Restaurant Manager

A restaurant manager is a food service specialist trained to supervise the general operations of various dining establishments. Some of their numerous responsibilities include ensuring customer satisfaction and food safety; enforcing staff compliance with required health and business practices; and overseeing the proper functioning of a restaurant’s kitchen, dining and sanitation areas. To help achieve on-the-job success, restaurant managers frequently apply their experience and training in areas like food service, business administration, hospitality management, computers, data entry, human resources and workplace safety.

Restaurant managers find work at a broad range of businesses, including high-profile fine dining establishments, casual full-service chains, small independent eateries and fast food franchises.

To secure a position as a restaurant manager, individuals are advised to meet specific criteria, such as:

  • Supplementing a high school diploma with an associate or bachelor’s degree in hospitality management or food service management.
  • Receiving on-the-job training as an entry-level food service professional-as a member of the host, wait, kitchen or dishwashing staff.
  • Possessing strong interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Remaining current on local, state and federal guidelines for nutrition, and food and workplace safety.

Professional certification may help expand the number and variety of career opportunities for prospective and experienced restaurant managers. The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation offers Foodservice Management Professional (FMP) designation for eligible professionals. To receive FMP status a restaurant manager must pass a written exam, successfully complete a series of related courses, and have a sufficient amount of direct industry experience.

Restaurant Manager Job Description

Restaurant managers are responsible for supervising the safe and satisfactory operations of businesses specializing in food and drink service to the public. They often collaborate with executive chefs and other kitchen staff on activities like food orders and inventory, menu planning and pricing. They troubleshoot customer complaints, record and submit earnings for a designated shift, and review the cleanliness and safe operations of food preparation equipment.

Restaurant managers work in a variety of settings, including:

  • Fine-dining establishments
  • Casual full-service restaurants
  • Fast food franchises
  • Local independent restaurants
  • Delis, cafes and other limited-service eateries

Due to the unpredictable nature of the food service industry, restaurant managers often work extended and sometimes erratic hours. They may also need to cover the shifts of late, ill or absentee employees.

Restaurant Manager Salary

With anticipated reductions in the number of new restaurants, job openings for restaurant managers are predicted to grow at a slower than average rate. Demand may be higher for restaurant managers with advanced degrees and specialized technology or language skills.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, restaurant managers tend to earn an average annual salary of between $36,670 and $59,580. Professionals working in the top 10 percent of the industry’s wage scale earn around $76,940 annually.

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