Restaurant managers have one job but wear many hats. While a restaurant can’t operate without its team, it also can’t be successful without its leader. Restaurant manager duties cover all areas of the business, from daily operations to planning and business reporting, stock and relationship management with customers, staff and suppliers.
Acting as the main point of contact for the restaurant owner, they work both behind the scenes and in a customer-facing role. In this article, we outline the key restaurant manager duties and responsibilities required to run a successful restaurant of a high standard while maximising profit.
The role of a restaurant manager is to lead the restaurant. They drive company culture and customer satisfaction by managing every aspect of a restaurant to ensure it runs smoothly and makes a profit.
This requires both hard and soft skills to effectively juggle priorities, motivate staff, be creative in increasing revenue and stay ahead of the competition. It also requires financial, marketing, supply chain and employee management skills. To level up, restaurant managers must also optimise policies and procedures because lower outgoing costs and speed are both key to a restaurant's success.
2. Managing Financial Budgets & Monitoring Costs
Restaurant managers require commercial awareness and acute financial management skills. They work closely with the restaurant owner (or in some cases are the owner) to forecast the financial budget, set periodic sales targets and manage the profit and loss statement (P&L). While also controlling operational costs, approving timesheets, sending invoices and ensuring there is enough cash flow for the payroll process to pay employees and suppliers.
They may also need to balance the income after every shift or delegate cash management to another employee.
3. Maintaining Financial Records & Reports
Making money is vital to hospitality management and running a restaurant business. Part of the duties and responsibilities of a restaurant manager is to report on business performance, identifying areas for improvement and opportunities for growth for the restaurant, including maintaining relevant financial records for business and tax needs.
Pulling data from restaurant management software can help pinpoint ways to streamline operations and costs. With ResDiary, restaurants can easily gain complete visibility into their business, compare booking history, identify patterns and predict future trends to help make evidence-based decisions.
4. Hiring & Training Staff
The responsibilities of a restaurant manager are to employ and educate all staff for optimal restaurant operations, including:
- Front Of House (FOH) - host, maitre d'/head waiter, waiters/servers, sommelier, bar staff, runner, busser
- Back of House (BOH) - head chef, executive chef, sous chef, kitchen manager, dishwasher
- Restaurant Operations staff - assistant restaurant manager, cleaning team
The restaurant manager will set the expectations, hire and onboard new employees, outline responsibilities, provide training, support and supervise staff to ensure they’re working in line with the restaurant’s values and policies. This includes conducting periodic reviews to evaluate staff and promote employees for great work.
5. Rostering Staff
A restaurant has many moving parts, and effective staff scheduling is crucial to the success of the restaurant’s operations. The restaurant manager must balance between ensuring the restaurant is probably staffed to meet customer demand while maintaining reasonable labour costs that maximise profitability. Efficiently scheduling rosters or shifts means managing employees and aligning with their availability, assigning roles that play to their strengths and experience, while being adaptable to the businesses changing needs and staff leave. High organisational skills, knowledge of all jobs within the restaurant and flexibility to switch between these roles during peak times or breaks are needed.
6. Handling Employee Issues & Conflicts
Restaurant manager responsibilities extend to handling team conflicts between staff and any disputes they may also have with customers. They will need to mediate between the two parties to create the best restaurant experience for all. This means that meeting customer expectations is as important as maintaining a strong workforce, retaining staff and ensuring a healthy work environment.
7. Ensuring Customer Satisfaction & Building Customer Relationships
A good restaurant manager brings a high level of communication skills, problem-solving skills and excellent customer service skills to the table to ensure the ultimate in guest satisfaction. Memorable and pleasant dining experiences extend across all contact points.
From the ease of booking, all the way to responding to guest feedback and customer complaints in person and online. A restaurant manager must then have a cool head under pressure, be adaptable, listen and provide suitable solutions.
Building and establishing positive relationships helps with customer retention, customer recommendations and brand awareness. Their direct feedback can also inform future decisions on improving the overall dining experience.
8. Planning Menus, Pricing & Maintaining Food Quality
The restaurant industry drives food innovation through culinary experimentation and experiences. As the restaurant manager maintains the operations of the business, they set the direction, financial and supply limitations for the restaurant menu. Designed in collaboration with the head chef, the restaurant manager will research and plan food and beverage menus.
They will develop a menu pricing strategy to optimise supply costs and adjust as required to maximise profit. Whilst also meeting the needs and monitory standards of supply, food quality and presentation.
9. Managing Inventory & Ordering Supplies
Supply chain and inventory management is an important role of a restaurant manager or part of a kitchen manager’s responsibilities in larger restaurants. Basically, this means that the kitchen and restaurant are stocked with everything that both staff and diners need to do their job or enjoy their dining experience. Including ordering and managing required stock levels of food ingredients, condiments, cookware, tableware and staff uniforms. This also involves relationship building with suppliers and implementing monitoring systems to keep track of low stock, loss or theft.
10. Maintaining Environmental, Food Safety & Sanitation Practices
Meeting health and safety regulations are an important part of operating a restaurant and is part of the restaurant manager’s duties and responsibilities.
They ensure that the overall safety of the restaurant environment, equipment, facilities, government licencing, valid hospitality certifications, sanitation compliance and food safety standards are maintained for both staff and customers. This extends to implementing safety policies and procedures, including overseeing any necessary repairs and renovations.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What Skills Do You Need to be a Manager at a Restaurant?
The main skills you need to be a restaurant manager are leadership, organisational, customer service and problem-solving skills. Hospitality/Food & Beverage (F&B) industry knowledge and proven work experience are usually required. A degree in Business Administration or accreditation in business or hospitality management is a plus.
Where Does a Restaurant Manager Work?
Restaurant managers work in both large and small local restaurant businesses, restaurant chains, hotels and resorts. Their roles and responsibilities will differ based on the size of the restaurant, the number of employed staff and the customer base.
Want to learn more? See ResDiary's full library of hospitality resources for managers and owners.