- On average, restaurant managers make around $50,000 per year
- Restaurant managers often work more than 40 hours per week
- Many colleges and universities offer bachelor's degrees in restaurant management
What do restaurant managers do?
In a well run restaurant you may never know that a restaurant manager ever exists. Most people never even see one until something goes wrong. Hair in your food? Poor service? Wrong order? Bet you'll be asking for the manager. But they're more than just complaint filters. Restaurant managers are responsible for every aspect of the hiring process for all of their employees including interviewing, hiring and training. When they're not attending to personnel needs, they're also responsible for food service and administrative duties.
Typically payroll, licensing, food ordering, inspections and all sorts of other paperwork are handled by restaurant managers. These tasks require extensive training and experience, because errors can be extremely expensive. Most restaurants employ a general manager and several assistant managers. Assistant restaurant managers are often responsible for either the "back of the house," which consists of chefs, cooks, dishwashers and other kitchen staff, or for the "front of the house," which includes hosts and hostesses, servers and sometimes bartenders. Assistant managers report to the general manager and help oversee the day-to-day activities in the restaurant to keep things running smoothly.
How much do restaurant managers make?
The average salary for all restaurant managers is about $49,420 per year. Experienced restaurant managers at higher end restaurants can earn up to $76,940 per year. It sounds like a lot of money, and it is, but keep in mind that almost all restaurant managers work way more than 40 hours per week, often including late nights and weekends. This isn't your average nine-to-fiver.
There are rarely any mandatory education requirements to become a restaurant manager. Many colleges and universities (over 1,000) offer bachelor's degrees in restaurant and hospitality management. If an associate's degree is more your speed, lots of technical institutes and community college have programs leading to a formal certification in restaurant management. The curriculum for both programs will usually include classes in business, computer science and accounting. Many companies, especially large chains, will offer paid and un-paid internships for those seeking careers in restaurant and hospitality management. If you don't have the formal education experience, no big deal. Many restaurant managers work their way up by starting on the front lines as servers or cooks and get promoted.
Career paths for restaurant managers
If you're looking to move up in the restaurant business, you're definitely going to need to be willing to relocate. Most restaurant mangers get promoted into positions in regional management in larger chains. Some also choose to open up their own restaurants or franchise from a large corporation.
The future of restaurant managers
The BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) expects a slow increase in restaurant manager positions over the 2008-2018 decade. This slow in growth is a direct result of a decline in the number of new restaurants. Most new opportunities will be from replacing current workers and a small number of new positions in full service restaurant locations.
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