Restaurant managers are responsible for the daily operation of restaurants, bars, cafeterias, and other establishments that prepare and serve food and beverages. They plan, organize, direct, control, and evaluate the operations of these establishments. Restaurant Managers typically work in restaurants, including fine-dining and fast-food chains and franchises; others work in hotels, catering, and other establishments.
Essentially, Restaurant Managers’ core duties and responsibilities revolve around three objectives: customer satisfaction, profitability, and efficiency. Restaurants wouldn’t be anywhere without the Chefs and kitchen staff who actually prepare the food for customers to eat. However, their dining experiences are not only enhanced by the tasty food they’re served. The food can be remarkable, but if the restaurant is poorly run, it’s likely to leave a bad taste in the mouth. Consequently, restaurants need Managers to make sure that everything runs smoothly and all customers leave happy and satisfied, motivated to visit again in the future.
Here’s a non-exhaustive list of common tasks Restaurant Managers are required to complete.
- Planning, organizing, directing, controlling, and evaluating the operations of a food services establishment:
- Determining the type of services to be offered and implementing the corresponding operational procedures;
- establishing standards for personnel performance and customer service, monitoring and reporting them;
- estimating food and beverage costs;
- overseeing the inventory and requisitioning or purchasing supplies, equipment, and food and beverages;
- monitoring revenues and modifying procedures and prices;
- conferring with personnel from the kitchen, dining room, bar, and banquet team to plan menus and do other related activities;
- monitoring food preparation methods, portion sizes, and the overall presentation of food;
- arranging for linen service, heavy cleaning when the dining room and kitchen are not in use, trash removal, and pest control when needed; and
- in some cases, locking up the establishment, checking that ovens, grills, and lights are off, and switching on the alarm system.
- Developing marketing strategies and implementing advertising, promotional campaigns, and planning events (e.g. happy hours, food and beverage deals, and food festivals) to increase business and boost interest in the establishment:
- Negotiating arrangements with customers for catering or use of facilities for banquets or receptions.
- Creating a friendly and welcoming environment for both customers and staff.
- Managing restaurant staff:
- Interviewing, hiring, training, overseeing, and sometimes terminating employees;
- setting staff work schedules and assigning duties, making sure that enough workers are present to cover each shift;
- promoting teamwork to ensure optimum service and that customers’ needs are met;
- ensuring customers are served properly and in a timely manner; and
- working with the Executive Chef to remedy any delays in service, as needed.
- Communicating with the customer:
- Getting feedback from customers in order to ensure satisfaction with both food and service; and
- investigating and resolving customers’ complaints regarding service and quality.
- Managing administrative operations:
- Reviewing financial transactions;
- monitoring budget to ensure efficient operation and that expenditures stay within budget limitations;
- preparing and administering the payroll;
- completing paperwork to comply with licensing, tax and wage, unemployment compensation, and Social Security laws;
- keeping track of financial statements and payroll records, as well as employee records, to ensure safe-keeping; and
- managing reconciliation of cash and card transactions and the distribution of staff tips.
- Developing a business network of vendors:
- Negotiating arrangements with suppliers to establish delivery of food, beverages, and other restaurant and bar supplies.
- Ensuring health and food safety standards and regulations are followed, as well as the company’s security policies:
- Taking care of reported incidents or injuries and resolving any unsafe work conditions;
- overseeing cleaning and maintenance of equipment and facilities; and
- overseeing safety training and certifications of staff.
The average Restaurant Manager salary is $42,999 per year or $22 per hour. This is around 1.3 times more than the Median wage of the country. Entry level positions start at $30,000 while most experienced workers make up to $60,000. These results are based on 1,369 salaries extracted from job descriptions.
- Interpersonal, leadership, and communication skills:
- Communicating clearly, both verbally and in writing, in order to create a clear and communicative environment with staff, as well as having great listening skills;
- displaying strong customer service skills;
- having great leadership skills in order to manage a large number of employees;
- speaking with customers and staff using clear, professional, and respectful language at all times, being able to work cohesively with the Executive Chef and an Assistant Manager; and
- being able to deal with a diverse group of people in potentially adversarial situations using a calm, polite, tactful, discreet, and effective approach.
- Organizational and time management skills:
- Having strong multitasking skills; being able to work under pressure in a dynamic, fast-paced environment;
- being able to set priorities;
- being highly responsible and reliable; and
- being organized, detail oriented, and structured.
- Analytical, problem-solving, and decision-making skills:
- Being driven to achieve goals, as well as motivating the staff to achieve team goals;
- identifying issues and resolving problems in a timely manner; and
- being able to remain calm and make effective decisions using good judgment in stressful situations.
- Self-motivated, decisive, responsible, and driven to provide the best service.
- Physical strength and stamina:
- Being able to stand and walk during an entire work shift.
Aside from the skills listed above, Restaurant Managers also need to possess strong business acumen, including an understanding of budgets and operating costs. College education is not usually required for the Manager position, most applicants qualify with a high school diploma and long-term work experience in the Food Services industry as a Cook, Server, or Counter Attendant, often spending years working under the direction of an experienced worker, learning the necessary skills before they are promoted to Manager positions. However, some receive training at a community college, technical or vocational school, or culinary school. A degree or diploma in Hotel Management, Restaurant Management, Hospitality Management, or Business Studies may boost the candidate’s chances of securing a position.
All Restaurant Managers must have a decent amount of relevant work experience before applying. They are usually required to have a minimum of 3 to 5 years of experience in a managerial position, as well as a demonstrated ability to motivate and lead others. Furthermore, extensive knowledge of restaurant operations, food and beverage, and an excellent understanding of the upscale dining industry is a must.
Many Restaurant Managers work long hours, and the job is often hectic. Dealing with unhappy customers can sometimes be stressful. They must be able to work flexible schedules, including weekends and holidays, as well as to stand and walk for an 8 to 12-hour long shift. A typical working day requires the Restaurant Manager to be available well in advance of the restaurant’s opening time and to stay long after it closes.