Hiring a Restaurant Manager: Job Description, Salary, & More

Restaurant managers fill an essential space in the hospitality industry. These individuals keep the restaurant running smoothly, supporting everything from planning menus to hiring servers to handling demanding customers. They have a big-picture vision plus experience in front-of-house and back-of-house restaurant skills.

You already know that hiring the right people for your hospitality roles is imperative, because the crux of a successful hospitality business is the staff. Find a restaurant manager who can integrate effortlessly within your restaurant culture and effectively manage a team.

Why Hire a Restaurant Manager?

Running a restaurant well demands expertise and commitment. Owners and hospitality managers usually don’t have the time or resources to cover the restaurant’s many responsibilities and staffing needs. That’s why you need a restaurant manager!

This individual fills a comprehensive leadership position dedicated to effective restaurant operations. Whether hiring a hostess, creating a schedule, or appeasing an unsatisfied customer, the restaurant manager is a hands-on, experienced asset to your hospitality organization.

What to Include in Your Restaurant Manager Job Description

Restaurant manager roles and responsibilities are broad. You need someone with experience, business savvy, leadership skills, an eye for detail, and an excellent palate. The first step toward finding a competent candidate is to craft a solid restaurant manager job description. Outline the vision of the restaurant.

What dining style does the menu follow, and what kind of experience do you want diners to have? Address any significant operational challenges you hope prospective restaurant managers can tackle.

Here is a short list of other responsibilities you might include in your job description:

  • Coordinate the shift schedule for front- and back-of-house staff.
  • Respond personally to diner complaints or feedback.
  • Oversee staff and fill in gaps when needed.
  • Review menu pricing and quality.
  • Facilitate the hiring process for and training of service staff members.
  • Ensure sanitation and safety regulation compliance.
  • Identify cost-saving strategies.
  • Develop marketing initiatives.

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What Skills Does a Successful Restaurant Manager Need?

Restaurant managers are highly efficient people with culinary and business expertise. Moreover, they effectively communicate with staff and consumers to help preserve and promote the restaurant brand. At a minimum, your candidates should possess these subsequent skills:

  • Communication: Whether engaging with chefs, servers, or unhappy customers, your restaurant manager must always communicate clearly and positively. When the kitchen heats up and the wait list gets long, your restaurant manager keeps it cool and professional.
  • Problem-solving ability: Something will inevitably go awry during a busy restaurant service. The ticket printer jams, the sous-chef misses their shift, or the poultry vendor shorts your order. The restaurant manager can think on their feet and develop a seamless solution.
  • Cleanliness: Your restaurant manager is highly knowledgeable about food safety and handling compliance. They ensure that coolers are fully closed, the meat is properly cooked, and the spills are meticulously cleaned.
  • Flexibility: The restaurant industry demands nontraditional hours, especially nights and weekends.

What Qualifications Should I Look For?

Look for candidates with several years of professional experience in the food service industry. Ideally, this individual can demonstrate culinary and hospitality expertise. An associate or bachelor’s degree from a culinary or business program is a plus. Finally, modern-day restaurant managers need basic technical skills and some marketing acumen.

How Much Should I Pay?

According to Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data, the median annual compensation for management-level positions in the food service industry is about $59,000. Restaurant managers with proven experience and those working in big cities may receive higher pay.

When hiring restaurant managers, you’ll need to offer a competitive salary—employment data suggests that demand for these positions will increase faster than average over the next decade.

What Interview Questions Should I Ask for This Position?

Asking the right kinds of questions while interviewing restaurant managers will help you identify your strongest candidates. Consider a few example interview questions and then customize yours according to your specific restaurant needs.

  • How do you handle stress?
  • What do you do when a customer returns their meal to the kitchen?
  • Have you ever dined with us? Do you have any thoughts on ways we could improve?
  • Please tell me about a time when you delivered critical feedback to an employee. Have you ever fired someone before?
  • You have some recommendations for the menu. How would you approach the chef about the changes?

Get Started on Hiring a Restaurant Manager

Successfully running a profitable restaurant takes a group of dedicated customer service and culinary professionals. You need people to manage and inspire your team while ensuring customers enjoy a delicious meal and a memorable dining experience.

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