A certified food & beverage executive is a professional executive with experience in the food and restaurant industry who also has certification. The American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute is the organization that offers CFBE certification. With this type of certificate, you can earn more money and show that you have management experience. According to Payscale, those with CFBE certification can earn between $62,000 and $70,000 a year. To get your certificate, you must apply, prepare and then take an extensive test.

Applying for Certification

Members of the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute can apply for CFBE certification for $375, but all others must pay a $500 fee to take the test. You must meet all prerequisites before you apply too, which include having one year of restaurant management experience or one year of beverage management experience. You can then fill out the online application. This application has several upload boxes and requires that you upload copies of your most recent resume, a description of your current job and a copy of your official college transcript or high school diploma. You must also submit a verification form signed by your employer that verifies you work in the industry.

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Preparing for the Exam

The Institute offers two different resources that you can use to prepare for the exam. The first is a booklet that walks you through the different sections of the test and explains the type of questions you face. You’ll also receive a CD that works with most computer drives. This CD fully explains the questions covered on the test, shows you how to narrow down your choices and includes sample questions from past exams. You can print out that information for reviewing away from the computer later.

Taking the Exam

You have three full hours to take the certified food & beverage executive certification exam. The exam comes with 150 questions that cover six key areas of food and beverage management. While some questions use the experience and knowledge that you gained on the job, other questions are more technical in nature. Those six key area include human resources management, leadership, marketing and sales management, financial management, managing beverage operations and managing food operations. You will take this test on a computer in a designated testing center with a proctor watching nearby to ensure that you follow all the instructions and do not cheat.

Maintaining Your Certification

After you pass the test, the Institute will provide you with a lapel pin. You have the right to use the CFBE certification on all documents relating to your job. The Institute will also enroll you in its re-certification program and give you a portfolio. You use that portfolio to keep track of the accomplishments and awards you receive as well as any future jobs you hold. The Institute will automatically renew your certification based on that information and send you a new pin that reflects the years of certification you have. You do not need to take the exam again.

Executives and managers in the food and beverage industry usually work in restaurants, bars and nightclubs. They handle customer complaints, budget, scheduling and other duties. Earning your certified food & beverage executive certification requires that you pass an exam but shows that you have more experience, which can help you make more in future jobs.