How to Become a Restaurant Manager

Restaurant manager working on tablet in restaurant

Imagine yourself taking a bite of the best dish you've ever tasted in a restaurant served at a clean table with comfortable chairs. Helpful servers are ready nearby if you were to need anything at all during the course of the evening. You note how the lighting, music and general atmosphere make you feel right at home as you take a drink of a cool beverage to wash down your delicious meal.

If you have had an enjoyable experience at a restaurant, a restaurant manager was working behind the scenes to provide the best possible service.

What Is a Restaurant Manager?

A restaurant manager oversees a restaurant, its employees and all activities necessary to keep it running. These managers are influential in the restaurant workings and may complete different tasks as needed.

Restaurant Manager Duties

You may be wondering, “What does a restaurant manager do?” Restaurant managers must perform a variety of duties on a daily basis. Some of these duties may differ from day-to-day, manger-to-manger or restaurant-to-restaurant.

Here are a few common restaurant manager duties:

  • Customer service
  • Staffing
  • Scheduling
  • Marketing
  • Menu planning
  • Implementing policies
  • Finances

Skills and Qualities of a Good Restaurant Manager

If you are considering a career in this field you may be wondering, “What makes a good restaurant manager?” As restaurant managers must often wear many hats, they need to have a variety of skills and qualities to be efficient in their job. Here are a few qualities of a good restaurant manager:

  • Effective Leader: In order to be a good restaurant manager, it is important to be a good leader. This will make it easier for other restaurant staff and employees to also work effectively.
  • Hospitable: Being hospitable while managing a restaurant is extremely important. Restaurant managers ask questions like, “What can I do to ensure the comfort of the guests?” or “Can the quality of the food and experience be improved?”
  • Organized: Managers have to take charge of many different things during the day, so being organized is of great importance.
  • Clear: Managers must be clear when interacting with staff and customers. If they are not, it can create confusion and more problems that will need to be worked out later on.
  • Patient: Patience can emphasize the qualities of a good manager. Especially in a busy restaurant setting, it can be easy to slip up and make the wrong dish or forget where to bring a plate of food. Patience can go a long way in these scenarios.
  • Creative: Restaurant managers may not have to make art or be creative in the literal sense. However, they must come up with creative solutions to problems that may arise while running the restaurant.
  • Positive: Positivity can go a long way in positions of leadership. It can improve the environment for both guests and employees.

How to Become a Restaurant Manager Step-by-Step

If you feel that you are cut out for a career as a restaurant manager, there are a few steps you can take to set yourself up for success in the field.

Gain Experience in a Restaurant

The first step that can get you started on your journey to becoming a restaurant manager is to earn experience that will help you grow your skills and knowledge.

In the restaurant industry, experience is priceless. You most likely will not immediately start your career as a restaurant manager. Instead, it is more likely that you will work your way up to managing a restaurant. For example, you may work as a server or shift manager to gain understanding of the industry and work your way up to manager of the restaurant.

Earn a Relevant Degree

If you have been to many restaurants, you probably already know that not all restaurants are alike, and they have different practices. Some restaurants may not require you to earn a college-level degree, but rather they may put you through training on how to manage a restaurant. However, many require a higher-level degree in order to get into a management position.

A degree can also help reduce the time it takes for you to work your way up to a position as manager, and it makes you more valuable to employers when you are applying for managerial positions.

Many aspiring restaurant managers may choose to pursue a bachelor’s degree in hospitality management. This degree helps develop skills and qualities in students that make an impact in the hospitality field.

If you decide you would still like to further your education, a master’s degree is always an option. This can give you an advantage over your competitors for jobs and it may even further expand your skillset, but this degree may not necessarily be expected or required.

Become Certified

It is also important to make sure you have any necessary certification to become a restaurant manager. This can differ depending on the city and state your restaurant is in, as well as the specific restaurant. A common example of a certificate you may have to get in order to hold this position is a Food Handler’s Certificate.1

Grand Canyon University’s Colangelo College of Business offers degree programs such as Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Management and Bachelor of Science in Business Management. If you are interested in learning more about the online or campus degree programs available at GCU, click on the Request Info button at the top of your screen to get more information.

1Retrieved from Maricopa County, Food and Restaurants, in December 2021.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.

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