Restaurant ManagerJob Description, Salary, Career Path, and Trends
Do you enjoy working around food, have a friendly personality, and have a knack for maintaining high quality? You might be right for a career as a restaurant manager where you can put your management, organizational, and people skills to work.
A restaurant manager oversees the daily operations of a restaurant, which includes hiring and training restaurant staff according to company policies, talking with diners and addressing any concerns or issues, and creating work schedules for restaurant staff.
Restaurant managers typically work for restaurants and other food establishments. Restaurant managers work closely with upper management to ensure customer service policies are being followed, and they hire employees who reflect company values. They make sure service is running smoothly from the kitchen to the waiters to the front of house staff. Restaurant managers might also be responsible for inventory and ordering food products and supplies while staying within budget. They also generally fill in wherever needed when a shift is understaffed.
Sample job description
[Your Company Name] is hiring an experienced restaurant manager. You should have extensive experience running a team of line cooks, waiters and waitresses, and hosts. You’ll need to create shift schedules, oversee the restaurant’s day-to-day finances, and manage all the employees. This is a labor-intensive job that doesn’t come with many breaks. Shifts will vary greatly, and weekends are the most important time to work. If you have the knowledge and experience in the food industry to manage a team of employees, this could be the position for you.
Typical duties and responsibilities
Ensure staff complies with company policy
Train staff to follow restaurant procedures
Maintain safety and food quality standards
Maintaining revenue and profitability goals
Respond quickly and efficiently to customer complaints
Maximize customer satisfaction
Create and maintain shift schedules
Keep a record of employees’ hours
Record payroll data
Order food products and other supplies while staying within budget limitations
Coordinate daily restaurant management operations
Create detailed reports on weekly, monthly, and yearly revenues and expenses
Handle conflict among staff members
Education and experience
High school diploma or equivalent
5+ years of restaurant or management experience
Required skills and qualifications
Excellent customer service
Strong leadership skills
Extensive food and beverage knowledge
Ability to train staff in food safety
Ability to work long shifts
Ability to work within a budget
Ability to maintain inventory and reorder products and supplies as needed
Prior work as a manager or supervisor
Experience using restaurant management software, like OpenTable and PeachWorks
Acute financial management skills
Experience resolving conflicts calmly
Experience working with a bookkeeper
Average salary and compensation
The average salary for a Restaurant Manager is $59,000 in the United States. Salary may depend on the level of experience, education, and geographical location.
Los Angeles, California
New York City, New York
Typical work environment
Restaurant managers work in restaurants, hotels, school cafeterias, and other establishments where food is prepared and served. The work can be stressful, as service must be right every time. They can work long hours and must be prepared to handle all aspects of day-to-day restaurant work. They should be comfortable working in the kitchen or waiting tables if the needs of the establishment require it. On any given day, they might train new employees or train other employees in new positions. They interview and hire new staff when needed. Restaurant managers must ensure food quality and safety standards every day.
Restaurant managers typically work long hours, which can include evenings, weekends, and holidays.
Restaurant managers work in a variety of food industries, and a number of institutions provide certifications that can help restaurant managers expand their knowledge and advance their careers.
Certified Restaurant Manager (CRM). The CRM was designed by restaurant industry experts and helps you gain the management skills needed to be successful in the foodservice industry. Topics covered include financial management and performance, purchasing and cost control, finding, hiring, and training employees, and managing employee performance. The only requirement to take the exam is that you are in a management position reporting to the general manager or above.
The Servsafe Food Safety Advantage Certification. This certification program was developed by the National Restaurant Association in conjunction with foodservice industry experts. The course prepares you to handle food sanitation risks across all industries. Training in food safety and up-to-date regulatory information are part of the program. The course includes flexible online, classroom training, in-unit, and one-on-one training.
Restaurant Revenue Management Certification. Cornell University offers this online coursethat proves your ability to manage restaurant revenue. The certificate program consists of five two-week courses, covering the fundamentals of successful revenue management, that provide practical guidance for implementing a successful restaurant revenue management strategy. You’ll learn how to optimize occupancy, mix tables, define optimal meal duration, take reservations, and set pricing, as well as use proven processes to diagnose operational problems and improve the customer service experience.
The steps to becoming a restaurant manager start with earning a high school diploma or a GED. Further education may be helpful for some restaurant manager positions. Earning an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in restaurant management, hospitality management, or a related field can give you a step up over the competition and prepare you for complex job aspects such as bookkeeping. Training in culinary arts is an asset in the industry. Many restaurant managers gain experience on the job, starting in other areas within the business.
US, Bureau of Labor Statistics’ job outlook
SOC Code: 11-9051
Projected Employment in 2030
Projected 2020-2030 Percentage Shift
Projected 2020-2030 Numeric Shift
In the food service business, sanitation has become of utmost importance with the spread of COVID-19. From the kitchen, restaurant seats and tables, to the restrooms, everything in restaurants needs to be thoroughly sanitized often. This includes the personal hygiene of the staff as well, especially in the kitchen. Frequent handwashing has become the norm. Sanitation and safety will be prevalent in restaurants at least over the next few years.
Fast-casual dining is on the rise. So is carryout, and delivery services. Restaurants are moving toward making these services more convenient for consumers.
Streamlining has become crucial to the success of most restaurants in order to stay afloat and deliver a consistent customer experience. Digital technology is improving back-of-house processes. Streamlined kitchens amount to better efficiency across all service channels.
Sample interview questions
What strategies do you use to reduce the cost of operating a restaurant?
Can you describe a time when you had to fire or discipline an employee who violated the restaurant’s policies?
Which restaurant automation tools are you familiar with?
Do you have experience accommodating special diets, such as vegan and gluten-free ones?
How do you motivate your staff during busy, stressful shifts and slow, boring shifts?
Can you describe your management style?
What are some ways you handle customer complaints?
How would you manage a shift that is understaffed?
What steps do you use to prepare for a health inspection?
What does “hospitality” mean to you?
How would you deal with a customer who tries to use an expired coupon?
What are the roles of a restaurant manager?
What is your greatest achievement?
How do you gather feedback from customers?
What new trends have you discovered in the food industry?
What is your experience managing inventory?
What will you do if a menu item is not selling?
What experience do you have with hiring staff?
What would you do if you saw a server about to deliver a poorly plated meal to a customer?
How would you handle a chef who you notice is using expired ingredients?
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