

  • Service positions (dishwashers, porters, cashiers, etc.) will be the hardest to fill for the majority (58%) of respondents. Healthcare operators (both acute- and long-term care) cited this response well ahead of the average, while these positions are least problematic for B&I operators.
  • Mid-level Management (shift supervisors, unit managers) are the hardest-to-fill staff positions for 24% of those surveyed, with colleges citing that response more than any other segment.
  • In Senior Management positions (assistant or associate directors, executive chefs, etc.) are a concern for only 13% of respondents.

What they earn: As a companion to the FSD Compensation Study, editors examined some national average salaries for other industries:

  • Doctor $105,549
  • Lawyer $91,317
  • Stock broker $64,217
  • Teacher (K-12) $40,499
  • Restaurant manager $39,160
  • Magazine editor $52,814

Source: payscale.com; average of reported salary averages in select U.S. cities

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We started inviting chefs and FSDs from other districts to come prepare lunch. Through featuring different chefs and chef-inspired meals, I’ve found the students have been looking forward to coming into the cafeteria. They are willing to try new things with crazy names, and to ask for their favorite outside items turned healthy.

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I’ve created a high school “focus group” to see what future college students will want in terms of foodservice. This year, I called up two now-seniors from the last group to get 10 of their friends together. I also include a sophomore or two so that I always have a contact for next year. Tapas, grain bowls and late-night breakfast all originated from this group.

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This summer, we teamed up with a church to deliver meals to three housing projects. We brought the meals to the church, and then the church recruited volunteers to deliver the meals to the children. We’ve been very impressed with this new model, and it shows great promise in getting meals to children who otherwise would not be able to leave their housing project.

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