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Restaurant Manager Duties: Hiring a Manager

Restaurant Manager Duties: Hiring a Manager

Last updated on 8/13/2019

Contrary to what their title implies, restaurant owners spend a lot of time away from their business. This kind of structure, known as absentee business, requires managing a restaurant even when the owner is unavailable. That's where a restaurant manager becomes important. But once you have your hiring process set up, finding the right restaurant general manager only takes a matter of time.

What is a Restaurant Manager?

A restaurant manager makes sure all of your operations at your restaurant run smoothly; therefore, restaurant manager duties range from equipment delivery to hospitality to training new servers on dining etiquette. Restaurant managers are critical to a business' success.

Restaurant Manager Duties and Responsibilities

Depending on what you're looking for, general managers could do everything from making sure day-to-day operations run according to plan to counting income and tracking expenses. Below are a list of responsibilities that your restaurant manager usually handles:

Chef reviewing checklist
  • Managing the restaurant staff
  • Training new employees
  • Staff scheduling
  • Creating protocols
  • Ordering food for the kitchen staff
  • Checking in with customers and handling any complaints
  • Comping customer meals when necessary
  • Promoting and marketing the restaurant
  • Managing the budget
  • Ensuring that the restaurant is up to health and safety standards

Determining the manager's responsibilities can help you find the right candidate and also help you decide which tasks you'll carry out as owner. You should also have an employee handbook in place for your restaurant manager and employees. This will make sure that everything remains consistent in the work environment.

Regardless of how much responsibility you give to your manager, you are still the ultimate decision-maker of your business. That requires you to trust someone who will work in your absence. Sometimes, as with business owners living out of town, this option may not even be available to you — you simply have to give daily control to someone else.

Restaurant Manager Skills

You will be putting a lot of trust into your restaurant manager, so it is important that they have a strong skill set in order to effectively manage your restaurant. Below are some key skills that great restaurant managers should possess:

  • Time management
  • Excellent interpersonal skills
  • Communication skills
  • Teamwork skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Organizational skills

How Much do Restaurant Managers Make?

The average restaurant manager salary is about $49,000. Of course, a lot of factors come in to play when it comes to salary. These factors consist of location, size of the restaurant, experience of the applicant, and how many restaurants they will be managing. It is important to find someone who is a perfect fit for your restaurant and determine a salary based on what their duties will be.

How to Find a Restaurant Manager

With the Internet, local news sources, personal connections, and headhunters, finding candidates is a snap. Below are three great options for finding a restaurant manager.

Woman reviewing a restaurant table seating chart
  1. Job search engines. Monster or Indeed are some of the easiest ways to get applications, typically through the form of an email resume. Sometimes, this can result in a large amount of applicants that aren't necessarily a great fit for the position.

  2. Personal connections and recommendations. These are also great ways to get candidates. These techniques don't result in long lines, but they're better for finding quality and trustworthy applicants.

  3. Headhunters. These are one of the most effective and fast-working recruitment tools available. If you have a large restaurant and are planning on opening multiple locations, this might be a great option for you. These firms can actually conduct the early stages of the interview process for you, giving you the time to focus on other urgent tasks until the agency believes they've found someone you should hire. Then you interview the candidate and make your decision. It may cost extra, but your recruitment firm will filter out any unworthy applicants and only give you the best of the best, saving you time as you make the final decision.

Conducting the Interview

The most critical moment in the hiring process, an interview is your chance to learn everything you want to know about your candidates. It's also their opportunity to learn everything about you and your business. Below are some tips for interviewing a restaurant manager:

Restaurant employment application
  • Create a positive environment
  • Offer coffee or water
  • Welcome the applicant with a smile and an invitation to sit

If an interview goes south, don't be afraid to end it at the next opportunity. While it's not courteous to stop people mid-sentence, you can at least wrap things up with a quick "thank you" before showing them the door.

If the interview is going well, share that with the applicant at the end of the interview. Telling applicants that you're interested and that they'll hear more when you've made a decision are both great ways to ease them out of an interview and calm their nerves. It also establishes a positive rapport as the interview winds to a close, creating a more professional and encouraging feel.

Consider Your Restaurant's Growth Path

It's important to consider how your business may change from the time you hire your general manager. If you expect to have another location by the end of year four, then you can decide whether you want a manager with multi-unit experience, or if you want to hire individual managers for all your locations and have them report to you. In addition, looking at expected growth can also give you an idea of how much you can offer to your manager and employees in terms of raises, particularly those who stick with you for long periods of time.

Hiring the Right Applicant

With all of your interviews completed, selecting your new manager will likely be a difficult decision. Ideally, a combination of a willingness to adapt to changing conditions, previous experience, personality, negotiable salary requirements, and other factors will lead you to the perfect candidate.

Striking a balance of those ideas will give your business a multi-faceted second-in-command who will be able to keep things under control without you constantly looking over his shoulder. Great managers should be firm when they need to be firm, understanding when they need to be understanding, and — above all else — fair to their employees. With a manager like that on your side, you can rest assured that you have hired the right candidate for the job.

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