How to be a restaurant manager
Restaurant managers keep everything running smoothly in a restaurant. They deal with customers and manage staff. Learn about the job and find out the steps you need to take to become a restaurant manager.
What is a restaurant manager?
Restaurant managers make sure everything in the restaurant is running as it should. The job of a restaurant manager is also known as food service manager.
With more than a million restaurants in the United States, there is a demand for good restaurant managers. The restaurant industry needs people who care about people and food to manage these restaurants.
The table below tells you some facts about a restaurant manager career. It shows that most restaurant managers and owners started from the bottom and worked their way up. This means you may not need a qualification to start on this career path. It also shows that many people have found jobs in restaurants and that even more jobs will open up in the future.
About the job
What can you expect in the job of restaurant manager?
Duties of a restaurant manager
They deal with customers and oversee staff, supplies, and quality. Managers deal with customer service issues and solve problems among the employees. They make sure that the food quality and service is good. Additionally, they ensure that everything is ready before the restaurant opens. They may also manage food preparation, organizing stock, and ordering supplies. Finally, managers make employees clean equipment and follow safety rules.
Restaurant managers are responsible for interviewing, hiring, and supervising new staff members. They may also manage a budget and payroll. Sometimes, managers are also the owners of the restaurant.
Watch this video to learn more about what restaurant owners do
Restaurants managers work in family-owned restaurants, fast-food and other chain restaurants, resorts, and hotels. Restaurant managers usually have an office where they do administrative tasks and manage their day-to-day activities.
Nine out of ten restaurants have fewer than 50 employees. But the workplace can be hectic.
Salary for restaurant managers
Restaurant managers’ salaries cover a wide range, but they earn an average of $35,570 annually. Annual salaries start at $19,865 and go up to $54,300. Hourly wages range from $9.55 to $26.09.
About the person
What kind of person makes a good restaurant manager?
Qualities you should have
- able to keep a positive attitude under stress
- able to work well with and manage people
- pleasant, courteous demeanor
- observant of details
- able to respond and make decisions quickly
- very organized
- diplomatic in difficult situations
Skills you will need
- knowledge and experience of kitchen and restaurant practices
- good communication skills
- leadership skills
- conflict resolution techniques
Training and experience
Most people in the restaurant business start in an entry-level job in a restaurant and work their way up. On-the-job experience is the most common way to gain training.
As there is high demand for people to fill entry-level jobs, you can start training for your career by getting a job in a restaurant. On-the-job experience is the most likely way to reach your goal.
What if you do not feel quite ready to apply for a job in a restaurant? Some job centers and other organizations offer free basic job training. Some of the training includes job skills to refugees and immigrants going into restaurant jobs and other food service jobs.
Important: You do not need to pay large tuition fees to get basic training for the restaurant business.
As we learned, nine of ten restaurant managers reached their position by working their way up from the bottom. They probably do not have certification. But certificates can help to get ahead. If you are very committed to advancing quickly, you can get additional training by attending a school or online class. you can do a part-time course at the same time that you are gaining job experience and earning a living.
There are many courses and different certifications in restaurant management. There are hospitality courses on offer at four-year and two-year colleges, at culinary schools, and at other vocational schools. You can learn online about the different types of courses you can consider:
- Read about the kinds of restaurant management courses offered by accredited schools.
- Learn about the ManageFirst program, a course for training restaurant managers created by the National Restaurant Association. It is offered at many colleges and universities. See if it is offered at your local college.
- Check the government job center’s local training finder for your area.
- Some people choose to enroll in a two-year business management and administration program before becoming a restaurant manager. Find a community college near you.
- You can consider an online course, but make sure it is accredited.
There is some financial help available for gettin qualified in the restaurant business. Learn more about scholarships for restaurant careers.
- How to make your own business
- Jobs and careers in food service
- Take our free online GED® course
- Scholarships for refugees and immigrants