Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Management Science

Major Professor

Mary J. Hitchcock

Committee Members

Grayce E. Goertz, Mary Nelle Traylor


Training and employment needs for food service personnel employed in 20 randomly selected hospitals in East Tennessee were studied. Hospital administrators and heads of dietary departments answered questionnaires and participated in personal interviews.

Shortage of adequately trained food service personnel existed. Thirty percent of the heads of dietary departments had earned baccalaureate degrees, 15 percent were members of the American Dietetic Association; whereas 10 percent had not graduated from high school. Eighty percent had participated in food service training programs prior to current employment with 65 percent participating in the last two years. Five percent of the remaining food service personnel had participated in food service training programs prior to current employment with 7 percent participating in the last two years. In all hospitals surveyed, supervised on-the-job instructions were given to food service personnel.

The training needs of food service personnel grouped into job classifications were evaluated by the heads of dietary departments. Skills and areas of knowledge considered most important for food service personnel in effectively performing their tasks included: (1) menu planning, food procurement, and human nutrition and food science for managerial personnel, (2) principles of quantity food preparation and service, human relations, and principles of nutrition and diet therapy for supervisory personnel, (3) sanitation and personal hygiene, principles of quantity food preparation, and proper food handling and storage for food preparation workers, and (4) sanitation and personal hygiene for food service and food sanitation workers. The training of managerial personnel, supervisory personnel, and food preparation workers was considered a mutual responsibility of the hospitals and other agencies such as governmental or educational agencies. The training of food service and food sanitation workers was considered a major responsibility of hospitals.

Employment of food service personnel totaled 469 employees with eight vacant positions. Future employment needs were not determined since only four of the 16 food service managers employed in hospitals planning expansion of facilities could estimate the number of future positions needed.

In this study, a need existed for the development of training programs for all levels of food service personnel. Through effective utilization of training programs, hospital dietary departments may increase their supply of adequately trained personnel, increase the level of productivity, and reduce operational costs, especially labor turnover costs.

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