Food Service Dietitian

Do you want to make a difference through excellence in food service provision in institutions and community-based food service facilities?

What do Food Service Dietitians do?

Food service dietitians are responsible for large-scale food service provision and service. They coordinate, assess and plan food service processes in health care facilities, school food service programs and prisons. These dietitians will perform quality audits of their departments, train other food service workers and use marketing skills to launch new menus and innovative food service programs within their institution. These dietitians direct and manage the operation of food and nutrition services, including kitchen staff, delivery staff and dietary assistants or diet aides.

Food Service Dietitians combine management skills and nutrition expertise when delivering food services. Many food service dietitians work as consultants under contract with healthcare facilities or in their own private practice. They may consult with food service managers and other staff to help with menu assessment, development, budgeting, and planning.

Where are the jobs?

    • menu assessment
    • menu planning
    • recipe development and evaluation
    • budgeting
    • food service consultancies (budgeting, purchasing, food preparation, food distribution, food and nutrition
    • policy development)
    • meals on wheels
    • hospitality and catering
    • contracting of food services

Employers

  • hospitals
  • nursing homes
  • residential care centres
  • meals on wheels
  • schools
  • weight loss programs
  • colleges and universities
  • company cafeterias
  • correctional facilities
  • camps
  • consultancy work (under contract or self employed/private practice

Skills required for the job 

  • Skills in the assessment and planning of food service processes in health care and aged care facilities, school food service programs and prisons.
  • Performing quality audits of processes within food service departments.
  • Running training programs for food service and other relevant staff within the organisation
  • Marketing skills and nutrition expertise to launch new menus and various programs within their organisation.
  • Management and organisational skills when responsible for food service and nutrition staff, dietary assistants or diet aides.
  • Contract management and working as a consultant with food service managers.

Skills you should aim to develop

  • Teamwork, partnership & collaboration skills
  • Communication (e.g. people skills, relationship building)
  • Being practical and aware of what is feasible in a food service setting
  • Project management skills (e.g. organisation, time management, problem solving)
  • Influencing, negotiating and advocacy skills

How to develop your skills

To give yourself the best opportunity to be job ready at the end of your degree, we recommend that you:

Volunteer at your local hospital, aged care facility, child care centre or camp as this will give you an

opportunity to be exposed to food service dietetics.

Find a mentor – mentoring through the APD program is a great way to learn from those with

experience.

Join and become involved in the DAA  - students are able to join for free.

Attend Professional organisation events or seminars and set yourself a goal to meet two new people

every time you attend.

When searching for a paid job, be strategic and look for one in your area of interest or one that

will give you skills to stand out in your area of interest.

When you meet new people tell them (confidently and succinctly) what you want to do when you

graduate. You never know but they may have a contact that they can introduce you to now or

sometime in the future.

What units or courses to study at Deakin

Master of Dietetics (required)

Miscellaneous 

You can become an Accredited Practising Dietitian with the Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA) once you have graduated and complete the provisional APD year.

Last updated:
Page custodian: Faculty of Health