One job, many hats
Restaurant Managers ensure restaurants run smoothly and efficiently. They seek to provide customers with pleasant dining experiences that live up to brand standards. Their efforts, which include effectively managing employees, are ultimately geared towards safeguarding the profitability of the restaurant.
In effect, an RM embodies general management, administration, customer services, human resources, supply chain & procurement, health and safety, compliance, accounting & marketing – all rolled into one. This is particularly true for those working in smaller establishments, who are in frequent contact with both customers and employees. Restaurant managers in larger organizations may see to more office-based work.
Employment opportunities for restaurant managers may arise in a variety of settings, from independent, local restaurants, cafés and bars to larger-scale hotel restaurants, chains and hotel or leisure facility groups. In any of these settings, restaurant managers are required to both demonstrate leadership and work as part of a team. As you’ll see from the responsibilities below, culinary knowledge is also an asset. Food and beverage (F&B) enthusiasts will be able to put their passion to good use as restaurant managers, with the profession ranking as the number-one hospitality job for foodies.
Restaurant manager duties
What does a restaurant manager do? A restaurant manager’s duties vary from setting to setting and often depend on the employer. Typical responsibilities include:
General management and administration
- coordinating and optimizing front- and back-of-house restaurant operations
- controlling operational costs and promoting efficiency
- weekly, monthly and annual financial reporting
- general administration
- taking reservations
- greeting and advising customers
- delivering F&B service to satisfy customer expectations
- fostering positive customer relations
- dealing with customer enquiries and complaints
- recruiting, training and supervising staff
- managing the staff rota
- conducting performance appraisals and setting targets
- optimizing workflow and productivity
Supply chain, procurement and culinary edge
- researching dishes and planning menus
- keeping abreast of inventory and ordering supplies
- monitoring product quality and handling vendors
Compliance, health and safety
- ensuring compliance with licensing, health and safety regulations
- establishing and maintaining policies and protocols
- proactively fostering the restaurant’s image
- endeavoring to expand the restaurant’s reach through targeted promotions
What does it take to do the job well?
To execute their duties well, restaurant managers require extensive F&B knowledge and a good memory of ingredients and dishes so they can provide customers and staff alike with any information needed. They must have good organizational, problem-solving and communication skills. To be effective leaders, they should exhibit cordiality, professionalism and motivational ability.
Invariably, restaurant managers have to deal with various challenges in their day-to-day working lives. The often slim margins in the F&B industry pose one difficulty in particular. To successfully manage the balancing act between quality and affordability, financial management skills are essential. In addition, factors such as seasonality and sustainability have to be borne in mind. Then there are the various restaurant management software options to get to grips with. Flexibility, commercial awareness and excellent customer service skills round off this profile.
Several routes can lead to a restaurant manager role: tertiary education, tailored apprenticeships or simply a consolidation of years of hard graft. However, you could argue one of the key considerations when contemplating how to manage a restaurant is the innate desire to be a welcoming host.