The ManageFirst® Program, created by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) and managed nationally by National Restaurant Association Solutions, is a management development program that equips students with the key competencies they need to begin or advance their management careers in our demanding industry. ManageFirst has been adopted by more than 350 colleges and universities and in a variety of restaurant and foodservice companies.
A competency-based program created with input from industry leaders.
The ManageFirst Program was created to address the needs voiced by industry members and educators. To ensure the program’s topics were on target, we worked with more than 400 academics, operators, trainers, hiring managers and executives to conduct an 18-month Job Task Analysis and identify the competencies essential to a manager’s success.
The ManageFirst ProgramTM is relevant, comprehensive and flexible.
The program is easy to implement in a variety of settings. Program components include textbooks covering 10 key topics, corresponding exams and certificates, and ManageFirst Professional® credential (MFPTM), which demonstrates a mastery of competencies to future employers. ServSafe® and ServSafe Alcohol® are also a part of the program.
To learn more about the program, simply click on the appropriate link below.
Flexible to meet the needs of academic and corporate training situations.
Program participants receive industry-respected training that prepares them to confidently lead our ever-growing industry. This management program teaches practical competencies needed to face real-world challenges in the industry, including interpersonal communication, ethics, accounting skills and more.
The ManageFirst Program is designed to be highly flexible
- The program can be utilized in both an academic and industry training setting
- Instructors can easily incorporate the ManageFirst Program into their current lesson plans or training programs
- Select program components can be used as standalone training or to supplement a class or an entire curriculum
Program Topics and Exams
The ManageFirst Program topics are broken down into four Core Credential Topics and eight Elective Topics, with an exam specific to each topic. Students earn a certificate for each exam they pass.
ManageFirst Professional® (MFP) Credential
The MFP credential recognizes students as having the academic and practical knowledge they need to succeed in the restaurant, foodservice, and hospitality industries.
To earn the MFP credential, students must:
- Pass four Core Credential exams and one Elective exam
- Provide documentation for 800 hours of unpaid or paid industry work experience
The ManageFirst Program titles are organized as subject matter groups that are reflected in the 10 textbooks. For example, the Controlling Foodservice Costs Guide could correlate with a Cost Control or Operations Management Course.
The chart below illustrates how ManageFirst Program topics align with competencies managers need to succeed in our industry.
Core Credential Topics
|Textbook/Exam Topic||Associated Competencies|
|Controlling Foodservice Costs||Manage and forecast profitability|
|Hospitality and Restaurant Management||Manage team membersManage information flow|
|Hospitality Human Resources Mgmt and Supervision||Manage team membersComply with legal requirements|
|ServSafe®||Food safety and sanitationFacilities and equipment management|
Foundation Topics (elective)
|Textbook/Exam Topic||Associated Competencies|
|Customer Service||Manage guest experience|
|Principles of Food and Beverage Management||Manage food and beverage program|
|Purchasing||Manage purchasing information|
|Hospitality Accounting||Manage and forecast profitability|
|Bar and Beverage Management||Manage food and beverage programResponsible Alcohol service|
|Hospitality and Restaurant Marketing||Business promotions, marketing and advertising|
|ServSafe Alcohol®||Alcohol law and your responsibilityRecognizing and preventing intoxicationChecking identificationHandling difficult situations|
From training materials to certificates, the ManageFirst Program is a complete training solution. Below is an overview of all of the individual components that make up the program.
Textbooks: The program includes 10 textbooks* that can be used as standalone training materials or in conjunction with other materials. Each includes the essential content for each topic, plus learning activities, professional profiles, research topics and more.
*ServSafe and ServSafe Alcohol are both standalone programs in addition to being part of the ManageFirst Program, and therefore have their own training textbooks. For more information, please visit ServSafe.com.
Exams: Cover the material in the textbooks, and can be taken in either paper-and-pencil format or online to meet the needs of you and your class. The National Restaurant Association processes all exams, with full administration, support and customer service.
Certificates: Participants in the ManageFirst Program earn ManageFirst Program certificates after passing the exam correlating to a ManageFirst topic. These certificates reward students for their accomplishment and serve as a resource to be used in the job search process. Further, industry hiring managers can look for these certificates when searching for top-shelf, qualified talent.
The ManageFirst Professional® (MFP) Credential: The ManageFirst Professional credential is a distinguished recognition endorsed by the National Restaurant Association. This credential represents both dedication and proven management skills. Those who earn the MFP have passed five required ManageFirst exams (including ServSafe) and accrued 800 hours of unpaid or paid industry work experience. Seeing “ManageFirst Professional” or “MFP” on a resume indicates that the candidate has mastered key skills and has real-world experience. These candidates can hit the ground running.