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What is the Average Restaurant General Managers Salary?

Tyler MartinezAuthor

Restaurant general managers are responsible for most of the operations of the restaurant, from the kitchen to the dining room. They work to make sure that the restaurant runs smoothly by leading teams of employees and keeping the restaurant’s sales on target. 

Restaurant general managers are pretty high in the restaurant hierarchy, answering only to the owner of the restaurant and, sometimes, the executive chef. In this article, we’ll discuss the average salaries of general managers in the US. And, we provide some tips on how to move up in the industry and increase earnings.

How much do restaurant general managers make?

How Much do Restaurant General Managers Make?

Restaurant general managers earn between $52,000 and $117,000 annually, on average. That might seem like a large range. We calculated those numbers by averaging these sources: 

  • Comparably.com compiles data from employees across the US. They report that restaurant general managers make between $51,082 and $125,000 annually, with a median salary of $54,682. 
  • SalaryExpert.com conducts surveys of employees to report salary data. In their research, they found that restaurant general managers earn from $78,984 to $140,903 annually. 
  • Talent.com reports on data from job ads. They also report restaurant general managers' salaries specific to each state. From 10,000 entries, they found that the median salary of restaurant general managers is $60,000, with a range of $50,000 to $80,000. 

The best way to determine how much restaurant general managers should earn is based on their skills and experience. A great way to know how much you should make as a restaurant general manager is to have conversations with your peers in similar positions. 

That way, you can get an idea of how much your management skills and work history are worth to employers in your area.

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What Determines a Restaurant General Manager's Salary

Skills and experience are the best way to determine how much restaurant general managers should earn. For example, according to SalaryExpert, managers with 1-3 years of experience typically earn around $78,000 annually. But, on the other end, managers with more than 8 years of experience can earn $140,000 annually. 

Another factor that influences restaurant managers’ salaries is the profit margins at the restaurant where they work. Managers play a key role in ensuring that the restaurant meets its sales targets while balancing labor and food costs. The more profitable the restaurant, the more the owner can afford to pay management staff. 

Earning an education in culinary school or a hospitality management program can also increase your chances of landing a restaurant management position. Some employers also factor candidates' level of education into their salaries. 

Restaurant General Managers are Salaried Employees 

Restaurant general managers are one of the few salaried employees in the restaurant industry. Only chefs and management are typically provided with a salary, an annual income negotiated at the start of employment. Other positions, such as cooks and service staff, typically work for tips or hourly wages. 

Salaried employees enjoy the benefits of a steady income and are often offered health insurance and/or retirement packages to complement their earnings. But, the responsibilities and expectations of salaried employees are generally more demanding than for other positions. 

Restaurant general managers work long hours, lead staff, interact with (sometimes unhappy) customers, and handle a number of stressful tasks. 

Career Progression and Increasing Salary for Restaurant General Managers 

Restaurant general managers typically have to work their way into the role by starting as a cook or a member of a restaurant’s service staff. In rare instances, a degree in hospitality management will land a candidate a job in management. 

And, there are often ranks of management through which candidates must climb before becoming a general manager. Restaurant owners want to be sure that they’re trusting someone capable of the job with the responsibility of general management. 

If you’re looking to become a restaurant general manager, consider working your way up through the industry so that you can learn the ins and outs of the restaurant business. Then, keep your eyes open for opportunities to climb into management. Becoming a restaurant general manager often requires patience–there is one general manager in every restaurant, and people who land those positions are reluctant to give them up. Being loyal to a company and keeping a vigilant watch for openings can help you to find your way into management. 

As a restaurant general manager, your salary will likely be steady, but any bonuses available will depend on how profitable the restaurant is. Working diligently to reduce loss and keep the restaurant’s staff operating efficiently will help to increase its profits. That way, there will be more money available at the end of each quarter for possible bonuses. 

Negotiating Higher Salary as a Restaurant General Manager 

Negotiating a higher salary can be difficult for a restaurant general manager since it is one of the highest-earning positions in the industry. But, staying loyal to a restaurant or company and demonstrating your leadership skills consistently can help you to impress the restaurant’s owners. 

When going into salary negotiations, be ready to talk about specific instances where you saved the restaurant money. Your role as a restaurant’s general manager gives you a lot of power and owners will want to know how you’re using it to their benefit when negotiating a raise. 

Be confident in your skills and experience. Bring research to your negotiations to show that other employees in the area are earning more for what you bring to the table. 

Know Your Worth as a Restaurant General Manager 

Working as the general manager of a restaurant can be stressful and demanding. But, many people find a career in restaurant management to be enjoyable and rewarding. 

Be patient and open to learning to work your way up into your dream role as a restaurant general manager.

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