Restaurant managers oversee everything. They look after what's on the menu
and who's doing the cooking. They also do the budgeting and deal with customers.
You could say restaurant managers are like conductors of their own culinary
Restaurant managers must juggle a variety of duties every day. The end
goal is that the customer goes home happy and well fed. Managers must prepare
the menu, hire staff and keep an eye on inventory and costs. They must also
be familiar with local regulations regarding health and safety. Plus, there
are rules about the sale of alcoholic beverages.
In many restaurants, the manager has one or more assistant managers to
Restaurant managers work in stand-alone restaurants, hotel dining rooms,
bars, private clubs and cafeterias. Basically, they can work anywhere food
is served. They can work in formal dining rooms or fast food joints.
Competition is always fierce. Managers must always keep an eye out for
what other restaurants are doing. They always try to provide quality food
and service at a reasonable price, and make a profit.
Since people like to eat out at all hours, restaurants set their hours
based on the clients they wish to serve. This means that managers often have
to work in off-hours. It just depends on the restaurant and the management
If a manager doesn't have any assistant managers, they may have to pull
12-hour shifts to make sure everything is sailing smoothly. In larger places,
the manager may have two or three assistant managers to oversee the day-to-day
operations. Then the manager only has to put in a regular 9-to-5 kind of shift.
Full-time managers often average 40- to 60-hour weeks.
Managing a restaurant can be a physically demanding occupation. Restaurant
managers are always on the go. The job can entail all sorts of physical activity.
It sometimes involves heavy lifting when supplies come in.
Managers may have to be in their office one minute, in the dining room
the next and then the kitchen or loading dock. These varied duties would make
it difficult for a physically challenged person.
Being a restaurant manager certainly has its ups and downs. "Typically,
all restaurant employees, not only managers, suffer from sore feet and back
problems," says Emanuel Valergakis, a restaurant manager. "You can expect
to take a bad fall on a slippery floor at least once in your career."
Restaurant manager Eric Brandt agrees. "You are moving around for long
periods of time when you work as a dining room manager, and you are stationary
for long periods when you are a kitchen manager," Brandt says. "Both are really
hard on your legs and back. Bad backs are rampant in the industry, along with
burns and cuts."