Restaurant managers oversee a restaurant’s operations to ensure it is running efficiently and profitably.
Their responsibilities include managing staff members, organising restaurant processes and maintaining a high level of sales, service and standards.
This detailed guide includes a full job description as well as everything else you need to know about restaurant managers, such as the skills, qualifications and experience required, plus what salary to expect.
- Restaurant manager job description
- How much do restaurant managers earn?
- What does a restaurant manager do?
- Requirements, skills and qualifications
- Who employs restaurant managers?
- Which junior jobs progress to restaurant manager roles?
Restaurant manager job description
Restaurant Manager | The Olives
About The Olives
Founded in Preston in 1999, we are a local, family-run restaurant offering traditional Italian food with a Lancashire twist.
About the role
We’re looking for an ambitious and driven restaurant manager to hit the ground running and take charge of our growing team. The successful candidate will work to ensure our restaurant runs efficiently while upholding our excellent customer service and warm and friendly ethos.
- Taking the lead in overseeing day-to-day restaurant operations to oversee an efficient and friendly service
- Managing our team of staff, providing regular training and appraisals, organising weekly rota and approving holiday
- Ensuring kitchen is fully stocked at all times and ordering in relevant supplies when necessary
- Developing marketing initiatives and updating menu in conjunction with head chef and senior management
- Setting monthly targets and ensuring these are relayed to staff, met and exceeded
- Dealing with escalated customer service complaints and enquiries and remaining on hand at all times as a contact point for customers
- Performing all relevant admin including recording restaurant performance, analysing profits and managing staff pay
Location & commitments
- Full-time, permanent role based at our restaurant in Preston
- Shift based with an average of 42 hours per week
- Must be prepared to work evenings, weekends and bank holidays
- Smart dress required
- At least two years experience as a restaurant manager or similar leadership role within a restaurant
- Familiarity with the Lancashire food and drink scene
- Strong verbal and written communication skills
- Highly organised with the ability to multitask efficiently
- Experience in restaurant sales and marketing
- Excellent customer service skills
- A natural leader with the ability to inspire and motivate
- A good head for figures and understanding of restaurant finances
Contact us to apply
If you’re interested in joining our team, please send your CV and a short cover letter to James at James@Theolivespreston.co.uk.
How much do restaurant managers earn?
Restaurant managers in the UK earn on average around £27,000 per year. Salaries start relatively low at around £23,000 but can increase quickly with experience.
Restaurant manager salaries in the UK
- Low: £23,000
- Average: £27,000
- High: £32,500
Restaurant manager salaries can vary depending on several factors:
- Type of restaurant – Restaurant managers working in high-end or fine-dining restaurants will earn a substantially higher salary than those in budget or fast food restaurants
- Restaurant size – Larger restaurants such as national chains will typically pay their employees more than small local businesses
- General salary factors – These include level of candidate experience and location, with positions in London paying substantially more
For example, a restaurant manager working at a Michelin starred restaurant in London will earn considerably more than a restaurant manager working at a local pub.
It’s also important to take into consideration other perks of the hospitality industry, which may differ by role and can greatly influence job satisfaction. These can include tips, bonuses and on-the-job training, amongst other things.
What does a restaurant manager do?
To break down the job description into simple terms, here are the typical responsibilities that a restaurant manager will have during the average week:
- Managing staff schedules – Creating weekly rotas, distributing shifts between workers and approving all holiday and sick leave
- Developing staff – Supervising staff as they perform their roles, delivering reviews and appraisals, providing training and ensuring targets are met
- Overseeing budget – Taking charge of the restaurant budget, ensuring all expenditure is logged and recorded and that restaurant is operating in a cost-effective way
- Ordering supplies – Checking restaurant is fully stocked, liaising with suppliers and ordering in food, drink and equipment supplies when necessary
- Marketing restaurant – Designing promotional offers and ensuring restaurant is marketed effectively to gain new customers and retain regular visitors, making sure that restaurant has a good reputation
- Liaising with customers – Dealing with escalated customer service issues including complaints and enquiries and resolving these appropriately, as well as greeting customers and taking reservations and orders in some cases
- Developing menu – Regularly reviewing and adapting menu in conjunction with head chef
- Recruiting staff – Recruiting new staff, including reviewing applications and conducting interviews
- Implementing health and safety – Ensuring all staff are complying with health and safety protocols and maintaining a good food hygiene rating
- Administration– Completing all relevant admin and paperwork including logging information on staff, analysing restaurant performance, health and safety requirements, as well as managing staff pay and distributing tips
What do restaurant managers need?
A career in restaurant management is open to anyone willing to undertake extensive work experience in the hospitality sector, though vocational qualifications are also hugely beneficial. Certain personal attributes, particularly strong interpersonal skills, will further increase a candidate’s employability.
Although employers will vary, here’s what they’re generally looking for:
Junior restaurant manager jobs are accessible to anyone with experience in hospitality. It’s possible to advance to this role through working for many years as a waiter, kitchen staff or in another restaurant-based role. Opportunities are also available for those with less experience who have completed a diploma, apprenticeship or degree in restaurant management.
Senior restaurant manager jobs are accessible to candidates with substantial experience in the hospitality industry, including junior restaurant managers. Previous managerial or supervisory experience is vital, and completing further vocational qualifications on the job — such as a Level 4 or 5 diploma — can significantly bolster employability.
Restaurant manager skills
For restaurant managers, personal skills and attributes are just as important as experience and qualifications. The following soft skills are particularly useful:
- Communication: Strong verbal and written communication skills when liaising with staff members, customers and suppliers
- Leadership: The ability to lead, inspire and motivate others to reach their potential
- Organisation: Balancing multiple conflicting tasks at once, organising staff schedules and rotas and managing various areas of a restaurant concurrently
- Problem-solving: Providing quick and efficient solutions to unforeseen problems such as customer complaints, issues with supplies and staff conflict
- Teamwork: Working as part of a team including kitchen staff, bar staff, waiting staff and senior management
- Working under pressure: The ability to work under pressure and remain calm in a stressful, fast-paced environment
- Flexibility: Being on hand at short notice and working unsociable hours, as well as swapping shifts if necessary
- Customer service: Excellent customer service skills
- Business acumen: An entrepreneurial nature and the ability to make smart and effective business decisions
These more specific skills are also hugely beneficial for restaurant managers:
- Knowledge of the food industry: An understanding of the food and drink industry including current trends
- Sales & marketing: A sound knowledge of sales and marketing techniques to develop successful promotional offers and advertise restaurant effectively
- Staff management: The ability to lead a team, develop them and delegate work effectively
Restaurant manager qualifications
Qualifications are not essential for restaurant management roles, as it is possible to advance to this position through hospitality experience alone. However, for those wishing to enter the industry at management level, or anyone wishing to strengthen their application, vocational qualifications are incredibly useful as they are highly sought after by employers.
A full list of relevant qualifications for aspiring restaurant managers are as follows:
A university degree or HND is not mandatory for restaurant managers but can significantly improve employability. Holding a degree can also provide access to graduate recruitment schemes, which may be available at larger chain restaurants. These will typically last between 12 and 18 months and allow candidates to gain practical experience. Most restaurants will accept applicants with any degree, but the below are most applicable:
- Business management
- Hospitality management
- Hotel and catering
Level 3 Diploma in Hospitality Supervision and Leadership
The Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Hospitality Supervision and Leadership is suitable for anyone working in the hospitality industry, who wants to advance to a managerial position. The course can be completed through a variety of institutions. It combines study with a practical observation, and covers the following core areas:
- Customer service
- Working relationships with colleagues
- Team leadership
- Resource control
- Maintaining health, hygiene, safety and security
Entry requirements are four or five GCSEs graded at 9 to 4 (A* to C) or equivalent. Candidates must also be working in a relevant job role.
Level 4 Diploma in Hospitality Management
For candidates who have completed the above Level 3 qualification, the next step is a Level 4 Diploma in Hospitality Management. This diploma is equivalent to the first year of a university degree and provides a great stepping stone into more advanced courses at Level 5 and above. It is aimed at anyone who wants to become a hospitality manager, head of department, head chef or similar, and focuses on the below areas:
- Managing a food and beverage service
- Producing new dishes
- Front office
- Supervisory and management
Entry requirements are one or two A-Levels and a Level 3 diploma or equivalent experience.
Apprenticeships allow candidates to train on the job and earn money as they study. There are two apprenticeships particularly relevant for aspiring restaurant managers — both teach valuable customer service and management skills. The Level 3 Hospitality Supervisor advanced apprenticeship requires five GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) or equivalent, including English and Maths to qualify. The next step up is the Level 4 Hospitality Manager higher apprenticeship, which asks for four to five GCSEs at the same level, as well as A-Levels or equivalent.
Continuing Professional Development (CPD)
Continuing Professional Development (CPD) allows restaurant managers to work safely and efficiently, while also keeping up to date with industry news and developments.
Restaurant managers may wish to join the Institute of Hospitality or the Hospitality Guild. Both of these organisations provide a variety of training courses, events and activities that count towards professional development, and networking opportunities are also available.
What is expected of restaurant managers?
Restaurant managers are typically expected to commit to the following:
- Full-time hours – Approximately 42-44 hours per week based on a rota or shift pattern
- Long hours and overtime – Restaurant managers are expected to work longer hours than other employees — they should be on hand before the restaurant opens and stay after it has closed
- Evening and weekend work: With restaurants seeing peak customer levels during evenings and weekends, managers are often expected to work them
- Location – Based in a restaurant with some office work, though managers of larger restaurants should expect to spend the majority of their time in the office
- Uniform – Some restaurant managers will need to wear a uniform or formal wear at the very least
- Travel – Managers may need to cover at other restaurants from time to time
Restaurant manager benefits
Benefits for restaurant managers will vary depending on the type and size of the restaurant. However, they normally include some of the following:
- Pension scheme
- Holiday allowance
- Free meals on shift
- Restaurant discounts
- Private medical insurance
- Performance related bonuses – based on restaurant sales figures
Who employs restaurant managers?
Although all restaurant managers will of course work in restaurants, their job experience can vary enormously depending on the size, type and location of the restaurant.
Here are some of the most common places restaurant managers will work:
- Independent restaurants
- National, regional or international chains
- Pubs, bars and clubs
- Hotel restaurants
- Cruise ships
- Conference venues
Which junior jobs progress to restaurant manager roles?
There are various junior jobs in the hospitality industry that naturally lead to a career in restaurant management.
Let’s take a look at some of them:
Head waiters, sometimes called team leaders, occupy the most senior position on a team of waiting staff. Their responsibilities include typical customer-facing duties, such as taking orders and delivering food, in addition to supervising junior members of staff and ensuring excellent customer service is delivered across the board. This role prepares candidates exceptionally well for the position of restaurant manager. It allows them to gain managerial experience and ensures they can cope with the pressures of working in a restaurant such as dealing with customer complaints and working long hours on foot.
Kitchen managers supervise the back of house operations in a restaurant. They are responsible for managing kitchen staff, coordinating food orders and supervising food prep and cooking. While kitchen managers do not have significant customer-facing responsibilities, their managerial experience prepares them well for a role where they will need to supervise junior staff. Kitchen managers also gain a thorough knowledge of the restaurant’s menu, which ingredients and supplies are most commonly needed and the restaurants most popular dishes — all of which can be invaluable information for a restaurant manager role.
Which senior jobs do restaurant managers progress to?
Most restaurant managers can easily progress to more senior roles in the industry. Working with senior management and networking with industry professionals opens many doors, especially for those working in national or international chains.
Many restaurant managers dream of opening their own restaurants and this is also achievable and a popular choice for those who have worked in independent restaurants, or who are interested in a specific cuisine, theme or clientele.
Potential senior positions include:
Area managers are responsible for several restaurants within a specific geographical area such as a city or region. Their responsibilities include maximising profits in this area, setting sales targets for individual locations and ensuring a high quality of customer service across the board. This role can ultimately lead to other senior management positions, such as company director.
Restaurant manager description – conclusion
While working as a restaurant manager can be challenging, tiring and at times incredibly stressful —for many, it is also a highly rewarding career. The satisfaction of putting personal creativity into a menu or transforming a failing restaurant into a bustling hub can be second to none.
With opportunities available across the UK, becoming a restaurant manager provides a lot of scope for future career progression into senior management positions in hospitality. There is also the opportunity to work in a wide range of places, from quirky themed restaurants to elite, indulgent boutiques.
A decent salary, exciting career progression opportunities and the ability to work in a lively and sociable atmosphere are some of the great benefits of a career as a restaurant manager.