What Is a Restaurant Manager?
Restaurant managers supervise the day-to-day operations of eating establishments and are responsible for providing customers with a satisfactory dining experience. To do this, they coordinate the activities of the kitchen and dining room to ensure that food is served properly and on time. They also listen to and resolve customer complaints and implement changes according to customer suggestions.
They conduct routine duties pertaining to inventory, food orders, equipment maintenance, and facility repairs, and are often in charge of business-related duties like maintaining employee records, preparing payroll, and turning in necessary paperwork. They also must make sure that health regulations are being followed and may frequently check food preparation operations and cleaning procedures.
Restaurant managers work closely with chefs, food suppliers, wait staff, and hostesses in food service environments. They work long hours, generally more than 50 per week, and are often on-call in case of an emergency.
How to Become a Restaurant Manager
Those interested in becoming restaurant managers should earn a bachelor’s degree in hospitality management, institutional food service management, or restaurant and food services management.
In these types of majors students learn about the food services industry and important aspects of restaurant management like customer relations, facility coordination, and culinary practices. Common courses include food service operations, hospitality law, personnel management, food preparation and safety, hospitality finance, leadership management in service cultures, and food services systems administration.
Most employers like to see applicants who have gained experience and practical knowledge in internships or part-time jobs within the hospitality or food services industry. Those who are most likely to succeed in this field and gain the most lucrative positions will possess strong business skills, be effective communicators, and know how to handle stressful situations. Many people start out in entry-level or assistant manager positions within the food services industry before advancing to management positions at fine dining establishments.
Restaurant Manager Career Outlook & Salary
As most people go out to eat a few times a week, the restaurant business is not going to slow down anytime soon. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of food service managers is projected to increase by 5% within the next decade, with many new jobs appearing in full-service restaurants and limited service eating establishments. This is due to a growing demand for dining options in different settings within the retail and recreation industries.
Those with relevant job experience and a college degree within an area related to restaurant, hospitality, or food services management will be more likely to attain positions at upscale dining establishments or within corporate management.
The Bureau reported that the median annual wages of food service managers was $46,320 in May 2008, with those in the full-service restaurant industry earning a median annual salary of $49,420.