Learn2Serve® vs ServSafe: Which Should I Choose?
When looking for a food safety training provider, there are several options, especially if you're looking for online training. Many factors weigh into making your decision:
- Does your employer request a specific program?
- Are you required to pay for your training? Do you have financial constraints?
- And now, is the training provider and program trusted and reputable?
- There are a lot of unscrupulous companies out there that can make finding and choosing a reliable training provider difficult.
How do you know which food and beverage training provider is right for you? Let's look at two big names in the industry that are widely accepted and well-regarded: ServSafe and Learn2Serve®.
What is ServSafe?
ServSafe, without a doubt, has excellent name recognition. There's a simple reason: ServSafe is owned by the National Restaurant Association (NRA). The NRA has worked hard to make ServSafe synonymous with food safety training. They have lobbied aggressively to ensure top-of-mind recognition among state lawmakers, regulators, and the food service industry. Recently, it has come to light that their tactics may not have been above board.
Are ANAB and ServSafe the same?
No, they are not. ANAB, the ANSI National Accreditation Board, oversees the development of voluntary conformity standards for products and services in the United States. Food handler training is one of the products it regulates.
Is ServSafe Legitimate?
Yes, ServSafe is legitimate. However, ServSafe is not the only food and beverage regulatory training provider. Other providers are not focused on ‘checking a box’ on a test. They are vested in your education and career growth.
ServSafe may or may not be the best choice for you, depending on your requirements and what you need from a training provider. There are other options if you do not want to financially support a company accused of fighting against restaurant workers' minimum wage increases.
What is Learn2Serve®?
Learn2Serve® is the food and beverage brand of 360training, an online training company with over 25 years of experience providing online regulatory training. Much of their business is focused on safety compliance training, from OSHA to food safety and HR compliance.
Is Learn2Serve® Legitamite?
Yes, Learn2Serve® is a legitimate and well-established, widely accepted provider of food handler, food manager, and alcohol seller/server training.
Learn2Serve® vs. ServSafe
ServSafe and Learn2Serve® are both well-reviewed programs accepted in jurisdictions throughout the country. They're also two of only six organizations in the country accredited by the American National Standards Institute's Conference for Food Protection (ANAB-CFP).
In other words: neither brand is a wrong choice as long as they're approved where you work.
But sometimes, the devil is in the details when finding the best program for you. So let's dive in and see how these top-ranked training providers differ. Here are the highlights:
|Good for||Restaurants, Bars, Convenience Stores, Liquor Stores, Gas Stations, and more||Restaurants, Bars, and similar|
|Training format||100% online||Online, Classroom, or Mixed|
Now let's get into the nitty-gritty.
Learn2Serve® vs. ServSafe: Core Course Offerings
Both Learn2Serve® and ServSafe offer the most common food and beverage courses for employers like restaurants and bars.
Learn2Serve® also offers tobacco and cannabis regulatory courses, making it a one-stop solution for employers like convenience stores, liquor stores, and dispensaries.
Louisiana Responsible Vendor + ANAB-Accredited Food Handler Training
Get your Louisiana alcohol sever and ANAB-Accredited food handler training courses.DETAILS
Utah Food Handler + Utah On-Premises Alcohol Training
Select this package for Utah-approved food handler and alcohol server training.DETAILS
TABC Certification & ANAB Food Handlers
TABC & Food Handlers - Texas & other states. Valid for 3 years. ANAB-Accredited.DETAILS
Illinois BASSET Certification + ANAB-Accredited Food Handler Training
Get your Illinois BASSET and ANAB-Accredited food handler training.DETAILS
New York ATAP On-Premises + ANAB-Accredited Food Handler Training
Get your New York alcohol server and ANAB-Accredited food hander training courses.DETAILS
Arizona Title 4 Basic + ANAB-Accredited Food Handler Training
Get your Arizona Title 4 Basic on-premises and ANAB-accredited food handler trainingDETAILS
Wisconsin Responsible Beverage Server + ANAB-Accredited Food Handler Training
Get your responsible beverage and ANAB-Accredited food handler package here.DETAILS
Arizona Title 4 Management + ANAB Accredited Food Handler Training
Get your Arizona on-premises management and ANAB-accredited food handler training.DETAILS
Virginia Alcohol Seller-Server + ANAB-Accredited Food Handler Training
Get both your Virginia alcohol seller and ANAB-Accredited food handler trainingDETAILS
Washington Mandatory Alcohol Server Training (MAST)
Start your Washington alcohol seller training to earn your MAST certification online.DETAILS
Both training providers have widespread approval from regulatory agencies across the country. Neither Learn2Serve® nor ServSafe are accepted everywhere for everything. Sometimes both are approved, sometimes, only one is endorsed, and sometimes neither is approved.
The most crucial step in choosing a provider is finding out who is acceptable where you work, but training requirements vary by state, county, or even city. It can get confusing.
That's why we put together state-by-state guides for Food Handler, Food Manager, and Alcohol Seller/Server training regulations. It's a great starting place to learn local requirements, accurate sources for information, and how to find an approved provider.
Learn2Serve® vs. ServSafe: Course Format
Another difference between the two companies is the format. Learn2Serve specializes in online courses – the goal is to help you complete your certification entirely online.
Learn2Serve® is the only ANAB-recognized Certified Food Protection Manager (CFPM) program that allows online proctoring for your final certification exam.
|Course Formats||Online only||Online and/or Instructor-Led (varies)|
|Online Exam Proctoring||
ServSafe also offers online courses in most locations – though your ANAB-CFPM exam will have to be proctored in person.
However, the most significant advantage of ServSafe is that they offer in-person instruction in many places. They're an excellent choice if a classroom experience is essential to you (or if your jurisdiction doesn't accept online training).
Learn2Serve vs. ServSafe: Cost
Both ServSafe and Learn2Serve have reasonable pricing for the industry, as well as excellent value. Costs vary by location, but Learn2Serve does tend to have lower prices or more applicable discounts than ServSafe's online courses.
That's true for both individual courses and enterprise bulk purchasing.
Also, remember that classroom certifications will always cost more than online training.
Learn2Serve vs. ServSafe: Business Solutions
Both Learn2Serve and ServSafe offer some degree of employer-level purchasing and management.
But because Learn2Serve has a parent company with online compliance training that spans multiple industries (360training), we can offer a more extensive course catalog and more sophisticated enterprise solutions.
For example, enterprise partners get dedicated account management to help you meet your training goals and compliance needs. You can use 360training's LMS or take the courses on your own. You can generate in-depth reports from executive-level overviews down to individual progress tracking.
Learn2Serve is also equipped to serve broader training needs. That includes:
- Extensive HR, Ethics, and Compliance training, including sexual harassment courses tailored to your state and active shooter training
- General business skills for your managers, including courses for onboarding, employee retention, and HR topics aimed at fair hiring practices
- Required safety topics, like HazCom/chemical safety and OSHA (even OSHA 10, for jurisdictions where it's mandatory for hospitality businesses)
- ISO quality management courses for large national enterprises
The extent of the catalog creates a holistic training solution for many situations.
|Dedicated Enterprise Support||
|Provides an LMS?||
|Ports to Your LMS?||
|HR & Compliance Training||Full catalog||Sexual Harassment + Discrimination only|
|General Business Training||Full catalog||
|Safety Compliance Training||Full Catalog||
|Other Available Training||Quality Management, UST, and much more||
On the other hand, ServSafe focuses entirely on the training needs of restaurants and bars.
Beyond food safety and alcohol service, they offer some courses on common HR topics: sexual harassment prevention and unconscious bias training. The nice thing is that they're tailored to the restaurant industry.
ServSafe also offers modest user management and reporting capabilities that will serve the needs of many small businesses.
Learn2Serve vs. ServSafe: Bottom Line
Truthfully, the best food safety training is the one that meets local regulations for your job. If your employer or state prefers a particular certification provider, you should go with that.
But if you're the decision-maker, you can factor in how you'd like your training delivered and your other needs. You should choose ServSafe if:
- In-person or mixed instruction is essential for you
- You want or need training endorsed by the National Restaurant Association
You should choose Learn2Serve if:
- You want to gain certification (including CFPM) 100% online
- You're working outside the restaurant industry but still need food safety or alcohol seller training
- You need business-level solutions
- You need more than just food and beverage training