If you’ve been to a successful restaurant or resort you know how important having a competent restaurant manager is. They are the mortar that holds an entire breakfast lunch or dinner time together for their guests and the staff that surround them. The general manager has the utmost faith in their managers, because in essence, they are an extension of themselves or even the business owner. But for those interested, what makes up a restaurant manager job description?

What Does a Restaurant Manager Do?

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Restaurant managers are working closely with all of the restaurant’s teams at any given point in time. They know it’s impossible to be in all places at once, and yet they try. This is the part of a restaurant manager job description that they don’t tell you about. They also train their staff to be their eyes and ears, making sure that all of the restaurant’s personnel adhere to the highest standards of service. A typical shift includes:

Opening the Restaurant or Transitioning

First, the restaurant manager will take inventory of everything it will take to pull out a successful shift. This varies depending on what time of day it is and also what kind of restaurant it is. They will usually be the first person to arrive or close to it. Sometimes there are kitchen staff that will show up earlier to start prep work.

As different employees of the restaurant start to filter in and start their opening side work, the manager will usually check in with the kitchen, the bar, and the front of house staff to make sure that everyone’s prepared, the POS computers are turned on or reset, menus are switched, and the doors are unlocked.

During Service

While the restaurant is humming along through a (hopefully) busy shift, the manager will fulfill the most active part of a restaurant manager job description. At any given time, they will be able to fill in and pick up slack for any other employee’s duties. The exception here is kitchen work, as not all restaurant managers have culinary training. The ones that do are even more well equipped for the job.

Also, during the most active times, they will be running food, greeting guests, checking in with tables, and putting out any ‘fires’ or problems that arise smoothly and with a cool head.

During Down Time

If the restaurant isn’t particularly busy, there are plenty of other things the manager can do. For one thing, there are probably little tasks that can be assigned to servers, bussers, bartenders, or the host staff that can make the restaurant more prepared for busy times and also cl​​​​​eaner.

The manager can also go over scheduling, payroll, and look at any changes that might have taken place on the menu or with the beer, wine, or spirits available for purchase. This might also be the time to see the executive chef about how the kitchen is running, what kinds of specials to anticipate, and take care of communication with the owner.

Closing Up Shop

At the end of the shift or the end of the day everything needs to be put away and secured. All of the stats of the evening’s stats need to be calculated and employees tips need to be processed. Also, anything out of the ordinary must be taken care of that may have occurred during the shift.

This is also a great period for evaluating comments that may have come up from guests. Additionally, the kitchen will have a report ready for how the night went. It’s a time to take stock of what food may be left and what was ordered consistently.

Long Term Strategy Considerations

There are also things in the restaurant manager job description that must be kept on the back burner during service but make a huge difference in the long run. Morale of the staff is hugely important, as is managing the turnover of the restaurant. Hiring and scheduling shifts fairly is an issue of the utmost importance.

The restaurant manager usually has a major say in who gets hired and if they’re a good fit for the restaurant’s culture. There’s also the process of evaluating current employees with an eye toward worker improvement. This way, the quality of service overall gets better and better over time.

Food and Beverage Stock Communication

The restaurant manager doesn’t always make stock purchases for the restaurant. For larger establishments, there’s a food and beverage manager that co-ordinates with the owner, sommelier, and executive chef to make these decisions. But in other cases, this task falls on the restaurant manager.

Also, when training new staff there must be full disclosure and knowledge when it comes to what kinds of dishes that are served. If the serving staff does not have expertise here, the stock of food and beverage that are procured will be less likely to be sold. Servers also communicate what’s selling well to the manager.

What Are the Qualifications?

A restaurant manager sitting on red fabric sofa near glass window

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Restaurant mangers must be able to wear many different hats, display leadership qualities, and also be excellent communicators. One never knows what kinds of people populate the service industry. Being able to navigate the sometimes murky waters of professional interaction is key. Here, we’ll take a look at what makes an effective restaurant manager and how one can go above and beyond the call of duty.

Deep Culinary Knowledge

The more a restaurant manager knows about the history and current trends of the food and beverage industry, the better. This culinary knowledge is a combination of real world experience and more academic learning. Additionally, if the restaurant manager has sommelier experience, this is a key skill as well. At the very least, they must study up and be knowledgeable on the mission of the restaurant as well as the culture, history, and flavor profiles of the food served.


There are different teams at play in a bustling restaurant. The restaurant manager is responsible for leading all of them. To be successful here, it’s important the manager be a great multi-tasker and also friendly while being stern when the need arises. Also the manager is the last line of defense when it comes to a dissatisfied customer. So being able to diffuse tension in high stakes conflicts is also a must.

Also, being able to evaluate these conflicts objectively and get all of the information from all of the associated parties is necessary. Other managers are also equals, so interacting with them is different than with general staff.

Many Years of Experience in Service

A qualified restaurant manager has ideally been a sever for a long time first. It also helps if they have experience tending bar or as a host or hostess. Ultimately, the more different types of jobs they’ve done in restaurants or resorts the better. Again, one of the most common places managers are of use is when a member of staff is suddenly absent or hindered in their ability to do the work. The more the manager is a jack or jill of all trades in the service industry, the more useful they’ll be in dicey situations.

The Perfect Restaurant Manager Job Description

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If you’re looking for what you might typically see as a restaurant manager job description, refer to the example we’ve provided below:

We are looking for a rockstar manager that’s both a team player and a leader. Our ideal candidate has at least 5 years of experience both as a manager and in the service industry. Customer service expertise is also a must. Additionally our ideal candidate has extensive food and wine knowledge, computer skills, the ability to manage time well, and is great at managing finances.On top of this you’ve got to be great to work with. You’ve got to relate to just about anyone and inspire our staff to trust you and excel at what they do. Our culture is that we’re one big family. We’re not afraid to be open and honest about exactly what’s going on and what needs to be done. Because of this, interpersonal communication mastery is preferred. If you think this describes you and you’re ready to learn what makes this restaurant special, apply today! We look forward to receiving your resume.


We hope that now you have the knowledge you need to see how you could become or work to become a manager based on our restaurant manager job description. It’s not for everybody and there can be moments that are difficult and even emotional depending on the circumstances.

 But if you have a passion for providing amazing dining experiences and can command the floor of a restaurant with ease and grace, then this is the career path for you. Now you’re armed with the perfect restaurant manager job description. So you know exactly what to expect. Good luck!

Featured Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash