Duties of a Restaurant Manager

Illustration showing the duties of a restaurant manger and salary estimates

© The Balance, 2018 

A pivotal position at any restaurant is that of the manager. Sometimes an owner acts as a restaurant’s general manager. Other times the manager is hired as an employee. Restaurant managers have a number of responsibilities in the day to day business of running a restaurant.

Qualifications required to be a restaurant manager include basics, such as people skills and organization. However, depending on the size and concept of a restaurant, candidates may need a degree in business or hospitality.

Hiring and Firing

A restaurant manager may be in charge of hiring new staff and terminating undesirables, especially for the front of the house. Kitchen positions may be filled by the head chef, rather than a general manager.

Ordering Inventory

Another duty of a general restaurant manager includes ordering inventory. It includes front of the house items, such as paper napkins, cleaning supplies, and restaurant dishware. General managers may also be in charge of liquor, beer and wine for a restaurant bar. However, a bar manager or head bartender may undertake this duty. The head chef or cook should be in charge of ordering food for the restaurant since they do a bulk of the cooking. No matter who is in charge of the food or liquor ordering, a restaurant manager should sign off on the order, to make sure it is within the budget.

Staff Scheduling

A restaurant manager is in charge of making the weekly schedule and making sure all the shifts are covered. They also need to approve requests for days off and decide which staff is going to work the busy or slow shifts.

Event Planning

If a restaurant provides catering services, then a general manager may be in charge of scheduling the events, room bookings, and coordinating staff to work them. If a catering operation is really large, a restaurant owner may opt to hire a catering manager instead.

Customer Service

First and foremost, a restaurant manager should excel at customer service. They should be able to train staff to have superb customer service and make sure that customers leave the restaurant happy.

Marketing and Advertising

A restaurant manager can take care of the advertising and marketing campaigns. They can oversee the budget, place ads and update social networks, like Facebook or Twitter. They can also create restaurant promotional ideas, such as happy hour specials or two-for-one deals.


Restaurant managers can take care of the daily business reviews and make sure that the daily and nightly deposits are taken care of. However, it is a good idea to have a separate person track and reconcile the checking account and other bank accounts. No matter how much you trust your general manager, employee theft does happen. Keeping a second set of eyes on the books keeps everyone honest.

Salary Expectations

Most restaurant managers receive a salary, rather than hourly wages. Their annual income varies greatly on the size, concept, and location of a restaurant. Managing a small, locally owned restaurant in a college town will net you about $30,000 a year (without benefits). Managing a five-star restaurant in New York City can bring in as much as six figures. Managing a chain restaurant, such as Applebee’s or Chili’s, offers around $50,000 a year, with benefits.

Managers are an integral part of a successful restaurant. They help with the day to day functions of running a dining room and the behind-the-scenes happenings in the restaurant kitchen. To be a successful restaurant manager, you need to be organized, communicate effectively, and know how to handle problems quickly and efficiently.