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How to Become a Restaurant Manager

How to Become a Restaurant Manager

Last updated on 10/9/2023

Managers play a crucial role in the success of any foodservice establishment. They oversee a wide range of tasks, ensuring that the operation runs smoothly and all staff are on the same page. There are several different paths one can take to become a restaurant manager, and it's important to note that different restaurant types may require different types of management. Continue reading to learn what a restaurant manager is and what stands out to restaurant owners who are looking to hire a manager.

Click any of the tips below to skip to the restaurant manager information that interests you:
  1. What Is a Restaurant Manager
  2. Restaurant Manager Resume
  3. Restaurant Manager Training
  4. Restaurant Manager Education

What Is a Restaurant Manager?

general manager job description

A restaurant manager oversees practically every aspect of restaurant operation. From supervising the kitchen staff to ensuring the dining area is clean and inviting, restaurant managers are involved in all areas of the business. One of the key responsibilities of a restaurant manager is to act as the face of the brand when speaking to customers. The manager is the first point of contact for any concerns or feedback that customers may have, and it is their job to ensure that the guest experience lives up to the brand standards set by the establishment.

What Does a Restaurant Manager Do?

Restaurant managers have a multifaceted role, requiring them to juggle various responsibilities to ensure the smooth running of the establishment. We'll investigate some of their key responsibilities below.

  • Administrative responsibilities: A restaurant manager coordinates daily operations, such as organizing schedules for kitchen and front-of-house staff, ensuring that supplies and ingredients are ordered and delivered on time, and managing reservations to optimize seating arrangements. They are often in charge of financial reporting, including monitoring revenue and expenses and analyzing profit margins.
  • Customer service responsibilities: From greeting customers upon arrival to ensuring that their dining experience is enjoyable, restaurant managers play a vital role in shaping the overall customer experience. This includes addressing complaints, resolving issues, and ensuring customers leave satisfied.
  • HR responsibilities: Managers are in charge of recruiting and hiring staff, ensuring that the team is trained to perform their duties, and conducting performance appraisals to identify areas for improvement. They play a crucial role in fostering a positive work environment by addressing employee concerns and promoting teamwork.
  • Supply chain responsibilities: Restaurant managers play a role in menu planning. They consider factors such as seasonality, customer preferences, and ingredient availability. Additionally, restaurant managers must manage inventory levels, ensuring that the kitchen is well-stocked with necessary ingredients while minimizing waste.
  • Compliance responsibilities: A restaurant manager is responsible for obtaining and renewing necessary licenses, adhering to food safety guidelines, and implementing health and safety protocols. This may involve training staff on proper food handling practices, maintaining cleanliness and sanitation standards, and conducting regular audits to ensure compliance.

How Much Do Restaurant Managers Make?

In general, restaurant managers can expect to make between $40,000 and $65,000 per year. The average restaurant manager typically earns just below $50,000 annually. It's important to note that the specific figure can fluctuate based on several factors. If you manage a fine dining establishment in a major city, you will likely earn a higher salary than at a casual dining restaurant in a smaller town.

When it comes to income structure, restaurant managers are typically not included in tip pools. In most cases, their entire income is received through an hourly wage or an annual salary.

Restaurant Manager Skills

There are several key skills and qualities that a restaurant manager should possess. We've listed some of the most important qualities below.

  • Self-discipline: A good restaurant manager should be disciplined, as this role requires maintaining high standards of professionalism and enforcing regulations and policies. This includes adhering to health and safety guidelines, managing inventory and finances, and ensuring that staff members follow established protocols.
  • Interpersonal communication skills: Excellent communication skills are essential for a restaurant manager. They must effectively convey information and expectations to staff members, handle customer complaints or concerns, and collaborate with vendors and suppliers.
  • Organizational skills: A good restaurant manager needs to effectively manage multiple tasks, such as scheduling, inventory management, and paperwork. They should have systems in place to track operational aspects, prioritize tasks, and ensure that everything runs smoothly.
  • Leadership: A restaurant manager should be an effective leader. This includes providing clear direction, setting performance expectations, and fostering a positive work environment.
  • Quick thinking: Managers must make on-the-spot decisions, handle emergencies, and resolve issues promptly. Thinking critically and making sound judgments under pressure is essential for maintaining smooth operations and providing excellent customer service.
  • Able to work long hours: Restaurant managers often work long hours, including weekends and holidays, to oversee the daily operations of their establishment. Being comfortable with these long hours is crucial to effectively manage staff, address customer needs, and handle unexpected situations.

Restaurant Manager Resume

restaurant manager duties

When applying for a restaurant manager position, crafting a well-written resume is essential to showcase your qualifications. Include the information listed below on your resume to stand out from the competition.

  • Contact information: Include your name, phone number, email address, and professional social media profiles (such as LinkedIn). These details should be prominently displayed at the top of your resume, making it easy for potential employers to reach out to you.
  • Professional summary: The professional summary serves as an introduction to your resume and should highlight your most valuable skills and experiences. Keep it concise and impactful, focusing on what makes you a strong candidate for the restaurant manager position.
  • Related work experience: List your previous work experience in reverse chronological order, starting with your most recent position. Include the job title, name of the restaurant or establishment, location, and the dates of employment. Provide a brief description of your key responsibilities and accomplishments.
  • Education and training: Include any formal education or training that is relevant to the restaurant management field.
  • Certifications: If you hold any certifications pertinent to the position, such as ServSafe Food Protection Manager certification or Certified Restaurant Facility Professional (CRFP) designation, be sure to include them in this section.
  • Related skills: Highlight your proficiency in key skills relevant to restaurant management. These may include staff training and development, budgeting and financial management, inventory control, customer service, menu planning, and marketing.

Restaurant Manager Training

general manager career path

To effectively carry out these responsibilities, restaurant managers undergo comprehensive training encompassing various aspects of running a restaurant. Some common areas where a restaurant manager will be trained include the following:

  • Employee management: Your manager must learn how to effectively communicate with their team, delegate tasks, and motivate staff to achieve their best performance. Training in conflict resolution and team building is also provided to equip managers with the skills to handle any issues that may arise among employees.
  • Restaurant technology and systems: In today's digital age, technology plays a critical role in the smooth functioning of restaurants. Managers receive training in restaurant technology to become familiar with point-of-sale systems, inventory management software, and other technological tools that streamline operations. They also learn how to manage specific restaurant systems, such as reservation systems or online ordering platforms, to enhance customer experience.
  • Purchasing and inventory: Successful restaurant managers understand the importance of efficient purchasing and inventory management. They receive training on sourcing and negotiating with vendors, tracking inventory levels, and optimizing stock rotation to minimize waste.
  • Food safety: Restaurant managers undergo rigorous training in food safety protocols, including HACCP guidelines, to prevent foodborne illnesses and ensure compliance with health regulations. They learn how to implement best practices for food storage, handling, and preparation, as well as how to train their staff to follow these procedures diligently.
  • Interviewing and hiring employees: Building a competent and reliable team is essential for the success of any restaurant. Restaurant managers receive training in the hiring and interviewing process to help them identify and select the most suitable candidates for various positions. They learn how to create job descriptions, conduct effective interviews, assess qualifications and skills, and make informed hiring decisions.
  • Restaurant finance: A manager should receive training on creating and managing budgets, analyzing financial statements, and identifying areas for cost reduction or revenue generation. This training helps them to maximize profits while maintaining the quality standards of the establishment.

Restaurant Manager Education

While most foodservice managers only need a high school diploma, pursuing further education can provide aspiring restaurant managers with a competitive edge in the industry. Some colleges or trade schools may offer associate or bachelor's degree programs in restaurant management or hospitality management. These programs provide students with a comprehensive understanding of the various aspects of managing a restaurant, including accounting, marketing, human resources, and operations.

Practical experience is also highly valued in the restaurant industry. Many aspiring restaurant managers start their careers by working in entry-level positions in the foodservice industry, such as servers or line cooks. This hands-on experience allows individuals to gain a deep understanding of the day-to-day operations of a restaurant and develop valuable skills in leadership, problem-solving, and customer service.

Back to Top

Managers play a critical role in the success of a restaurant. A good manager can elevate a restaurant, while a poor manager can hinder its success. If you're interested in becoming a restaurant manager, adhere to the information above to set yourself on the right path.

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