Often, leadership is given much lip service but never enough thought.
The success of an organization undoubtedly relies on teamwork. A restaurant is no different! The entire team needs to pull together for the establishment to succeed.
However, a team is only as good as its leader.
As the leader, a restaurant manager is responsible to oversee the day-to-day operations of a restaurant, managing staff, resolve customer issues and work to make the establishment profitable. They must ensure that everyone understands their duties and executes their responsibilities to the best of their abilities.
What Are the Primary Responsibilities of a Restaurant Manager?
A restaurant manager’s primary responsibility is to oversee the restaurant’s efficient and profitable operations. Some of the specific duties that come under this overarching definition of the restaurant manager’s responsibility include:
- Hiring and training staff
- Working on enhancing customer satisfaction
- Ensuring adherence to health and safety standards
- Managing the budget and costs
- Managing quality of food and service
- Planning the menu, managing inventory procurement/accounting
- Managing the restaurant’s vendors
- Overseeing equipment purchase/maintenance
What Are the Distinguishing Skills and Attributes of a Good Restaurant Manager?
A great restaurant manager has a diverse mix of skills and personality attributes. These qualities include:
- Leadership skills, ability to work with teams, communication skills, problem-solving skills, etc.
- A can-do attitude and the ability to foster the same attitude in the restaurant’s team
- Ability to multitask and the agility to respond to emergent issues
- Passion for the role
- Good people management skills
- Ability to deal with the demands of the customers, the staff, and upper management
- Ability to deliver reliable and consistent quality in terms of food and service to the customers
- Ability to think on their feet and make quick and tough decisions
Restaurant Manager Responsibilities NOT Found in the Job Description
Typically, job descriptions for restaurant managers are drafted without sufficient deliberation. What usually happens is that the job descriptions end up listing only the undeniable restaurant manager skills and responsibilities and miss out on the less obvious but critical responsibilities.
The responsibilities typically NOT included in job descriptions for restaurant managers are:
Customer satisfaction is key to the restaurant’s success. The restaurant manager should be able to gather customer feedback, pick up non-verbal cues from customers, and work on improving the customers’ experience. Having repeat customers is as important as attracting new customers.
Conflict is an inescapable reality of managing a team. A good restaurant manager should be able to resolve conflicts when they arise. They should be able to put out the fire early so that things do not come to a boil or slide to a point where teamwork breaks down.
An engaged team will consistently outperform a team whose members’ hearts are not on the job. A manager who is connected to their team will demand the best but is also generous with praise for good work. They can build an engaged and motivated team that is self-starting and delivers the best to the customers and the restaurant.
This is at the core of running any establishment and is true for restaurants as well. The manager should be able to evaluate workforce requirements, plan and undertake the onboarding of new hires, and organize periodic training. They also must plan shift schedules, manage team members’ leave, etc. A well-managed workforce means an engaged and motivated team with a low employee turnover.
A good manager is essentially many people rolled into one. During moments of crisis, the manager should ideally possess all kinds of restaurant managing skills, such as cooking and baking, waiting on guests, handling accounts, being a technician, etc. This rubs off on other team members and motivates everyone to strive to acquire multiple skills and become better versions of themselves.
The manager should always be at the helm of operations, constantly looking out for areas where operations can be improved. The improvements should be directed to activities that make operations more efficient, reduce costs, improve safety, enhance customer satisfaction, etc. It doesn’t stop there: the manager themselves should work on upskilling and mentor employees to do the same.
A well-maintained restaurant with clean premises, good furniture, and clean cutlery/crockery is integral to the overall customer experience. It pays to be meticulous about restaurant maintenance. A well-maintained restaurant is indicative of a well-run establishment and leads to an overall positive perception among customers.
Focus on Safety
A restaurant can potentially be a dangerous place, with numerous reported incidents of accidents in the kitchen and other areas in the restaurant. The manager must train the staff on safety and inculcate a culture of safe operations in the restaurant staff. It is also the manager’s responsibility to ensure compliance with all the safety regulations stipulated by the authorities.
Compliance with Health Regulations
In the food industry, the significance of health and hygiene cannot be overstated. A restaurant manager is expected to ensure the health standards specified by the regulatory authorities are met and the whole team adheres to them. For example, during the ongoing pandemic, additional attention must be paid to abiding by COVID-19 protocols – social distancing in restaurants, masking, sanitization, etc. A break out of COVID among the staff or the customers can be disastrous for the restaurant.
Using the right technological tools helps improve individual and team efficiency. Software tools and apps can take care of several routine manual tasks, freeing the manager and the team to focus on their core responsibilities – the restaurant and its customers.
Hiring the right restaurant manager requires deliberation and the necessary investment in time and effort. A wrong choice of manager can mar operations and adversely impact the restaurant’s long-term success. From putting out fires to delivering a superior customer experience – the restaurant manager must wear several hats and juggle several responsibilities to have customers coming again and again.
Frequently Asked Questions:
1. What are the duties and responsibilities of a manager in a restaurant?
The duties and responsibilities of a manager in a restaurant will depend on the specific role and responsibilities assigned to them, as well as the size and type of restaurant they are managing. However, some common responsibilities of a restaurant manager may include:
- Overseeing the day-to-day operations of the restaurant, including managing staff, coordinating schedules, and handling customer complaints or concerns.
- Monitoring and tracking sales, inventory, and expenses to ensure that the restaurant is operating efficiently and profitably.
- Ensuring that the restaurant is in compliance with all relevant laws, regulations, and health and safety standards.
- Developing and implementing marketing and promotional strategies to attract customers.
- Maintaining financial records, including creating budgets, forecasting revenue, and preparing reports for management.
- Working with the chef or kitchen staff to plan menus, create specials, and ensure that food quality and presentation meet standards.
- Collaborating with the front-of-house staff to create a positive customer experience, including training and coaching employees on customer service techniques and ensuring that the dining area is clean and well-maintained.
2. What are the qualifications for a restaurant manager?
Some of the common qualifications that many restaurant managers possess include:
- A bachelor’s degree in hospitality management, business administration, or a related field.
- Several years of experience in the restaurant industry, with increasing levels of responsibility.
- Strong leadership and management skills, including the ability to delegate tasks, motivate and train staff, and handle personnel issues.
- Excellent customer service skills and the ability to create a positive and welcoming atmosphere for diners.
- Knowledge of food safety regulations and best practices.
- Experience with budgeting and financial management
Proficiency with point-of-sale systems and other restaurant-specific software.
- Communication skills, including the ability to listen to and resolve customer complaints or concerns.
Some employers may also require restaurant managers to have specific certifications or licenses, such as a food safety certification or a liquor license.
3. What are the types of restaurant managers?
There are several types of restaurant managers, each with their own specific duties and responsibilities. Some common types of restaurant managers include:
- General manager: The general manager is responsible for overseeing the overall operation of the restaurant, including managing staff, coordinating schedules, handling customer complaints or concerns, and monitoring and tracking sales, inventory, and expenses. They may also be involved in developing and implementing marketing and promotional strategies, as well as maintaining financial records and preparing reports for management.
- Assistant manager: The assistant manager assists the general manager in managing the day-to-day operations of the restaurant, including managing staff, coordinating schedules, and handling customer complaints or concerns. They may also be responsible for monitoring and tracking sales, inventory, and expenses, and may be involved in developing and implementing marketing and promotional strategies.
- Kitchen manager: The kitchen manager is responsible for managing the kitchen staff and coordinating the preparation of food for the restaurant. They may be involved in planning menus, creating specials, and ensuring that food quality and presentation meet standards. They may also be responsible for ordering supplies and maintaining inventory levels.
- Front-of-house manager: The front-of-house manager is responsible for managing the front-of-house staff and overseeing the customer experience in the restaurant. They may be involved in training and coaching employees on customer service techniques, as well as ensuring that the dining area is clean and well-maintained. They may also be responsible for handling customer complaints or concerns.
- Restaurant group manager: A restaurant group manager is responsible for managing multiple restaurant locations within a larger chain or franchise. They may be involved in overseeing the operations of all the restaurants in their portfolio, as well as developing and implementing strategies for growth and profitability.
4. How to keep restaurant managers from quitting their jobs?
There are several strategies that restaurant owners and operators can use to help prevent restaurant managers from quitting their jobs:
- Offer competitive compensation and benefits: Restaurant managers are more likely to stay in their jobs if they feel that they are being fairly compensated and provided with good benefits. Be sure to review market data and industry standards to ensure that your compensation packages are competitive.
- Provide opportunities for growth and advancement: Restaurant managers who see opportunities for growth and advancement within the company are more likely to stay with the organization. Consider offering training and development programs, as well as clear career advancement paths, to help managers feel invested in the long-term success of the business.
- Foster a positive work culture: A positive work culture that values employee engagement, teamwork, and open communication can help keep restaurant managers motivated and engaged in their work. Consider implementing regular check-ins and feedback sessions, as well as offering opportunities for employees to contribute their ideas and insights.
- Recognize and reward performance: Recognizing and rewarding the hard work and achievements of restaurant managers can help keep them motivated and committed to the success of the business. Consider implementing a formal recognition program or regularly thanking managers for their contributions.
- Communicate regularly and openly: Regular and open communication with restaurant managers can help ensure that they feel supported and informed about the direction of the business. Consider implementing regular check-ins and feedback sessions to encourage open and honest communication.
5. How many hours should a restaurant manager work?
The number of hours that a restaurant manager works will depend on the specific needs and demands of the restaurant, as well as the manager’s specific job duties and responsibilities. Some restaurant managers may work regular daytime hours, while others may work evenings, weekends, and holidays to meet the needs of the business. In general, restaurant managers may work long and irregular hours, and may be required to be on call at all times to handle any emergencies or issues that may arise.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average workweek for a restaurant manager is typically around 50 hours, although some managers may work more or fewer hours depending on the needs of the business. The BLS also notes that many restaurant managers work part-time or variable schedules. It’s important for restaurant managers to be flexible and able to adapt to changing demands, as the needs of the business may change frequently. In general, it’s important for restaurant managers to be prepared to work long and irregular hours, as the demands of the job may require it.