Best Online Hotel and Restaurant Management Degree Programs 2024

Hotel and restaurant managers are in demand and often earn above-average salaries. Learn how a restaurant management degree can prepare you for a job.
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Updated on April 11, 2024
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Best Online Bachelor's Programs in Hotel and Restaurant Management

Managing a hotel or restaurant requires education and training many people might not expect, but a management restaurant degree can prepare you for a leadership position in the hospitality field. Earning a management restaurant degree can also teach you transferable leadership skills and provide hands-on experience in different settings.

This page highlights one of the management restaurant degree programs of 2024. You can also discover salary information relevant to this field and answers to some frequently asked questions about hotel and restaurant management.

Featured Online Hotel and Restaurant Management Programs

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

The Top Online Hotel and Restaurant Management Degree of 2024

Editor's Note: There are other universities that also offer this program online. However, we filter our results to only show schools with a graduation rate in the top third of all reporting schools.

We use trusted sources like Peterson's Data and the National Center for Education Statistics to inform the data for these schools. BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site. from our partners appear among these rankings and are indicated as such.

BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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#1 Best Online Hotel and Restaurant Management Degree Programs 2024

Johnson & Wales University

  • Providence, RI
  • 4 years
  • Online

Program Accreditation: International Council on Hotel, Restaurant, and Institutional Education

Cost per Credit:

In-State | $495

Out-of-State | $495

Credits to Graduate: 122

Founded as a business school in 1914, JWU boasts over a century of experience educating managers. JWU's online hospitality management program blends fundamental business concepts with concentration-specific coursework. 

You'll take classes in menu planning, hospitality strategic design, and event management. JWU offers optional 15-credit concentrations in food and beverage management, hotel and resort management, and sustainable tourism. An optional internship or study abroad experience can add hands-on experience to your education and prepare you for careers in a growing industry.

Most courses take eight weeks, and the online format prioritizes flexibility. This private institution also has strong hospitality industry connections.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$13,365
Out-of-state
$13,365
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$14,706
Out-of-state
$14,706
Retention Rate
Not provided
Acceptance Rate
45%
Students Enrolled
2,349
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
Not provided
Accreditation
Yes New England Commission on Higher Education

How We Rank Schools

To create this ranking, BestColleges sourced the most recent data available from the National Center for Education Statistics and the U.S. Department of Education College Scorecard. We then ranked each school according to the top variables college students selected in our College Choice and Admissions Survey. To learn more, check out our full rankings methodology or read the summary below.

Ranking Methodology Summary

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To qualify for our rankings lists, each school must be an accredited public or private, nonprofit institution. Each eligible school was then ranked based on a formula measuring:

  • Affordability (30%)
  • Student outcomes (30%)
  • Reputation (20%)
  • Diversity and social mobility (20%)

In addition, we only included colleges with graduation rates in the top third of all online colleges.

What Can I Expect From an Online Bachelor's in Hotel and Restaurant Management Program?

Pursuing a bachelor's in hotel and restaurant management makes sense for individuals who enjoy working with others and are passionate about food, travel, or tourism. Working in this field can make for many late nights and long shifts, so prospective students should consider the long-term scheduling implications before taking the plunge.

The majority of online bachelor's in hotel and restaurant management programs require four years of full-time study and consist of approximately 120 credits. Part-time students usually need six years to graduate.

While most of the curriculum focuses on general education and core hospitality topics, some programs also offer the opportunity to develop specialized knowledge. Concentration options often include hotel and lodging management, beverage management, and meetings and event management.

Given the hands-on nature of hotel and restaurant management jobs, many degrees also include an internship component. These semester-long experiences allow degree-seekers to shadow and learn from experienced hospitality professionals before leaving school.

Prospective students may encounter hotel and restaurant programs offered as a bachelor of arts or a bachelor of science. The BA typically requires a foreign language component, making it a great fit for those seeking international roles. The BS tends to focus more on business topics.

What Courses Will I Take in an Online Bachelor's in Hotel and Restaurant Management Program?

Coursework for online bachelor's in hotel and restaurant management programs familiarizes learners with every step of the hospitality process, from online bookings to repeat guests. Each school will offer its own unique curriculum, but the following section highlights several common classes.

Hotel and Restaurant Management Courses

Hospitality Industry Foundations

Typically taken in the first year of studies, this course looks at the many different careers within the hospitality industry while also covering historic and contemporary trends. Students also consider how economic forces influence both hotels and restaurants.

Dining Room Service

This course covers many core topics related to dining rooms, including food and beverage operations, food presentation techniques, reservation systems, and design plans. The class often culminates in a dining room service presentation by students.

Food Service Sanitation

Whether working in a hotel, restaurant, or resort, understanding the laws and regulations governing food sanitation is critical. This course reviews how food should be handled and processed to prevent foodborne illness.

Guest Relations

Designed for future hotel managers, concierges, and other hospitality staff, this course looks at how to deliver a quality guest experience. With an eye toward leadership, the course also covers how to evaluate and train staff and measure the effectiveness of guest policies.

Restaurant Revenue Management

Restaurant managers must carefully oversee the money that comes in and out of the restaurant if they hope to turn a profit. This course looks at some of the theories and techniques around food and beverage costs, labor management, and returns on investment.

What Can I Do With an Online Bachelor's in Hotel and Restaurant Management Degree?

Earning an online bachelor's in hotel and restaurant management qualifies graduates to take on many rewarding jobs in multiple settings. Whether working as the manager of a luxury resort in Cabo San Lucas or overseeing the opening of a funky neighborhood diner in SoHo, earning this degree signals to prospective employers a seriousness and dedication to the field.

Roles in hospitality can pay above-average salaries, especially in management. For example, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that lodging managers earned a median annual salary of $65,360 in 2023, while food service managers earned $63,060.

Additionally, the BLS projects 7% growth in the lodging management field between 2022-2032 — faster than the national median projected growth for all careers.

Restaurants

The U.S. restaurant industry added about 500,000 jobs in 2023, according to the National Restaurant Association (NRA). More positions translate to extra opportunities for recent graduates with a restaurant management degree. The NRA also reports steady growth in the restaurant sector in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Accommodation

Pursuing a career in accommodations affords graduates of an online bachelor's in hotel and restaurant management program the opportunity to work in many different settings. Some may feel drawn towards quaint bed and breakfast locales, while others may want to work for multinational luxury hotel chains.

Travel

Travel is a significant component of the hospitality industry. Working as a travel consultant or planner allows graduates to help individuals arrange all the components of their trip, including lodging, meals, and transportation.

Tourism

Many towns and cities across the world rely on tourism to fuel their economies. By working as a tourism professional, graduates have the chance to educate visitors about a unique location, help them discover the best spots in town, make recommendations on where to stay and eat, and create travel plans for visitors.

Events

Many larger hotels maintain event spaces to host events like school reunions, corporate retreats, weddings, and conferences. Working in the event side of the hospitality industry often means juggling both lodging and food and beverage responsibilities while also ensuring event spaces are set up correctly, technical needs are met, and organizers receive the support needed to pull off a great event.

Featured Online Hotel and Restaurant Management Programs

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

How Much Can You Make in Hotel and Restaurant Management?

A restaurant management degree can prepare you for many well-paying careers, such as human resources manager, entertaining manager, and lodging manager. The table below reflects the median salary information for these and other positions.

Keep in mind that different factors impact salary, such as education level, geographic location, and years of experience.

Hotel and Restaurant Management Field
Career Median Salary (May 2023)
Entertainment or Recreation Manager $73,460
Food Service Manager $63,060
Human Resources Manager $136,350
Lodging Manager $65,360
Meeting, Convention, or Event Planner $56,920
Source: BLS

Hotel and Restaurant Management Not for You? Check Out These Related Careers.

Frequently Asked Questions About Hotel and Restaurant Management Degrees

How do you pass a restaurant manager interview?

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You can prepare to pass a restaurant manager interview by researching the employer, dressing professionally, and giving a memorable pitch. Other strategies include asking informed questions and putting the customer experience first.

What degree is best for restaurant management?

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A restaurant or hospitality management degree can help you reach your goal of becoming a restaurant manager. Other relevant degrees include business management and supply chain and operations management. Your academic counselor can help you choose a program that aligns with your career goals.

What qualities do you need to be a restaurant manager?

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Restaurant managers need many skills, such as those related to communication, problem-solving, and conflict resolution. Other in-demand skills include customer service and accounting. These qualities help you manage a restaurant's dynamic work environment.

What restaurant pays managers the most?

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Cracker Barrel pays its restaurant managers one of the highest average salaries in this field, according to Indeed numbers from April 2024, with workers making more than $116,160 annually. Panda Restaurant Group (with salaries of roughly $92,000) also pays well above the profession's average annual wage of $58,000. Keep in mind that many factors affect salary, such as education and years of relevant experience.

Where do hotel managers make the most money?

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The BLS reports that hotel managers living in Hawaii earn the highest average salary in the nation -- $119,640. Professionals in the District of Columbia also make an average salary exceeding $100,000. However, the cost of living in these two areas exceeds the national average significantly.

BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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