A Day in the Life of a Restaurant Manager
One of the best culinary careers for those who enjoy cooking as well as the organization and supervisory skills that come with running a restaurant is that of restaurant manager. Like an Executive Chef or restaurant owner, the restaurant manager is the professional who coordinates employees and food service to ensure that every customer walks away satisfied. However, unlike a chef (whose primary focus is the food) or an owner (who carries all the risks and rewards of ownership), the restaurant manager is a paid employee who gets to work in a fast-paced, exciting field while also enjoying a stable career.
What Does a Restaurant Manager Do?
As a restaurant manager, you are typically the first one in the door in the morning and the last one to leave at the end of the day. Although you might spend part of the day on the line in the kitchen, helping to put out food and ensure that the plating is perfect, you’ll also spend quite a bit of time in the front of the house and in an office, running through paperwork and communications.
In terms of running the kitchen, a restaurant manager is responsible for:
- Ordering food and supplies
- Organizing and rotating stock
- Overseeing food deliveries
- Helping create a menu
- Occasionally helping with food preparation or service
As supervisor and the highest authority in the day-to-day running of the restaurant, the restaurant manager is also responsible for anywhere from 2 to 200 employees. This includes:
- Employee and chef recruitment
- Hiring and firing staff members
- Employee scheduling
- Employee training and motivation
- Regularly evaluating employees
Restaurant managers also focus on the business side of running a successful restaurant. This is often done in conjunction with the owner to streamline the way the restaurant is run. Tasks include:
- Marketing some aspects of the business
- Preparing payroll and taxes
- Paying suppliers
- Branding and advertising
- Expanding the business
Depending on where you work and the relationship between the owner, manager, and Executive Chef, your daily tasks can focus on any of the items listed above. This means you have to not only have culinary training, but a strong background in business, as well. That’s why so many aspiring restaurant managers seek a degree in hospitality management.
Offering everything from two-year Associate degrees and four-year Bachelor degrees all the way up to Master’s degrees in the field, hospitality schools provide training that straddles the line between business and food. Many graduates of these programs go on to work in restaurants and hotels, providing a variety of services and moving up the professional ranks to someday begin managing larger chains or even working in corporate restaurant offices.