8 Facts About Restaurant Managers

Managing a restaurant is a complicated job. Not only do you have to deal with the usual managerial concerns of employees and customers, but also the associated business/administrative duties. Taking on these tasks and doing them correctly can be a challenge but there are professionals who are well up to the challenge.

Who are these professionals willing to take on this challenge? Well that would be Restaurant Managers!

1. Restaurant managers oversee the running of restaurant

Restaurant managers work behind the scenes ensuring that restaurants run smoothly and efficiently daily. They make sure that daily restaurant tasks are being performed such as: making sure that staff are showing up on time, checking sales metrics and knowing what is going on in a dining room. Overall, they are committed to the success of a restaurant.
Customers might think that managers only work to resolve problems found on the restaurant floor, but this isn’t the case. A lot of a restaurant managers job is performing administrative/business-based tasks like setting and creating budgets and scheduling employees.

Additionally, these professionals are take care of all aspects related to hiring including interviewing and training new employees. Depending on the restaurant they work at managers might even help to plan menus. Restaurant managers also spend time with customers making sure that their experience is a great one. They meet and greet with customers, organize table reservations and provide menu recommendations. Finally, other responsibilities for this job might include:

  • Checking inventory levels, ordering supplies and preparing cash drawers and petty cash
  • Assessing and improving restaurant profitability
  • Producing and managing staff schedules
  • Checking inventory levels, ordering supplies and preparing cash orders

Check out our podcast episode with Joe Baker, OTEC’s Systems Leadership and Integrated Strategy Advisor

2. Restaurant managers work in fast paced environments

Having a good financial management system is vital for the success of any restaurant. Successful restaurant managers are financially savvy and can perform duties such as managing budgets, performing financial transactions, paying bills, managing inventory and maintaining payroll records.

All restaurants are required to keep track of employee records, this involves keeping track of hours worked, pay received and overtime pay. All these duties fall upon the shoulders of restaurant managers but don’t worry generally restaurants will train managers on how to perform these tasks! However, if you are taking a restaurant management program than these requirements should be taught during course work.

3. Restaurant managers have different levels of education

Becoming a restaurant manager does not require a person to have a post-secondary degree. What they do require is past experience in a management position. Starting off in an entry level role gives the insight needed for restaurant wide decisions- something you can only get working on the floor.

Many establishments allow their workers to work their way up by hiring them in lower level position such as a servers or cooks. Generally, these positions only require workers to have a high school diploma making it accessible for many. However, some restaurants do require individuals to have a two to four year college/university degree in programs such as business administration/management, culinary arts, accounting or hospitality if they wish to be a restaurant manager at a corporate chain.

4. Restaurant managers are effective leaders

Managers are responsible for leading their staff to success. They must be comfortable being in the spotlight and knowing how to act with each staff to bring out the best in them. A proper leader is one who isn’t afraid to do the “dirty work” in the case of a restaurant this might mean lending a hand during rush hour, serving tables or sometimes quite literally cleaning up a mess (ex. mopping the floor). The best leaders are those who lead by example and communicate not only through their words but their actions too.

5. Restaurant managers build strong relationships with staff

Successful managers are built on a foundation of good relationships with their staff. To these professionals restaurant employees are people first and employees second. By taking care of staff members this creates a positive work environment which cultivates a restaurants success. Furthermore, these employees can become a second family due to the large amount of hours shared together. If they allow themselves to become an open book restaurant managers will experience bonds which are strengthened during many years of service.

6. The hours that restaurant managers work are not for everyone

Entering any position in a restaurant almost always requires employees to work long shifts that can last anywhere between 6 to 12 hours. The same can be said about restaurant managers because the completion of their shift only happens when everything is done. As a restaurant manager you must be prepared to work frequent nights, weekends and even holidays. This includes being able to cover for any workers who are not able to work their shift last minute.

7. A restaurant manager at the core are team leaders

Restaurants are fast paced and challenging environments because of their unpredictability. One unpredictable situation could be that a worker calls in sick and there is no one to fill in for them. It is up to a restaurant manager to fill in any gaps when staff members are not present at their jobs.

Another situation which can be challenging is the ups and downs of customer flow. One hour the restaurant can be empty and then the next it is full to the brim! Customers expect stellar service this means receiving their order in a appropriate amount of time and correctly. Managers lead their team to success because they know they can’t make excuses to the customer. Have you ever played a restaurant mobile game where the orders keep adding up? This is true in the industry. Managers manage their staff and operations so that they are prepared as best as they can.

8. Restaurant managers need to have passion

Passion- Although passion isn’t a skill we felt that it was important to include it in this section. Due to the daily challenges a restaurant manager faces they need to have passion to be overcome these hardships. Passion is a requirement when working long hours and holidays. Not to mention when you are full of passion it’s not long before your co-workers follow!

People Management- This skill is important because managers oversee a lot people. They need to be aware of what areas of the restaurant need more people on staff, who is working what day and who is best suited for a task.

Multi-tasking- It doesn’t matter what time of day it is for a restaurant manger because there is always something to do. One minute they are turning tables while the next they are interacting with customers. Being able to stay organized during the chaos is only possible if they multi-task.

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