Food Service Supervisor

Food service supervisors are responsible for the day to day management of food services in health care facilities, cafeterias, catering and hospitality establishments.

NOC Number(s):6212
Minimum Education:High school diploma
Employment Outlook:Job openings: turnover plus new jobs due to above average growth in occupation in Alberta 2013-2017
Interests:M D s

Duties | Working Conditions | Personal Characteristics | Education | Employment | Salary | Other Information | Related Occupations | Related School Subjects | Related Field of Study


Food service supervisors work under the direction of food service managers. Duties vary from one position to another but, in general, food service supervisors:

  • direct and co-ordinate the activities of workers operating kitchen equipment and preparing, portioning and serving food
  • forecast menu requirements based on a master menu and prepare production sheets or orders for food preparation workers
  • estimate requirements and order food, equipment and supplies
  • supervise and direct the assembly of special diet and regular trays, and the delivery of food carts
  • ensure that food safety regulations are followed
  • maintain food and equipment inventories
  • develop equipment maintenance schedules, arrange for repairs as needed and evaluate new products
  • supervise cafeteria services and catered events
  • conduct audits regarding patient or client satisfaction, food wastage, sanitation and safety
  • set up work schedules and train food service workers.

Depending on the size of the food service department, supervisors also may assist in:

  • the development of departmental objectives, budgets, policies, procedures and strategies
  • the selection and supervision of food service staff.

In continuing care centres and nursing homes, food service supervisors may work with dietitians to visit incoming residents to determine their nutritional needs and preferences.

Working Conditions

Shift work usually is required including weekends and holidays.

Food service supervisors spend long periods of time on their feet in warm and sometimes noisy kitchens. Lifting up to 10 kilograms may be required.

Personal Characteristics

Food service supervisors need the following characteristics:

  • physical health and stamina
  • emotional maturity
  • excellent communication and organizational skills
  • good interpersonal skills for dealing with all types of people
  • good problem solving skills
  • the ability to work effectively in a team environment
  • the ability to remain composed when faced with unexpected problems and stressful situations.

They should enjoy co-ordinating information (for example, schedules, inventory), supervising the work of others and working with people.

Educational Requirements

Food service supervisors must be familiar with all aspects of food service including:

  • food production
  • menu planning and costing
  • food safety and sanitation regulations
  • food service activities and policies
  • effective business practices.

Most employers prefer to hire job applicants who have related post-secondary education, certification and computer skills. For information about related programs and certification, see the Banquet ManagerCatererDietitian, Food and Nutrition Manager and Restaurant Manager occupational profiles.

Employment and Advancement

Most food service supervisors are employed by:

  • hospitals and community health centres
  • continuing care facilities
  • large organizations that have their own cafeterias
  • commercial food establishments (including fast food outlets)
  • contract food companies.

Advancement opportunities may be limited for food service supervisors who do not have related post-secondary education.

In Alberta, 93 per cent of people employed as food service supervisors work in the Accommodation and Food Services industry.

The employment outlook in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • trends and events affecting overall employment (especially in the Accommodation and Food Services industry)
  • location in Alberta
  • employment turnover (work opportunities generated by people leaving existing positions)
  • occupational growth (work opportunities resulting from the creation of new positions that never existed before)
  • size of the occupation.

Over 7,600 Albertans are employed in the Food Service Supervisors occupational group which is expected to have an annual above average growth of 3.0 per cent from 2013 to 2017 in Alberta. It is forecasted that about 228 new positions will be created each year in addition to job openings created by employment turnover.

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Section revised November 2013


Salaries for food service supervisors vary depending on the size and location of the employing organization.

According to the 2011 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey, Albertans in the Food Service Supervisors occupational group earned on average from $12.12 to $15.09 an hour. The mean wage for this group was $13.28 an hour. Salaries in hospitals and healthcare institutions are generally near the top of the range.

For more detailed information, see WAGEinfo.

Other Sources of Information

EDinfo website:

Alberta Hotel and Lodging Association website:

Canadian Association of Foodservice Professionals website:

Canadian Healthcare Association website:

Canadian Tourism Human Resource Council website:

Related Occupational Profiles
Banquet Manager
Food and Beverage Service Supervisor In Formal Dining Rooms
Food and Nutrition Manager
Restaurant Manager

Related High School Subjects
Business, Administration, Finance and Information Technology (Management and Marketing); Health, Recreation and Human Services (Foods; and Tourism); and Science

Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
Personal and Food Services

Produced January 2013
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For more information on career planning, occupations and educational programs, visit the Alberta Learning Information Service (ALIS) website at, call the Alberta Career Information Hotline toll-free at 1-800-661-3753 or 780-422-4266 in Edmonton or visit an Alberta Works Centre near you.

The information contained in this profile was current as of the dates shown. Salaries, employment outlook and educational programs may change. Please check the information before making any career decisions.

Government of Alberta, Human Services