Last Updated:
November 28, 2022

Restaurant Manager: Duties and Job Tasks

Do you want to know what a restaurant manager does? This guide outlines the job duties and tasks of a restaurant manager, including managing staff, finances.
Restaurant Manager: Duties and Job Tasks
By
Bogdan Patynski
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DISCLAIMER: Please note that this information is for informational purposes only and should not be considered as legal, accounting, tax, HR, or other professional advice. You're responsible to comply with all applicable laws in your state. Contact your attorney or other relevant advisor for advice specific to your circumstances.
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The job description of a restaurant manager varies greatly, but they all fall under the umbrella of hospitality management. Although the position requires a lot of work, it can be very rewarding.

If you're considering a job as a restaurant manager or if you're a restaurant owner looking to hire a manager, it's important to understand the duties and job description of this position. This article will provide you with a greater sense of the main duties and responsibilities of a restaurant manager. We will also offer some advice on how to get started in this career. Keep reading this ultimate guide to learn more!

Restaurant manager duties and responsibilities

Restaurant manager responsibilities are generally very demanding jobs. They typically oversee general administration, customer service, and many other aspects of the restaurant operation.

Restaurant managers use their experience and instincts to make sure restaurants provide customers with pleasant dining experiences that match up to the brand standards of the business. Excellent supervision and creating a desirable work environment for the management team helps protect against any loss in profitability for the restaurant.

A general manager in small restaurants has more regular contact with customers than those working for bigger chains, who are usually assisted by a team of assistant managers focusing on different areas. For example, there may be an assistant manager in charge of front-of-house operations and another in charge of back-of-house operations such as a kitchen manager. It is important for a restaurant general manager to delegate tasks and responsibilities to their staff so that the business can run smoothly and efficiently.

In addition, the restaurant general manager position requires the ability to work quickly and efficiently in a fast-paced environment. To understand the restaurant manager's duties and typical day-to-day tasks, let's break down the duties and responsibilities into six main categories.

  • Restaurant management and admin
  • Human resources duties
  • Financial management duties
  • Customer service and operations
  • Inventory management
  • Marketing and sales duties

The specific tasks within each category vary depending on the size and type of restaurant but below are the most common ones.

(1) Restaurant management and administration duties

A restaurant manager has a variety of responsibilities, but the first and most important duty is restaurant management and administration. This encompasses all of the behind-the-scenes work that needs to be done in order to keep the restaurant running smoothly.

Some of the restaurant manager's duties in this category include:

  • Creating and enforcing standard operating procedures (SOPs) and company policies
  • Maintaining health and safety regulations compliance
  • Staying compliant with sanitary regulations
  • Writing work schedules that ensure the restaurant is properly staffed

(2) Human resources duties

The second category of duties for a restaurant manager is human resources. This involves all of the tasks related to managing and training the restaurant's employees.

Some of the restaurant manager's duties in this category include:

  • Hiring and firing employees
  • Training and development of new employees
  • Performance management
  • Evaluation of management trainees
  • Payroll and benefits administration
  • Impose disciplinary action

(3) Customer service and operations duties

Restaurant managers have a third set of duties related to customer service and operations. A good restaurant manager is expected to provide excellent customer service to oversee the day-to-day tasks that keep the restaurant operations running smoothly and ensure customer satisfaction. This includes handling customer complaints, resolving conflicts, and maintaining high standards of customer service. A successful restaurant manager must be able to handle difficult situations in a calm and professional manner. They must also have strong people skills and be able to build relationships with customers.

Some of the restaurant manager's duties in this category include:

  • Greeting and seating guests
  • Taking orders and processing payments
  • Coordinating with the executive chef to kitchen staff to ensure food preparation is correct and served in a timely manner and food quality meets customers' expectations.
  • Ensuring that the dining areas and front-of-house areas are clean, organized, and well-stocked providing an excellent dining experience to guests
  • Addressing customer complaints in a courteous and expeditious manner
  • Targeting monthly sales goals
  • Delegate tasks to restaurant staff members

(4) Financial management duties

The fourth category of restaurant manager duties is financial management. Restaurant managers are responsible for the financial health of the business. Restaurant managers need to have a good understanding of business and financial principles in order to be successful in this aspect of the job.

Some of the restaurant manager's duties in this category include:

  • Monitoring cash flow and controlling the budget and operational costs
  • Purchasing supplies and equipment within the budget
  • Tracking sales and revenue
  • Overseeing the accounting and financial reports for the restaurant
  • Making recommendations on ways to improve profitability

(5) Inventory management duties

A good RM needs to be able to keep track of the stock levels for all of the food, beverage, and supplies in the restaurant. They need to know when to order more from suppliers and vendors and how to effectively manage inventory so that nothing goes to waste. This includes keeping track of perishable items and ensuring that they are used before they expire.

Some of the job descriptions in this category include:

  • Monitoring inventory levels and ordering supplies as needed
  • Tracking expiration dates for perishable items and ensuring that they are used in a timely manner
  • Creating systems to minimize food waste
  • Analyzing cost of goods sold (COGS) and making adjustments to the menu as needed

(6) Marketing and sales duties

A primary duty of a restaurant manager is to monitor the marketing and sales activities of the restaurant. To be good at this part of restaurant operations, a manager should understand both marketing and sales concepts well.

Some of the job descriptions in this category include:

  • Developing and implementing marketing plans and campaigns
  • Designing promotional materials such as menus, flyers, and website content
  • Coordinating with the sales team to develop sales strategies
  • Working with the marketing team to create targeted promotions and execute social media campaigns
  • Analyzing customer data to identify trends and target marketing efforts
  • Monitoring competitor activity and developing strategies to stay ahead of the competition

Here are some tips on becoming restaurant managers:

Now that we've gone over the general restaurant manager job description and responsibilities, let's talk about how you can become one. Here are a few tips:

1. Get experience in the restaurant industry.

Usually, a restaurant manager gain experience in the food service industry by starting in entry-level positions, such as wait staff, host, or bartender. Many people who want to become restaurant managers work these types of jobs while they finish college since they don't usually require much formal education.

2. Earn a degree in hospitality management.

A common education for a restaurant manager is at minimum a high school diploma or GED. However, many choose to continue studying and receive an associate's degree or even a bachelor’s degree in hospitality management or any related field. This type of program will provide you with the knowledge and skills you need to be successful in this job.

Consider pursuing a master's degree in business administration.

If you're interested in pursuing a career in restaurant management, you may want to consider pursuing a master's degree in business administration. This type of degree will give you the advanced knowledge and skills you need to be a successful general manager.

3. Earn training certifications

Although certification in food safety or alcohol service may not be mandatory for restaurant managers in some areas, getting certified is still beneficial as it can help them secure a position.

In fact, most wannabe managers gain certification as food safety managers before being promoted. This certification demonstrates that you have the knowledge and skills for health and safety regulations which is necessary to ensure that the food prep and product quality at the restaurant is safe for consumption.

4. Be patient and persistent

If you want to be a restaurant manager, know that it won't come easy. You must be dedicated enough to work more than necessary and put in long periods if needed. It usually takes multiple years of being employed within the industry before you're even close to obtaining a management role.

What qualities should a successful restaurant manager possess?

Being a restaurant manager comes with many responsibilities, so it is important for them to have certain qualities in order to be successful. Some of the qualities that a successful restaurant manager should possess include:

Leadership skills

A great restaurant manager is not only a strong leader but also an excellent motivator and inspiration to their team. By working together, they create a successful environment.

Communication skills

Being an excellent communicator is key to being a successful restaurant manager. They should be able to convey their vision and ideas clearly to their team, customers, and other stakeholders.

Organized and efficient

A successful restaurant manager needs to be highly organized. They should be able to juggle multiple tasks and prioritize their responsibilities.

Problem-solving skills

A good restaurant manager is excellent at problem-solving. Any bad situations in the establishment must be resolved immediately by a manager. They should be able to nip issues in the bud and consistently think outside of the box.

Customers should never have to wait unnecessarily long hours for a table The restaurant manager will always be available to diffuse any situation that may arise. Spill something on a customer's clothing? Restaurant manager to the rescue!

Management skills

In order to run a restaurant smoothly, the manager needs superb organizational skills and the ability to delegate tasks appropriately. Furthermore, they need intimate knowledge of every area in the restaurant so that issues can be quickly resolved.

Decision-making skills

An excellent restaurant manager should act decisively. They can assess all possible outcomes of a situation and choose the optimal plan of action.

Flexibility

A good restaurant manager is able to adjust to industry changes as well as their own establishment's needs. New ideas should be welcomed with open arms in order to maintain a cutting-edge operation.

Expertise in the food and drink industry

A good restaurant manager will have an all-encompassing understanding of the restaurant industry. They should be passionate about the business and driven to see their establishment do well. Keeping up with current trends is also essential to success.

Remain calm under pressure

A great restaurant manager is level-headed and doesn't get frazzled under pressure. They should be able to manage stressful tasks effortlessly.

Excellent customer service skills

An excellent restaurant manager not only has amazing customer service skills but also knows how to handle customer complaints in a positive light. Meeting customer satisfaction and creating a memorable dining experience is what separates good restaurants from great ones!

Committed

A restaurant's success largely depends on its manager. They should aim to better the establishment and be committed to their role. A general manager is frequently required to work extended hours, such as nights and weekends. In addition, they may need to be available for emergencies that come up.

Restaurant manager salary

This is a pretty common question among those interested in pursuing a career in restaurant management. The answer largely depends on the size of the establishment, as well as its location. In general, larger chains or those located in major metropolitan areas tend to pay higher salaries than smaller or local restaurants.

As of October 27, 2022, the average salary in the United States falls between $46,728 and $68,494 according to Salary.com. However, depending on factors such as education and experience level, a restaurant manager's salary earning potential may be higher or lower than this range.

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