Do You Have What it Takes to Be a Restaurant Manager?
By 2018, food service manager jobs are expected to grow by five percent, according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics. The growth curve is somewhat less than other jobs, which makes it all the more important that potential restaurant managers attain all of the necessary skills and education available in order to have the best chance at getting the job.
Restaurant Manager Duties
Restaurant managers are responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of the establishment. This includes more than just making sure everybody is doing their job. At different times throughout the day, the restaurant manager is expected to fill any one of the following positions:
- Host. Managers are expected to spend a little time meeting and greeting customers and getting immediate feedback about their dining experience. This lets customers feel more welcome and know that they are being taken care of.
- Chef. At times the restaurant manager will have to cook, but they will also have to work side-by-side with the head chef (if there is one) to plan the menu (sometimes on a daily basis) and design menus for special events or occasions.
- HR Manager. Restaurant managers are expected to resolve employee conflicts and care for upset customers with poise and understanding. Furthermore, the manager is in charge of hiring and firing employees. >> Learn More about Hiring in the Restaurant
- Inventory Manager. Usually, a restaurant manager needs to sign for all food shipments, so he or she will have to spend time making sure all shipments are received and stored properly. >> Learn More about Conducting Inventory and Tracking Usage in the Restaurant
- Bookkeeper. Managers are in charge of payroll as well as all accounts (receivable and payable) that the restaurant has, unless the restaurant has a dedicated accountant. In large restaurants, the manager is in charge of hiring an accountant or bookkeeper to do this job. >> Learn More about Basic Restaurant Accounting
- Trainer. The duty of hiring new workers usually falls to the manager. For the most effective training, both visual and hands-on training techniques should be applied.
- Kitchen Worker. If, at any time, some part of the front- or back-of-house is understaffed, the manager is expected to roll up his or her sleeves and get to work, so the manager needs to know how to do every job in the restaurant.
- Leader. Finally, a restaurant manager is expected to be a leader and role model. Staff will take queues from the manager in how to act and interact with customers and other workers, so managers need to set a good example.
Restaurant Manager Skills
There is a certain set of skills that is valuable when it comes to a restaurant manager. Any potential restaurant managers should cultivate these skills and personality traits to build a strong resume and become a strong candidate for the position.
- Highly Energetic.
- Flexible Schedule.
- Conflict Resolution Skills.
- Strong Communication Skills.
- Basic Accounting/Math Skills.
- Proficiency at all Kitchen Work Stations.
4 Steps to Becoming a Restaurant Manager
There are four things that every potential restaurant manager needs to do in order to get the job.
- Get Educated. Any restaurant managerial position requires a minimum of a high school diploma. Beyond high school, there are schools that offer two or four year degrees in hospitality management. Having a hospitality management degree will let potential employers know that you are serious about being a manager. >> Learn More about Hospitality Careers
- Get Experience. There is no substitute for on-the-job work experience. Getting some entry-level restaurant work experience will familiarize potential managers with the workings of a commercial kitchen. Some people even forego the "Get Educated" step and just work their way up from an entry-level position.
- Get Certified. All food service managers need to have a valid food handler's card, which proves that they know how to handle food safely. So, even if you don't want to go to college, at the bare minimum you will need to sit through a food safety certification program. >> Learn More about Obtaining a Food Handler’s Permit
- Get Hired. Finally, the only way to become a restaurant manager is to apply and keep applying for jobs. You may not get your dream job right away, but any managerial job, even a less-than-desirable one, will allow you to gain experience for when you do apply at that five-star restaurant.
Restaurant Manager Training Resources
For those who wish to get secondary education for restaurant management, culinary schools or any college that has a hospitality management program should suffice. Some colleges and culinary schools even offer online restaurant manager programs, so you don't have to carry books around campus. Sites like education-portal.com help locate local schools with restaurant manager programs.
 "Food Service Managers," Bureau of Labor and Statistics, http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos024.htm (accessed November 29, 2010).
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- How Not to Fail at Running a Restaurant
- The Importance of the Point of Sale (POS) System
- Why Going Green is Good for Business
- Running Successful Take-out and Delivery Services
- Fundamental Upselling Strategies for the Restaurant
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