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Restaurant managers are responsible for overseeing the efficient running and profitability of restaurants and for managing their employees.

You'll need to be able to lead as well as work as part of a team.

What does a restaurant manager do? Typical employers | Qualifications and training | Key skills

Due to Covid-19, you might find it takes a longer time than usual to kickstart your career as a restaurant manager at the moment. However, you may still be able to find opportunities or gain experience, for example in the public sector or with those restaurants offering takeaways. As we explain here, recruiters will not view time out of work due to the pandemic as a 'gap' in your CV. For guidance on searching for work during this difficult time, take a look at our advice for job hunting during a pandemic.

Specific duties and the amount of customer/staff contact vary according to the size of employer: managers in larger organisations may be mostly office-based, whereas managers of smaller establishments often have frequent contact with both customers and employees.

Typical job responsibilities include:

  • recruiting, training and supervising staff
  • agreeing and managing budgets
  • planning menus
  • ensuring compliance with licensing, hygiene and health and safety legislation/guidelines
  • promoting and marketing the business
  • overseeing stock levels
  • ordering supplies
  • producing staff rotas
  • handling customer enquiries and complaints
  • taking reservations
  • greeting and advising customers
  • problem solving
  • preparing and presenting staffing/sales reports
  • keeping statistical and financial records
  • assessing and improving profitability
  • setting targets
  • handling administration and paperwork
  • liaising with customers, employees, suppliers, licensing authorities and sales representatives
  • making improvements to the running of the business and developing the restaurant.

Typical employers of restaurant managers

  • National, regional and international restaurant chains
  • Large hotel restaurants
  • Independent restaurants
  • Themed restaurants
  • Café bars
  • Brasseries
  • Hotel/leisure groups.

Vacancies are advertised online, by careers services, by specialist recruitment agencies, in publications such as The Caterer (and its online equivalent) and on the Institute of Hospitality website. Networking and speculative approaches to employers are advisable.

Qualifications and training required

Employers may favour candidates with a relevant degree or HND in business studies, management, hospitality management or hotel and catering. However, it is also possible to work your way up to a management position without a degree, and there are apprenticeships available in the industry at a range of levels.

Appropriate personal qualities, practical experience and business acumen are generally regarded as being just as important as academic qualifications. Gaining practical hotel, catering, restaurant, waitressing or customer service work experience is essential.

Key skills for restaurant managers

  • Excellent customer service skills
  • Commercial awareness
  • Flexibility
  • Good interpersonal skills
  • Communication skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Organisational skills
  • Teamwork skills.

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In Partnership

This content has been written or sourced by AGCAS, the Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services, and edited by TARGETjobs as part of a content partnership. AGCAS provides impartial information and guidance resources for higher education student career development and graduate employment professionals.

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