restaurant manager

May 15, 2024 •

5 min reading

What does a restaurant manager do?

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If you have a passion for food, exceptional customer service, and empowering your team, then a leadership role in the hospitality industry may be calling your name. Consider stepping into the role of restaurant manager, as the demand for these positions is projected to increase by 11% by 2028, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It's the perfect time to start preparing for this exciting career opportunity.

As the definition of what constitutes a restaurant is evolving, the job opportunities in the restauration sector are growing. As more people are eating meals at home which have been prepared elsewhere and delivered to their door, the role of going out for a meal is being increasingly viewed as a special treat. Patrons are searching for exceptional food and an elevated experience - one that trumps the comfort of being at home. This article aims to give a comprehesive run down of everything to do with the Restaurant Manager role. Let's dive in!

 

Restaurant Manager job description

Restaurant Managers ensure restaurants run smoothly and efficiently. They seek to provide customers with pleasant dining experiences that live up to its brand promise. Their efforts, which include effectively managing employees, are ultimately geared towards safeguarding the profitability of the restaurant.

In effect, an Restaurant Manager embodies general management, administration, customer services, human resources, supply chain & procurement, health and safety, compliance, accounting & marketing – all rolled into one. This is particularly true for those working in smaller establishments, who are in frequent contact with both customers and employees. Restaurant managers in larger organizations may see more office-based work.

Employment opportunities for restaurant managers may arise in a variety of settings, from independent, local restaurants, cafés, and bars to larger-scale hotel restaurants, chains, and hotel or leisure facility groups. In any of these settings, restaurant managers are required to both demonstrate leadership and work as part of a team. As you’ll see from the responsibilities below, culinary knowledge is also an asset. Food and beverage (F&B) enthusiasts will be able to put their passion to good use as restaurant managers, with the profession ranking as the number-one hospitality job for foodies.

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Restaurant manager duties

What does a restaurant manager do? A restaurant manager’s duties vary from setting to setting and often depend on the employer. Typical responsibilities include:

General management and administration

  • coordinating and optimizing front- and back-of-house restaurant operations
  • controlling operational costs and promoting efficiency
  • weekly, monthly and annual financial reporting
  • general administration
  • taking reservations
  • troubleshooting

Customer services

  • greeting and advising customers
  • delivering F&B service to satisfy customer expectations
  • fostering positive customer relations
  • dealing with customer inquiries and complaints

Human resources

  • recruiting, training and supervising staff
  • managing the staff rota
  • conducting performance appraisals and setting targets
  • optimizing workflow and productivity

Supply chain, procurement and culinary edge

  • researching dishes and planning menus
  • keeping abreast of inventory and ordering supplies
  • monitoring product quality and handling vendors

Compliance, health and safety

  • ensuring compliance with licensing, health and safety regulations
  • establishing and maintaining policies and protocols

Marketing

proactively fostering the restaurant’s image
endeavoring to expand the restaurant’s reach through targeted promotions

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What does it take to do the job well?

To execute their duties well, restaurant managers require extensive F&B knowledge and a good memory of ingredients and dishes, so they can provide customers and staff alike with any information needed. They must have good organizational, problem-solving, and communication skills. To be effective leaders, they should exhibit cordiality, professionalism, and motivational ability.

Invariably, restaurant managers have to deal with various challenges in their day-to-day working lives. The often slim margins in the F&B industry pose one difficulty in particular. To successfully manage the balancing act between quality and affordability, financial management skills are essential. In addition, factors such as seasonality and sustainability have to be borne in mind. Then there are the various restaurant management software options to get to grips with. Flexibility, commercial awareness, and excellent customer service skills round off this profile.

Several routes can lead to a restaurant manager role: tertiary education, tailored apprenticeships or simply a consolidation of years of hard graft. However, you could argue one of the key considerations when contemplating how to manage a restaurant is the innate desire to be a welcoming host.

 

Restaurant Manager Skills

If you have your sights set on stepping into the role of a restaurant manager, here are the essential skills that you should look to develop via education and hands on experience in the sector:

  • A love for food and the art of hospitality
  • Demonstrated leadership skills
  • Strong communication skills
  • Strong problem-solving skills
  • An eye for detail
  • Able to handle high pressure fast paced environment
  • Mediation skills to solve problems between staff or staff and guests
  • Self-motivated
  • Superior customer service skills
  • Be flexible and able to multitask
  • Ability to communicate with vendors, diners, and employees
  • Create a team spirit
  • Be goal-oriented

 

How to become a Restaurant Manager?

While many restaurant managers acquire essential skills and strategies through hands-on experience in the field, there are also opportunities for those looking to enhance their expertise outside of working hours.

Given the extensive range of skills needed, many individuals choose to pursue a degree to acquire the necessary expertise. These skills encompass financial management, cost control, procurement, recruitment, staff training, performance monitoring, ensuring the safety and security of both employees and guests, and implementing effective marketing strategies.

Education requirements

If you currently work in an entry-level position in the restaurant industry, or are planning on making a career shift, you might want to consider bolstering your education with online or short courses in customer service or specific areas of hospitality to strengthen your skills and application to new positions.

If you are dreaming of a career in hospitality and are looking for a more formal course or training program, you'll want to choose a hospitality business school to get a degree or post-graduate degree in hospitality management that inparts both the soft and hard skills required for a succesful and rewarding career in this exciting domain.

 

Restaurant Management career outlook

A career in restaurant management offers promising prospects amidst a dynamic industry landscape. Recent statistics indicate a steady growth trajectory, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics projecting a 7% increase in employment for food service managers from 2020 to 2030.

This growth is propelled by a burgeoning food culture, increased consumer demand for dining experiences, and the proliferation of food delivery services. Moreover, with the advent of technology-driven solutions in restaurant operations, such as point-of-sale systems and data analytics tools, professionals in this field are poised to leverage innovation for enhanced efficiency and customer satisfaction.

Furthermore, the globalization of the hospitality sector opens up opportunities for professionals to explore diverse cultures and markets. Now is as good a time as any to embark on an education in hospitality and plan a career in Restaurant Management which could take you anywhere in the world!

 
Written by

Lecturer and International Career Coordinator at EHL Passugg

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