A restaurant manager is someone who is the 'face' of a restaurant and whose main responsibilities are to deal with any customer service issues, and to ensure that the food quality coming out of the kitchen is the best it can be. He or she also deals with any staffing issues and ensures that everything runs as smoothly and profitably as possible.
Duties may differ depending on the business, but some duties will include the overseeing of food preparation, checking the quality and size of the servings, the organizing of stock, ordering food and drink supplies and equipment, inspection of health and safety precautions, making sure the kitchen and dining areas are cleaned according to certain standards, keeping records of these practices for health inspectors, and solving employee or customer problems. Sometimes it will go as far as managing everything to the last detail, for example ordering flowers for the tables. In addition, restaurant managers are often responsible for interviewing, hiring and supervising the training of new staff members, as well as organizing shifts, promoting good teamwork, paying staff and dividing the tips.
There is one extremely important skill restaurant managers have to be excellent at, and that is customer service. At the end of the day, the aim of the business is to give excellent customer satisfaction, so that the customer will return again. Therefore, it is important that customers receive prompt service in a professional and friendly manner, with enough staff to serve them without having to make them wait unnecessarily. No matter how unreasonable the customers are, the manager needs to possess the expertise and patience to deal with them. It is the manager's job to correct the existing problem and avoid future conflicts.
Very often restaurant managers are owners of the business as well, which means they will closely work with the chef, selecting recipes and compiling menus. Being the owner will also require a restaurant manager to be good at planning and balancing the budget, checking everything is in order and that the accounts balance. In bigger businesses they often plan marketing campaigns and strategies that help meet sales.
There is a chance to become a restaurant manager through gaining sufficient experience in the field and being promoted. Some people attend restaurant manager-trainee programs, work diligently and advance until being promoted to manager. However, the most reliable way to achieve this position is by getting formally trained in Hospitality and Restaurant Management, and being hired strictly for that position. Schooling helps in making smart business decisions. It develops the skills essential for managing employees, creating financial plans and thinking strategically about the restaurant business. Though some employers place a higher value on education than others, possessing a degree or certificate will undoubtedly open more doors for a restaurant management career.
Programs for those willing to be educated in hospitality and restaurant management come in many different shapes and sizes. It is essential to choose a program that not only fits your schedule and budget but will help you achieve your career goals. It often takes two years to get an associate's degree that will provide you with all the training and skills you need for an entry-level restaurant management job. But to have an advantage in a competitive job market, it is strongly advisable to obtain a bachelor's degree that will considerably expand your knowledge. After that you may decide to aim for a master's degree in hospitality and restaurant management if you seek high level positions with a restaurant chain (for example, a regional restaurant manager position) or if you think you might want to teach at some point in your life.
Restaurant managers have a variety of work environments to choose from; from small family-owned restaurants, to golf courses and resorts, to big international restaurants and hotel chains.