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How Much do Restaurant Assistant Managers Make?

Tyler MartinezAuthor

Restaurant assistant managers help to manage inventory, supplies, and staff in restaurants. They have various leadership responsibilities and work to keep the restaurant organized and running smoothly.

Restaurant assistant managers have to make decisions quickly and solve problems on the fly. They often also step into whatever role needs to be filled during a shift, and must be good leaders and versatile workers. 

This article reports on how much restaurant assistant managers are usually paid. And, keep reading for some tips for negotiating higher salaries.

How Much do Restaurant Assistant Managers Make?

On average, restaurant assistant managers earn between $36,000 and $115,000 annually. The national average salary for restaurant assistant managers is $45,300 annually. We got those numbers by averaging these three sources:

  • Zippia.com collects salary data by state. They report that restaurant assistant managers earn between #33,000 and $62,000. Assistant managers can earn the most in the populous North Eastern states, such as Rhode Island, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts.

  • Comparably.com cites a range of salaries collected from HR-reported data. The bottom 10% of restaurant assistant managers, according to their research, earn around $31,877. Meanwhile, the top 10% of earners earn $62,860.

  • Salary.com reports a much larger range, collected from a survey of workers. They cite a huge range of salaries, between $10,000 and $228,733. It seems like there are some outliers in their data, as they report a national average salary of $45,699 for restaurant assistant managers.

An excellent way to determine the competitive restaurant assistant manager salaries in your area is to talk to other assistant managers. It might seem taboo to discuss earnings. But, it can help you to learn what your skills and experiences are worth when compared with your peers.

How much do restaurant assistant managers make?

Assistant Managers Earn Fixed or Hourly Wages

Restaurant assistant managers are typically salaried employees, though some earn hourly wages. How assistant managers are paid depends on the restaurant’s structure. 

Restaurant assistant managers often work long hours and fill various needs for the restaurant’s staff. Some restaurants need to be able to scale their assistant managers’ wages to the volume of sales. 

Other restaurants will expect consistent hours and performance from their assistant managers. In those cases, it is likely that assistant managers are offered a fixed salary that does not fluctuate with the manager’s hours.

Most states have laws about overtime compensation. Restaurants that expect their assistant managers to work more than 40 hours a week should make it clear how overtime pay is managed.

Increasing Your Salary as a Restaurant Assistant Manager

There are two paths to becoming a restaurant assistant manager. You can earn a degree in hospitality management or work your way up through the restaurant industry. With focus and determination, they both take around the same amount of time. You might also do both, working in restaurants while earning a degree.

Some restaurants like to hire workers with experience. Others prefer to promote from within. Either way, it is the skills, experiences, and proficiencies that you bring to the job that will determine your initial compensation.

Keep in mind that different restaurants will have vastly different expectations for restaurant assistant managers. Performing the job’s responsibilities and expectations efficiently and consistently show upper management that you are worth a raise or promotion. Being loyal to one restaurant or company is highly valued by some restaurant owners, as well.

Working your way into upper management is probably the best way to increase your salary. In most restaurants, assistant managers’ wages are capped below the salary of unit managers and general managers.

Earn a promotion by being punctual and diligent. Show upper management that you are an effective leader and that you have the organizational skills to handle additional responsibilities.

Negotiating Higher Restaurant Assistant Manager Salary

Negotiating a higher salary can be tricky. Make a list of what skills you bring to the restaurant. The owner or upper manager will want to be sure that you can perform the responsibilities of the job before raising your salary.

Be upfront about times when your performance was above and beyond expectations. That way, you will have a strong case for an increased salary. You might wait until a performance review if your company schedules them. Or, ask to meet with the person that manages the restaurant’s budget when you think the time is right.

It’s a good strategy to build rapport with the general manager and owner of the restaurant. That way, the conversation about your earnings will feel comfortable. If the management team trusts you, then you can expect them to be honest about what you can do to earn a higher salary.

Step into Success as a Restaurant Assistant Manager

Becoming an assistant manager of a restaurant or cafe is a stepping stone in the restaurant industry. The position allows workers to earn valuable skills and learn how the business works from the inside. Be patient with yourself (and your earnings) as you gain experience as a restaurant assistant manager. 

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