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A how-to guide for aspiring restaurant managers

Posted by Ana Cvetkovic on May 3, 2019 4:30:00 PM
Ana Cvetkovic

Do you want to take your hospitality career to the next level by becoming a restaurant manager or assistant manager? Unlike roles in the restaurant industry that focus on one skill set, the role of a restaurant manager is unique because it requires expertise in various disciplines. From operations to customer service, restaurant managers wear many hats.

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Before you apply for a management role or ask for a promotion, check out our guide to restaurant manager duties and responsibilities below to learn what’s expected of managers on a daily basis, and what skills they use to perform these tasks. Don't forget that Typsy offers a variety of management, operations and compliance courses where you can earn micro-credentials and get ahead in no time. We’ll be calling you “Boss” before you know it.

Restaurant manager duties and responsibilities

Human Resources

Unless you work for a national franchise that has an HR department that handles personnel issues at each branch, you’ll most likely have to double as your restaurant’s human resources “team” if you become manager.

Restaurant Manager Responsibilities:

  • Staff hiring and training - This role involves recruiting staff, and then onboarding and training them when they join the team.
  • Daily employee management - Managers also oversee restaurant employees day-to-day by helping them resolve problems, meeting with them one-on-one for regular check-ins, and supporting their professional development goals.
  • Scheduling and labor compliance - Restaurant managers create employee shift schedules. This involves taking time off requests into consideration and complying with labor regulations. Managers need to be familiar with overtime rules, fair workweek labor laws, and other labor policies to ensure that they are treating employees fairly without breaking laws.
  • Evaluating employee performance - Performance reviews usually involve filling out a report, meeting with employees to discuss performance, and helping employees to set goals for their professional development.

Skills and Qualifications

  • Communication - Managers have to be able to communicate sensitive information to employees in a professional manner.  
  • Delegation - In their HR and other restaurant manager duties and responsibilities, managers have to be able to be willing to give up control and ask for help from team members when they need it. Knowing how to delegate enables managers to focus their time on tasks that only they can accomplish.
  • Tech skills - Managers have to be able to use recruiting and scheduling technology to help them in their human resources duties. Managers need to have computer and/or smartphone fluency to be able to use industry standard tools.


Management isn’t only about people skills—restaurant managers have to have an aptitude for math to fulfill the financial duties and responsibilities of the role.

Restaurant Manager Responsibilities:

  • Manage the restaurant’s budget - This responsibility includes making sure that the restaurant isn’t overspending. Between paying for rent and utilities, food, labor, marketing, and various other expenses, it’s easy for one of these to operating costs to get out of hand. Your POS and employee scheduling tool can help you stay on track with food and labor spending.
  • Track daily transactions - While restaurants may outsource the bulk of their accounting work to a bookkeeper or CPA, managers may play a role in keeping track of daily transactions and managing payments to employees and vendors.

Skills and Qualifications:

  • Accounting and/or bookkeeping - Restaurant managers have to have a basic understanding of bookkeeping and accounting principles to keep their spending on-budget.
  • Tech skills - Being able to use budgeting and accounting software is just one of the skills and responsibilities of a restaurant manager.


Managers are responsible for making sure that the daily workings of the restaurant run smoothly.

Restaurant Manager Responsibilities:

  • Overseeing inventory - This duty involves keeping track of what’s in stock, managing vendor relationships, and negotiating prices with vendors.
  • Ensuring compliance - From maintaining safety and hygiene protocols to keeping licenses and certifications up to date, managers are responsible for compliance at the restaurant.

Skills and Qualifications:

  • Understanding of local regulations - Restaurant managers must be able to keep up with, understand, and implement regulatory changes at the business. Recent examples of regulatory changes that have affected restaurants include new fair work schedule laws and cashless restaurant bans.
  • Tech skills - Managers need to be able to use inventory software to fulfill their operations duties.

Customer service

Hospitality is a pillar of the restaurant industry, which is why customer service is a focus for restaurant managers.

Restaurant Manager Responsibilities:

  • Performing satisfaction checks - At FSRs, managers exhibit hospitality by visiting tables and asking customers how they are enjoying their meals and overall experience.
  • Addressing customer complaints - Managers are responsible for resolving customer complaints and using customer feedback to improve the guest experience.
  • Customer service training - Managers train new employees in customer service to ensure that all guests are treated with the same level of hospitality. Restaurant managers must lead by example and display these skills in their interactions with customers and employees.

Skills and Qualifications:

  • Professionalism - While dealing with satisfied customers can be a delight, dealing with unhappy customers is difficult. Managers have to be able to handle both kinds of interactions with the same level of professionalism.
  • Keeping up with service trends - Restaurant managers lead by example. They must stay up to date on the latest hospitality trends in order to remain competitive in the restaurant industry.

Business development

While managers are responsible for the day-to-day operations of a restaurant, they may also be expected to help with the bigger picture by growing the business.

Restaurant Manager Responsibilities:

  • Be the eyes and ears for the restaurateurs - Restaurant owners rely on managers to be their eyes and ears and to identify and fix problems that can improve the business. These improvements could be anything from replacing a broken trash can to suggesting ways to improve the restaurant’s website.
  • Executing marketing initiatives - At some restaurants, managers also play a part in coming up with and implementing marketing initiatives like seasonal promotions, mailing campaigns, and more.

Skills and Qualifications:

  • Attention to detail - Managers must be detail-oriented in order to identify opportunities for improvement at the restaurant.
  • Tech skills - Managers who are asked to execute marketing campaigns should be able to use the right tools for the job, like social media, web design, or email marketing platforms.


While most restaurant roles are focused on one task or skill set, the role of restaurant manager is unique because of its interdisciplinary nature. If you’re hoping to get promoted to manager, or transition into the hospitality industry as a manager, these are the restaurant manager duties and responsibilities you should be prepared to perform:

  • HR: Hiring, training and managing employees; evaluating staff; managing employee scheduling
  • Finance: Planning and managing the restaurant’s budget; accounting and bookkeeping
  • Operations: Ensuring compliance and managing inventory
  • Customer service: Managing customer complaints and using their feedback to improve the restaurant
  • Business development: Executing marketing initiatives and growing the bottom line


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Ana_Cvetkovic Ana Cvetkovic is a freelancer and content producer for 7shifts. She is also the CEO of BLOOM Digital Marketing, a Philadelphia-based creative marketing agency that helps the hospitality and tourism industries reach new audiences online.


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Topics: Hospitality career tips, Hospitality managers, Hospitality training