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What is a Restaurant Manager?

We answer the basics about the role of a restaurant manager, their salary, experience needed, and how to hire for the position.

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What is a restaurant manager?

Restaurant managers oversee the day to day operations in a restaurant. They’re required to wear many hats, with duties ranging from balancing availability and building staff schedules, to tracking and receiving inventory, to directing FOH and BOH staff during shifts.

Restaurant managers have to have interpersonal skills, business skills, and knowledge of food and beverage. They’re expected to step into any role that the restaurant needs them to fill during a shift.

What are a restaurant manager’s duties and responsibilities?

A restaurant manager’s duties and responsibilities include:

  • Recruiting, hiring, and training restaurant staff
  • Supervising staff
  • Opening and closing the restaurant each day
  • Balancing staff availability and overtime laws, and building schedules
  • Tracking the restaurant’s costs, sales, losses, and budgets
  • Using restaurant management software
  • Maintaining and enforcing adherence to food and workplace safety standards
  • Creating standard operating procedures for staff
  • Process payroll for the restaurant
  • Log inventory needs and develop relationships with vendors
  • Facilitating communication between the restaurant’s owners, management, staff, and customers
  • Soliciting feedback from customers 
  • Supporting in menu development and communicating updates to the staff
  • Overseeing equipment maintenance

How much are restaurant managers paid?

Restaurant managers are typically one of a few salaried employees of a restaurant. They earn, on average, between  $50,200 and $62,000 annually. Their earning potential often depends on the volume of sales at the restaurant where they work. Restaurant managers are sometimes part owners of the restaurant location that they manage.

What are the qualities that make a good restaurant manager?

A good restaurant manager combines their business sense with extensive knowledge of the restaurant industry. They are adept leaders and know how to stay calm when issues between staff arise. They also know just how to appease customers who have complaints about less-than-perfect service or meals.

Restaurant managers have to be detail-oriented multitaskers. It’s their job to organize all of the restaurant’s employees and operations so that everything runs smoothly. Good restaurant managers are patient but firm with employees.

Restaurant managers must be precise when it comes to inventory and calculating sales and labor. The business owner will rely on their skills to ensure that the restaurant stays profitable.

How to become a restaurant manager

Becoming a restaurant manager requires the right combination of skills, experiences, and qualifications. Many restaurant managers learn the basics of the food service business in hospitality management degree programs. Then, they work their way up through the ranks of the restaurant industry to become the general manager of a restaurant.

If you have the skills and experience, it can be a good idea to browse online job ads for local restaurant manager positions. But, many restaurant managers start within the restaurant or invest in an established business to become the general manager.

How to hire a restaurant manager

When looking to hire a restaurant manager, start the process by building a detailed list of the certifications, experience, and skills that you want them to possess. 

Start your search within the restaurant, if you can. Hiring or promoting from within ensures that the candidates know the ropes of the business and get along with the team. You can also post job ads online to solicit a wide range of applicants. But, you will likely have to sort through lots of unqualified candidates to find the right one

When interviewing outside candidates, ask them about their previous leadership skills. It’s a smart idea to involve members of your restaurant’s staff in the hiring process given they’ll be working most closely with this person and know what success looks like in the restaurant. Assess their interpersonal skills and verify their certifications and experiences before hiring.

Restaurant managers hold the business’s operations together, making sure the staff and guests have everything they need. The job can be demanding and challenging, but many people find fulfilling, stable careers as restaurant managers.

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