How to Become a Restaurant Manager

If you enjoy the fast-paced work of a restaurant and have aspirations of becoming a leader, you may have wondered how to become a restaurant manager. A restaurant manager is responsible for ensuring that the restaurant runs smoothly on a day-to-day basis, adheres to a budget, maintains quality in food preparation and customer experience, and ensures that staffing levels are sufficient.

Deciding to become a restaurant manager is not a speedy process and requires time, commitment, experience, and a thorough understanding of the food service industry in order to be successful.

How to become a restaurant manager via on-the-job training and formal education

Becoming a restaurant manager will not happen overnight as most start in a lower position such as a waiter or hostess before moving up as they gain experience to positions such as food and beverage coordinator, head of sales, or assistant manger before becoming a restaurant manager. Restaurant managers typically must have a high school diploma or GED. A college diploma is not required but a Bachelor of Arts degree in hotel management, restaurant management, or business administration can be very helpful to those hoping to advance within the field.

Job description of a restaurant manager

A restaurant manager’s main goal is to ensure that the restaurant is operating at a profit. The restaurant manager is responsible for all aspects of the restaurant and should be able to fulfill all of the jobs within the restaurant as well as be willing to do anything necessary to make sure that the customers’ needs are met. A typical shift can include greeting and seating guests, working as cashier, advertising, hiring staff, ordering food and supplies, all aspects of accounting including banking and budgeting, as well as serving as a cook if the need arises.

Overall, the restaurant manager ensures that all of the operations of the restaurant run smoothly and that all aspects of the front of the house are directed and coordinated appropriately. An ideal restaurant manager should have a thorough knowledge of food service and the restaurant industry on all levels of the operation. This is why preference is typically given to those who have worked in various positions within a restaurant setting. The restaurant manager should be a jack of all trades within the restaurant and having held previous positions in various aspects of restaurant operations and service will be very beneficial. Previous work experience is where managers gain valuable and practical skills that they can utilize throughout their career.


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How much does a restaurant manager make?

Restaurant manager salary is based on the location, size, and type of restaurant where they are employed. Large restaurants in urban areas provide the highest pay, averaging between $48,000 and $50,000 per year. In many large companies, a competitive benefit package may also be offered. In smaller restaurants, the pay can be significantly less for family owned businesses and typically the restaurant owner is also the restaurant manager. Small restaurants that hire in restaurant managers may offer bonuses depending on profit.

For those currently working in the food service industry, aspiring to restaurant management can be a lucrative career path, particularly in large, urban restaurants. With this information about how to become a restaurant manager, you’ll have a leg up as you launch your career.