Restaurant Managers are in charge of overseeing, coordinating, organizing, and assessing all operations entailed in the effective and smooth-running of food services establishments. These professionals plan and direct the execution of a wide variety of tasks including overseeing the financial aspects of the restaurant, such as incomes and expenses, managing revenues, and being in charge of employee schedules and payroll. A Restaurant Manager’s main goal is to ensure top quality service and products which is what increases the establishment’s recognition, customer affluence, and, eventually, profits.
It is not common, yet not unheard of, for Restaurant Managers to participate in the actual process of food preparation; that task usually falls to the operative staff (e.g. Executive Chefs and cooks). However, in smaller restaurants the line that divides the functions of the Restaurant Manager and the Executive Chefs are often blurred and both positions may even be occupied by the same person. In these cases, the Restaurant Manager usually has a background in food preparation and food services management.
Here’s a non-exhaustive list of common tasks Restaurant Managers are required to complete.
- Overseeing the administrative aspects of a restaurant or any other form of food service establishment:
- Creating a list of services to be offered to customers that includes production costs and incomes of the necessary personnel;
- setting, monitoring, and assessing standard procedures for staff performance, duties, and responsibilities;
- estimating food and beverage costs;
- supervising inventory of food supplies, as well as equipment status, and ensuring the appropriate restocking and repairing;
- overseeing restaurant revenues, ensuring that the profit margin is acceptable, and adjusting prices of services accordingly;
- coordinating with kitchen staff, servers, and other restaurant teams in the preparation, organization, and execution of menus and other related activities;
- ensuring that all food preparation processes meet the pre-established quality, portion sizes, and sanitary standards;
- overseeing the cleaning processes of linen, dining room, kitchen, cutlery and all utensils; and
- in some cases, ensuring the establishment is properly locked up, as well as guaranteeing that all kitchen equipment such as stoves, grills, and ovens are properly shut and all systems switched off.
- 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:
- Promoting and selling catering services to potential and existing customers as well as renting out the restaurant for private events.
- Creating a friendly and welcoming environment for both customers and staff.
- Managing restaurant staff:
- Interviewing and hiring new employees, as well as supervising their overall performance;
- establishing shifts and schedules for employees, as well as managing sick and maternity leaves and vacations;
- promoting teamwork to ensure optimum service and that customers’ needs are met;
- making sure that customer service meets the expected levels of quality; and
- providing customers with the appropriate compensation when quality standards are not met.
- Monitoring and keeping track of service complaints and feedback from customers to ensure satisfaction with both food and service.
- Managing administrative operations:
- Reviewing financial transactions;
- managing monetary responsibilities and controlling budget expenses and limits;
- preparing and administering the payroll;
- ensuring that all restaurant-related paperwork (e.g. taxes, permits, and licenses) adheres to the laws and regulations that apply and are up-to-date;
- keeping track of financial statements and payroll records, as well as employee records, to ensure safe-keeping; and
- overseeing financial operations such as payments, bills, and tips.
- Developing a business network of vendors:
- Coordinating and conducting supplies arrangements 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.
- Directing hiring, training, motivation, and termination of personnel.
- Managing the inventory of food supplies and equipment and ensuring the appropriate restocking or repairing.
- Overseeing the quality and sanitary status of supplies and equipment.
- Ensuring that all sanitary regulations are met and followed by all employees.
- Providing customers with the appropriate compensation when food or service quality standards are not met.
- Overseeing and monitoring staff schedules, duties, and responsibilities.
- Reviewing financial transactions.
- Building a network of vendors.
The average Restaurant Manager salary is $40,959 per year or $21 per hour. This is around 1.2 times more than the Median wage of the country. Entry level positions start at $29,000 while most experienced workers make up to $57,000. These results are based on 1,910 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 must be proficient in the intricacies related to administering a food services establishment. Depending on the size and type of restaurant, a college education may not be required for the Manager position, as experience is often more valued in this field. Many Restaurant Managers start off as Cooks and work their way up the career ladder, working under the supervision of more experienced staff members. However, higher level and more specialized restaurants may require candidates to also possess a degree or diploma in Hospitality Management or Business Studies in order to qualify for this position.
As previously stated, experience is highly valued in the culinary world, even for administrative positions such as Restaurant Managers. 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.
Working as a Restaurant Manager is quite taxing, as the hours may be long and dealing with angry and unsatisfied customers are common situations. These professionals 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. It is common for Restaurant Managers to start their day before the restaurant opens and stay long after closing hours supervising all sorts of activities, including cleaning and balancing cash flows.