Posted On: May 21, 2020

Learn2Serve® vs ServSafe: Which Should I Choose?

Choosing a food safety training provider can be tricky, especially if you're looking for online training. There are a lot of unscrupulous companies out there willing to fudge facts. Even choosing between reliable training providers can be 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®.


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What is ServSafe?

ServSafe has great name recognition, and there's a very simple reason for that: it's run by the National Restaurant Association. Their brand of food safety training is so well known that it's become synonymous with the type of training itself.

But ServSafe is actually just one company that sells food and beverage regulatory training. It may or may not be the best choice for you, depending on where you work and what you need from a training provider.

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.

Learn2Serve® itself is a well-established and widely accepted provider of food handler, food manager, and alcohol seller/server training.

food handlers bulk purchase





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 (ANSI-CFP).

In other words: neither brand is a bad choice, as long as they're approved where you work.
But sometimes the devil is in the details when it comes to 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
Cost Very competitive Reasonable
ANSI-CFP Accredited
Enterprise Support/Solutions Limited

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, as well.

Course Type



Food Handler
Food Manager
Alcohol Seller/Server

Both training providers have wide-spread approval from regulatory agencies across the country. Neither Learn2Serve® nor ServSafe are accepted everywhere for everything. Sometimes both are approved, sometimes only one is approved, and sometimes neither is approved.

The most important 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.

In fact, Learn2Serve® is the only ANSI-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 (for ANSI-CFPM) (in-person only)

ServSafe also offers online courses in most locations – though your ANSI-CFPM exam will have to be proctored in person.

The biggest advantage of ServSafe, however, is that they offer in-person instruction in many places, as well. If a classroom experience is important to you (or if your jurisdiction doesn't accept online training), they're an excellent choice.

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, keep in mind 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're able to offer a larger 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 to 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
Bulk-Friendly Options Some
Provides an LMS?
Ports to Your LMS?
User Management Limited
In-Depth Reporting Limited
Uptime 99.9% No Data
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

ServSafe, on the other hand, focuses entirely on the training needs of restaurants and bars.

Beyond food safety and alcohol service, they offer a couple of 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 what other needs you might have. You should choose ServSafe if:

  • In-person or mixed instruction is important to 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

If you're looking for training as an individual, check out the courses Learn2Serve offers in your state. Looking for enterprise-level support? Reach out to 360training's employer solutions team.

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