The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics classifies cafeteria managers with all food service managers. Managers of institutional food service operations, such as school cafeterias, tend to have better schedules than the long hours commonly worked by those running supper clubs and fast food restaurants. The salaries of school cafeteria managers depends on the type of school for which they work.
Cafeteria managers working in private elementary and secondary schools had an average salary of $23.50 per hour as of May 2010, or $48,890 per year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The middle 50 percent of these school cafeteria managers on the earnings scale were making $16.64 to $28.90 per hour, or $34,610 to $60,120 per year. The bottom 10 percent had wages below $11.20 per hour and the top 10 percent were earning at or above $37.75 per hour or $78,510 per year.
Salaries were somewhat higher for cafeteria managers in public elementary and secondary schools. The average salary for cafeteria managers in this setting was $24.18 per hour, or $50,300 per year. The middle 50 percent of these workers had pay rates of $15.93 to $30.76 per hour, or $33,140 to $63,980 per year. As with private schools, the entire salary range was wide, with the bottom 10 percent making $12.54 per hour and less, and the top 10 percent earning at or above $30.76 per hour or $81,010 per year.
School cafeteria managers and other food service managers working at junior colleges had an average wage of $27.73 per hour in 2010, or $56,630 per year. The bottom 10 percent were making $15.95 per hour or less, and the top 10 percent $41.21 per hour or $85,720 per year and more. The middle 50 percent salary range for these workers was $20 to $32.89 per hour, equaling $41,590 to $68,410 per year.
Colleges, Universities and Professional Schools
Cafeteria managers and other food service managers employed with colleges, universities and professional schools had the highest incomes of food service managers in these bureau defined categories. They earned $29.94 per hour on average in 2010 or $62,270 per year, and the top 10 percent had annual salaries at or above $92,350. The middle 50 percent of the pay scale was $22.67 to $35.59 per hour, translating to $47,140 to $74,030 per year. Only the bottom 10 percent were making $19.03 per hour or $39,580 per year and below.
2016 Salary Information for Food Service Managers
Food service managers earned a median annual salary of $50,820 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, food service managers earned a 25th percentile salary of $38,260, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $66,990, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 308,700 people were employed in the U.S. as food service managers.
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Food Service Managers
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2010 - Food Service Managers
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Employment Statistics Query System
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook: Food Service Managers
- Career Trend: Food Service Managers
- Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images