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Top 11 Restaurant Consultant Certifications

This article outlines the best certifications available for restaurant consultants to help them gain the necessary skills needed to succeed in the industry.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 17 min read

Certifications demonstrate to potential employers that a restaurant consultant has the knowledge and experience necessary to effectively advise restaurants on their operations. They also provide a benchmark of professional standards that consultants must meet in order to be considered for positions. Certifications help employers identify qualified candidates, and they are often required for certain roles within the restaurant industry. Additionally, certifications can give consultants an edge when competing for jobs. Having a certification shows employers that the consultant is up-to-date on best practices and is committed to staying informed about new developments in the field.

The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of the key certifications for restaurant consultants and how they can help advance their careers.

What are Restaurant Consultant Certifications?

Restaurant consultant certification is a form of professional credentialing that recognizes individuals who have achieved a certain level of expertise in the restaurant industry. This certification is typically provided by organizations such as the National Restaurant Association (NRA) or the American Culinary Federation (ACF). Certified restaurant consultants are knowledgeable about all aspects of running a successful restaurant, from menu design and kitchen operations to marketing and financial management.

Certified restaurant consultants can offer valuable advice and insights to restaurant owners and managers on how to improve their business practices. They can help assess the current state of a business, identify areas for improvement, develop strategies for growth, and provide guidance on how best to implement those strategies. In addition, they can provide assistance with menu planning, promotional efforts, cost-control measures, customer service initiatives, staff training, and more. By utilizing the skills and knowledge of an experienced certified consultant, restaurants can increase their level of success while avoiding costly mistakes.

Pro Tip: Make sure you research the restaurant consultant certification program you are considering to make sure it is accredited and has a good reputation. Many certifications are available, but not all of them are equal in terms of the quality of instruction and recognition they provide.

Related: What does a Restaurant Consultant do?

Top 11 Restaurant Consultant Certifications

Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Restaurant Consultants today.

1. Certified Professional Restaurant Consultant (CPRC)

A Certified Professional Restaurant Consultant (CPRC) is a professional who has achieved a certain level of expertise in the restaurant industry. The CPRC designation is awarded to individuals who have demonstrated the knowledge and experience necessary to provide consulting services to restaurants, bars, and other foodservice operations.

The CPRC certification program is offered by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF). To become certified, applicants must meet several requirements, including having at least three years of full-time restaurant management or ownership experience, passing an exam that covers topics such as food safety, nutrition, marketing, and financial management, and completing continuing education courses every three years.

It takes approximately six months to complete the certification process. Applicants must first submit an application to the NRAEF along with all required documentation. Once approved, they must then register for and pass the exam within one year of submitting their application. After passing the exam, applicants will receive their certification card and be officially recognized as a CPRC.

The cost of becoming a Certified Professional Restaurant Consultant varies depending on where you take the exam and any additional training courses you may choose to take. Generally speaking, it can cost anywhere from $500-$1,000 to become certified.

2. Certified Foodservice Professional (CFP)

The Certified Foodservice Professional (CFP) is a professional certification program offered by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF). It is designed to recognize and reward foodservice professionals who demonstrate a high level of knowledge, skill and experience in the foodservice industry. The CFP designation is an indication that the individual has achieved mastery of the core competencies necessary to be successful in today’s competitive restaurant environment.

It typically takes between six months and one year to complete the program. In order to become certified, individuals must first pass an online exam that covers topics such as management, marketing, customer service, nutrition, sanitation, safety and more. After passing the exam, individuals must then submit a portfolio of work demonstrating their knowledge and skills in these areas. Once approved by the NRAEF review board, individuals will receive their certification.

The cost for the CFP program varies depending on which components are chosen; however, most people can expect to pay around $500-$1,000 for all components including registration fees and exam fees.

3. Certified Hospitality Consultant (CHC)

Certified Hospitality Consultant (CHC) is a certification program offered by the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (AHLEI). It is designed to provide hospitality professionals with the necessary knowledge and skills to effectively manage, lead, and consult in the hospitality industry.

The CHC program consists of four courses: Introduction to Hospitality Consulting, Strategic Planning for Hospitality Consultants, Financial Analysis for Hospitality Consultants, and Legal Issues for Hospitality Consultants. Each course is offered online or in-person at an AHLEI-approved training center. The courses must be completed within 12 months of enrollment in order to receive the CHC designation.

To get certified as a CHC, you must first complete all four courses within 12 months of enrollment. Once you have completed the courses, you must pass an exam administered by AHLEI in order to receive your certification. The exam consists of 150 multiple-choice questions and takes approximately three hours to complete.

The cost of the CHC program varies depending on how you choose to take it. If you take all four courses online, it will cost $1,395 USD; if taken in-person at an approved training center, it will cost $1,595 USD.

4. Certified Restaurant Manager (CRM)

Certified Restaurant Manager (CRM) is a professional designation awarded by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF). The CRM certification is designed to recognize individuals who have demonstrated knowledge and proficiency in restaurant management. It is an important credential for those seeking to advance their careers in the restaurant industry.

To become a Certified Restaurant Manager, applicants must pass an exam that covers topics such as food safety, customer service, financial management, and personnel management. The exam consists of 200 multiple-choice questions and takes approximately four hours to complete. Applicants can take the exam at any Prometric Testing Center or online through ProProctor.

The cost of the CRM certification varies depending on whether you take the exam at a Prometric Testing Center or online through ProProctor. Taking the exam at a Prometric Testing Center costs $250, while taking it online through ProProctor costs $300. Additionally, there may be additional fees associated with retaking the exam if you do not pass it on your first attempt.

5. Certified Hospitality Educator (CHE)

Certified Hospitality Educator (CHE) is a professional certification program that recognizes individuals who have achieved the highest level of expertise in hospitality education. The CHE credential is awarded by the Educational Institute of the American Hotel & Lodging Association, and it is designed to recognize excellence in teaching, research, and service in hospitality education.

The CHE program requires applicants to complete an extensive application process that includes submitting evidence of their teaching experience, educational qualifications, research activities, and service contributions. The application also requires applicants to submit three letters of recommendation from colleagues or supervisors who can attest to their commitment to excellence in hospitality education.

Once the application has been reviewed and approved by the Educational Institute’s Certification Board, applicants are invited to take the CHE examination. The exam consists of multiple-choice questions that assess knowledge about topics such as hospitality management, customer service, marketing principles, financial management, and human resources management.

The CHE program takes approximately six months to complete from start to finish. Applicants must submit their applications at least four months prior to taking the exam so that they have adequate time for review and preparation.

The cost for the CHE program varies depending on whether you are an individual applicant or a group applicant (e.g., a college or university). Individual applicants pay $495 for the application fee plus $195 for each additional letter of recommendation required; group applicants pay $1,295 for up to five applications plus $95 per additional letter of recommendation required.

6. Certified Food and Beverage Executive (CFBE)

Certified Food and Beverage Executive (CFBE) is a professional certification provided by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation. It is designed to recognize and reward individuals who have demonstrated excellence in foodservice operations, management, and leadership. The CFBE certification is considered a mark of distinction in the restaurant industry and can be used to demonstrate commitment to the profession.

The CFBE certification program consists of three components: an online exam, a portfolio review, and an on-site assessment. The online exam tests knowledge of foodservice operations, management, and leadership topics. The portfolio review assesses the candidate’s experience in the foodservice industry. The on-site assessment evaluates the candidate’s ability to manage a restaurant operation.

It typically takes about six months to complete all three components of the CFBE certification program. Candidates must first register for the online exam through the National Restaurant Association website and pay a fee of $200 USD. After passing the online exam, candidates must submit their portfolio for review by a panel of experts appointed by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation. Finally, candidates must successfully complete an on-site assessment at one of several locations across the United States or Canada.

The total cost for completing all three components of the CFBE certification program is approximately $1,000 USD. This includes registration fees for both the online exam ($200 USD) and on-site assessment ($800 USD).

7. Certified Menu Marketing Professional (CMMP)

Certified Menu Marketing Professional (CMMP) is a professional certification program offered by the National Restaurant Association. It is designed to help restaurant professionals understand and apply menu marketing strategies to increase sales, profits, and customer satisfaction.

The CMMP program consists of four courses: Menu Design & Development, Menu Pricing & Promotion, Customer Insights & Experience, and Financial Analysis. Each course is self-paced and can be completed in approximately 8-10 hours.

To become certified as a CMMP, you must complete all four courses and pass an exam with a score of 70% or higher. The exam fee is $150 per attempt. After passing the exam, you will receive your official CMMP certificate from the National Restaurant Association.

The cost of the entire CMMP program is $450 for members of the National Restaurant Association or $650 for non-members.

8. Certified Hospitality Technology Professional (CHTP)

Certified Hospitality Technology Professional (CHTP) is a certification program offered by the International Society of Hospitality Consultants (ISHC). This certification recognizes individuals who have achieved a high level of expertise in hospitality technology. The CHTP certification is designed to provide professionals with the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to effectively manage and implement hospitality technology solutions.

The CHTP certification requires candidates to complete an online course, pass an exam, and submit a portfolio of evidence demonstrating their knowledge and experience in hospitality technology. The online course consists of four modules covering topics such as hospitality technology trends, systems architecture, security protocols, and project management. Candidates must also demonstrate their ability to apply these concepts in real-world scenarios.

The CHTP exam is administered by ISHC and consists of 100 multiple-choice questions related to the four modules covered in the online course. Candidates must achieve a score of 80% or higher on the exam in order to be awarded the CHTP certification.

The cost for obtaining the CHTP certification is $995 USD for ISHC members or $1,195 USD for non-members. The entire process typically takes around three months from start to finish.

9. Certified Kitchen Designer (CKD)

Certified Kitchen Designer (CKD) is a professional designation given to individuals who have demonstrated knowledge and experience in kitchen design. The certification is offered by the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA). To obtain the CKD designation, an individual must have at least seven years of combined kitchen design experience and education, pass a comprehensive exam, and submit a portfolio of completed kitchen designs for review.

It typically takes about two years to complete all the requirements for the CKD designation. During this time, individuals must complete coursework in areas such as kitchen design principles, materials and finishes selection and specification, electrical code compliance, lighting design, ergonomics, and more.

To begin the process of becoming a Certified Kitchen Designer (CKD), individuals must first become an NKBA member. Membership fees vary depending on the type of membership chosen. After becoming an NKBA member, individuals can apply to take the CKD exam online or through their local NKBA chapter.

The cost to become a Certified Kitchen Designer (CKD) varies depending on whether you choose to take the exam online or through your local chapter. The online exam costs $595 USD plus a $50 application fee; however, if you choose to take the exam through your local chapter it may be less expensive due to discounts that are sometimes available.

10. National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation’s ServSafe Certification

The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation’s ServSafe Certification is a comprehensive food safety and sanitation program designed to help restaurant operators, managers, and staff protect their customers from foodborne illness. The program is based on the FDA Food Code and provides training and certification in food safety principles.

ServSafe Certification takes approximately 8 hours to complete and consists of both classroom instruction and a proctored exam. To get certified, individuals must attend an approved ServSafe class or take an online course followed by the proctored exam.

The cost of ServSafe Certification varies depending on the type of class taken. For example, attending a traditional classroom-based course typically costs between $100 - $200 for materials plus any additional fees charged by the instructor. Online courses usually range from $50 - $75 for materials plus any additional fees charged by the instructor. The cost of taking the proctored exam is typically around $40 - $60 per person.

11. National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation’s Management Certificate Program

The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation’s Management Certificate Program is a comprehensive program designed to help restaurant and foodservice professionals develop their management skills. The program consists of four courses that focus on the key areas of restaurant operations, including customer service, human resources, financial management, and marketing. Each course is self-paced and can be completed in as little as eight weeks or up to six months.

To get the certificate, students must complete all four courses and pass the associated exams with a score of 80% or higher. Upon completion of the program, students will receive an official certificate from the NRAEF recognizing their achievement.

The cost of the program varies depending on which courses are taken and whether they are taken online or in person. Online courses range from $99-$129 per course while in-person classes range from $299-$349 per course.

Do You Really Need a Restaurant Consultant Certificate?

The answer to this question depends on your specific goals and circumstances. If you are looking to become a professional restaurant consultant, then a certificate can be useful in helping to establish credibility and demonstrate your commitment to the profession. A certificate may also be beneficial if you plan to teach or lecture about restaurant consulting.

For those who are simply looking for general guidance on how to run a successful restaurant, then a certificate may not be necessary. There are plenty of books, online courses, and other resources available that can provide valuable information without the need for any formal certification. Additionally, many experienced restaurateurs offer consultation services without any type of certification or training.

Ultimately, it is up to each individual to decide whether or not they need a restaurant consultant certificate. It can certainly help in some cases, but there are also plenty of alternatives that may be just as effective.

Related: Restaurant Consultant Resume Examples

FAQs About Restaurant Consultant Certifications

1. What is a Restaurant Consultant Certification?

Answer: A Restaurant Consultant Certification is a professional certification that demonstrates knowledge and expertise in the field of restaurant consulting. It provides recognition for those who demonstrate a high level of competency and experience in the field, and can be used to differentiate a consultant from other industry professionals.

2. How do I become certified as a restaurant consultant?

Answer: To become certified as a restaurant consultant, you must complete an accredited training program or course that covers topics such as food safety, menu design, marketing, financial management, customer service, and more. After completing the program or course, you will need to pass an exam to receive your certification.

3. What are the benefits of becoming certified as a restaurant consultant?

Answer: Becoming certified as a restaurant consultant can help you stand out in the competitive job market and can provide credibility with potential clients. It also serves as proof that you have the necessary skills and knowledge to effectively advise restaurants on their operations and strategies.

4. How long does it take to get certified?

Answer: The amount of time it takes to get certified depends on which certification program or course you choose; however, most programs require anywhere from 6-12 months of study before taking the exam.

5. Are there any prerequisites for becoming certified?

Answer: Yes, depending on the certification program or course you choose there may be prerequisites such as having prior work experience in the restaurant industry or completing certain courses related to restaurant management or operations before being eligible for certification.