Restaurant management: duties, salary and essential skills

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 22 April 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Managing restaurants is a varied career in which versatile individuals are able to thrive. Whether you're looking to become a restaurant manager for the first time or are looking to switch over from another career, it can be immensely rewarding for people who enjoy working in hospitality. If you're considering becoming a restaurant manager, it's important to understand exactly what this involves so that you approach the role prepared. In this article, we explain what restaurant management is, the responsibilities involved in managing a restaurant, the expected salary in the role and more.

What is restaurant management?

Restaurant management refers to the administration of a dining establishment on a day-to-day basis. Managing a restaurant is akin to running a business, meaning restaurant managers oversee the facility and ensure that it functions as a food and drink business is expected to in order to turn a consistent profit. Restaurant manager is typically viewed as a full-time career due to the variety of duties and responsibilities expected of those hired as restaurant managers.

Another common component of managing restaurants is possessing a long-term vision for the growth of the company. This long-term plan consists of a thorough strategy that the restaurant manager implements over time. These strategies vary depending on the goals set out by the manager. Sometimes a board or other members of senior management advise the restaurant manager on how to proceed. In other instances, it's the restaurant manager alone responsible for defining the strategy. It's the duty of the restaurant manager to oversee this strategy through to completion.

Related: How to write a restaurant manager CV (with tips and examples)

Duties of a restaurant manager

The duties of a restaurant manager vary depending on the nature of the restaurant and the scale of the dining and cooking facilities involved. It's likely that managing a restaurant entails all of the duties listed here, regardless of the particular establishment you end up working for. Here are the main duties of a restaurant manager:

Updating the menu

The restaurant manager is the person that's responsible for ensuring that the food and drinks menus reflect the mission statement and theme of their dining establishment. This includes, where necessary, updating the menu. Updating the menu is a frequent process and includes times when pricing has changed to reflect the quality of the food, drinks and service.

If you're undertaking the responsibility of managing a restaurant that's just changed ownership, you're likely to have to completely overhaul the menu to align with the new owner's vision.

Resolving any conflicts

There are times across the course of a restaurant manager's career when a conflict needs a resolution quickly and painlessly. This includes conflicts between employees and conflicts between an employee and a customer. Conflicts occur for a number of reasons but are easily dealt with by a competent and assured restaurant manager. Anticipating the responsibility of having to resolve disputes when they arise means that you're better prepared when the situation calls for you to do so.

Related: 6 workplace conflict examples with useful resolutions

Coordinating the employees

Depending on the size of the dining establishment, restaurant managers oversee a number of employees on any given day. For instance, the restaurant manager of a chain establishment expects to manage more employees than a manager of a local, standalone establishment. Restaurant managers have many duties involving employees, including the following:

  • ensuring that they arrive on shift on time

  • ensuring that they conduct work up to standard

  • ensuring that their contract fulfils legal requirements

  • ensuring that they have appropriate duties assigned

  • ensuring that they receive any and all updates

Monitoring all expenses

It's the duty of the restaurant manager to keep track of all of the expenses lost and profits made by the establishment. This includes purchasing the required inventory and totalling profits at the end of the workday. Carefully monitoring expenses enables the restaurant manager to cut back on unnecessary spending and increase the budget in areas that demand it. It also means that saved funds are able for reinvestment in other areas, such as company expansion.

Related: 14 Essential Operation Manager Skills

Adhering to regulations

One of the most important elements of managing restaurants is ensuring that the establishment adheres to all of the relevant guidelines and regulations. Complying with the necessary regulations ensures that the facilities remain open and trading. There are many regulations that restaurant manager concerns themselves with, including contractual obligations of employees, food and safety hygiene regulations and more. Managing restaurants also involves ensuring standards of cleanliness are consistently met.

Prioritising customer service

Managing restaurants is ultimately geared towards creating a welcoming environment for customers. This includes serving delicious food and drink and maintaining an enjoyable atmosphere within the establishment. Customer service is integral to the role of a restaurant manager because providing exceptional customer service results in better customer loyalty. This in turn drives a positive reputation for the business and encourages new clientele.

Related: 10 ways to consistently offer good customer service

Devising training protocols

Alongside managing a team of existing employees, another element of managing restaurants is to train up any new employees fresh to the team. To do so, the restaurant manager uses training protocols. It's the duty of the restaurant manager to devise these training protocols in line with company rules and any other national regulations. As food and drink are involved, these training protocols are extensive and span hygiene and safety practices alongside an internal company code of conduct.

Hiring new people

Even with low employee turnover, it's likely that employees are going to quit and move on overtime. It's the responsibility of the restaurant manager to hire new applicants to replace those employees. This entails a number of tasks, including the following:

  • posting the job vacancy on relevant job boards

  • sorting through the candidate pool

  • interviewing a shortlisted number of applicants

  • informing candidates about the outcome of their application

  • onboarding the chosen applicant to start their new job

Salary of a restaurant manager

The average salary of a restaurant manager is £27,869 per year. This varies depending on the location of the dining establishment. For instance, here's the starting salary for restaurant managers in three different locations based on the data provided:

  • London: £33,692 per year

  • Manchester: £28,693 per year

  • Edinburgh: £27,859 per year

Related: Salary increment: What it is and how you can negotiate it

Skills of a restaurant manager

If you intend to pursue a career as a restaurant manager then there are many skills that you aim to develop both prior to commencement and throughout your career. It's useful to have an understanding of the expected skills so that you can assess where your strengths and areas of improvement lie. Here are some of the essential skills for managing a restaurant:

  • Communication: A restaurant manager has excellent written and verbal communication. This ensures that the restaurant team is coordinated and customer expectations are managed.

  • Flexibility: A restaurant manager is flexible across the workday. This means that they're able to handle any unexpected tasks with confidence and ease to keep service flowing smoothly.

  • Commercial awareness: A restaurant manager has great commercial awareness. This means that they can identify up and coming trends to attract greater audiences and improve the reputation of the establishment.

  • Organisation: A restaurant manager is incredibly organised. This means that they can handle a number of duties without feeling pressured, resulting in a calm working environment.

  • Conflict resolution: A restaurant manager can resolve conflicts quickly. This means that there's a positive outcome for all involved and the customers' enjoyment of service is maintained.

  • Leadership: A restaurant manager is able to lead a team of employees. This means that the employees understand their role within the company and carry out their duties with competence.

  • Teamwork: A restaurant manager also works as part of a team. This means that they understand more about the team dynamic and can seamlessly slip between roles to fill a skill gap when necessary.

  • Productivity: A restaurant manager works productively throughout the day. This means that tasks are kept atop and the day-to-day proceedings of the establishment run as anticipated.

  • Problem-solving: A restaurant manager is adept at solving problems. This means that employees are able to complete their tasks without issue and customers enjoy their dining experience.

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries‌ ‌may‌ ‌‌vary‌‌ ‌depending‌ ‌on‌ ‌the‌ ‌hiring‌ ‌organisation‌ ‌and‌ ‌a‌ ‌candidate's ‌experience,‌ ‌academic‌ background‌ ‌and‌ ‌location.‌

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