There are lots of skills needed to be a restaurant manager and reasons why these skills should be acquired, this article will showcase the twenty skills needed to be a restaurant manager and other essential details you need to know as a person who is in pursuit of a career in the food business.
A restaurant manager should possess the uncanny ability to juggle multiple roles, seamlessly transitioning between being a diplomatic mediator for staff disputes, a savvy strategist for business growth, and a master multitasker capable of handling the chaos of a bustling kitchen, all with a smile that never falters?
It is quite true that chefs are sometimes known as the leaders in the culinary industry but in a restaurant business, a restaurant manager is the overall seer that makes sure that the employees which includes the chefs are performing their duties.
According to the National Restaurant Association, there will be 1.6 million new restaurant jobs created by 2029.
At the same time, managers still cite hiring and turnover as their number-one concern in a survey conducted by The Restaurant News.
Formal education should sometimes be considered if you are interested in becoming a restaurant but it is not compulsory if you are interested in starting up a food business there are restaurant business ideas you can use to start up a business with low income.
Read ahead to find out the responsibilities of a restaurant manager, the skills needed to be a restaurant manager, and essential details like frequently asked questions about these skills and how they can be obtained, read ahead!
Table of Contents
Responsibilities of a restaurant manager
Hiring, training, and supervising restaurant staff, including chefs, servers, bartenders, and support staff, ensuring the team delivers exceptional customer service and maintains a positive work environment.
Ensuring the highest level of customer satisfaction by handling customer complaints, addressing concerns, and resolving issues promptly and professionally.
Overseeing day-to-day operations, including opening and closing procedures, managing reservations, handling cash flow, and maintaining inventory levels.
Ensuring food and beverage quality, presentation, and adherence to safety and hygiene standards, consistently monitoring the kitchen and dining areas for cleanliness and compliance with regulations.
Creating and managing budgets, tracking expenses, optimizing profitability, and analyzing financial reports to make informed business decisions.
Collaborating with chefs to design menus that balance creativity, customer preferences, and cost-effectiveness, making seasonal adjustments and special offerings to attract and retain customers.
Marketing and Promotion:
Implementing marketing strategies to attract new customers and retain existing ones. Utilizing social media, promotions, and community engagement to boost the restaurant’s visibility.
Establishing and maintaining relationships with suppliers to ensure timely delivery of quality ingredients and negotiate favorable terms.
Compliance and Regulation:
Ensuring compliance with local health and safety codes, labor laws, and other regulations related to the food service industry.
Addressing operational challenges, staffing issues, and unexpected situations that arise to maintain smooth operations and minimize disruptions.
Forecasting and Planning:
Anticipating and planning for future needs, such as seasonal fluctuations, staffing requirements, and inventory management.
Training and Development:
Providing ongoing training and professional development opportunities for staff to enhance their skills and knowledge.
Representing the restaurant in the community, building relationships with regular customers, and participating in events to increase brand awareness.
List of skills needed to be a restaurant manager and why
- Communication skills ( verbal and interpersonal )
- Multitasking skills
- Organization skills
- Financial and accounting skills
- Positive leadership skills
- Management skills
- Problem-solving and conflict resolution
- Attention to detail and meticulousness
- Marketing skills
- Physical stamina and endurance
- Consistent quality
- Digital skills
- Customer service skills
- Cultural awareness skills
- Language adaption skills
- Collaboration and teamwork skills
- Commercial skills
- Understanding of culinary flavors and techniques
1. Communication skills ( verbal and interpersonal )
Communication is one of the skills needed to be a restaurant manager because effective communication helps you be a great leader that understands the strength and weaknesses of his team or employees through communication.
Being able to effectively communicate with your staff, your restaurant customers, suppliers, and the restaurant owner needs great verbal communication, being able to communicate properly helps your business succeed and also makes your job easier.
Restaurant managers need to be able to communicate properly with waiters, kitchen staff, front-of-house staff, and other employers, you have to build healthy relationships with these people to be able to communicate with them interpersonal.
Healthy communication skills help a chef know what to say, how the message needs to be passed out, and also what exactly needs to be said without exaggeration.
As a chef, it’s your responsibility to make sure that everyone involved in the restaurant is on the same page even if they don’t necessarily interact with everyone, communication also helps avoid certain mistakes in the restaurant business.
2. Multitasking skills
Multitasking skills are one of the most essential skills that are needed to be a restaurant manager, a restaurant manager is a leader and a leader’s day is always hectic there must be multiple tasks for you to handle this is why you need multitasking skills.
To oversee a restaurant business you could be asked to complete an inventory while also working on a monthly budget plan, you could be contacting suppliers while coordinating menu changes with the kitchen staff.
This means that you will have to prioritize these tasks, prioritizing means being able to do things according to their importance at that time, you also need to carry out your responsibilities even under pressure.
3. Organization skills
Organizational skills are a paramount skill needs to be a restaurant manager because just as I have mentioned multitasking organization is the key to multi-tasking because without organization I doubt you will be able to multitask.
As a restaurant manager, you are tasked with so many responsibilities both complex and simple task with effective organization skills you will be able to carry out your different tasks in an organized and smooth way.
Organization is very important in any aspect of the food business or even any kind of business, as a chef’s organization is needed, being organized will help you also teach your staff how to be organized when managing the kitchen, when serving meals, and even when doing the dishes.
Creativity in the entire food industry is very important because any business that is focused solely on business analytics is not going to bloom you need to be creative with your thoughts, you also need to employ creative chefs.
The importance of a creative chef in a restaurant is the fact that they are able to be creative with the preparation of meals, the development of the menu, the presentation of different meals, and also the presentation of the bar menu.
As a creative restaurant manager, you should be able to make the decoration of the restaurant beautiful, and unique, and also matches the trends.
You should also make sure that the food served in your restaurant business is paired in a creative way, people love to try new meals especially adventurous eaters so you should make sure that meals on the menu are versatile.
5. Financial and accounting skills
Financial and accounting skills is an essential skill that is needed to be a restaurant manager because having knowledge about accounting and finances helps you handle the costing and the purchasing of materials in an economic way.
A restaurant can be doing well by serving quality meals and also receiving great reviews from customers but this does not mean that this restaurant will not fall, getting all that reviews and having your customers find out the business has closed will not be good.
A Restaurant manager should be able to understand how expenses work, he should also teach his staff chefs, cooks, and even kitchen porters the art of management because being wasteful will affect your expenses greatly.
You should be able to know how much raw materials and ingredients are, you should also understand how o order, receive, and store ingredients so as little as possible goes to waste.
6. Positive leadership skills
Positive leadership is one of the top-ranked skills needed to be a restaurant manager, you need to be able to lead your team and staff from the assistant cook to the waitress, kitchen porter, to cleaner, a restaurant manager should be able to give out instructions in a positive way.
Being able to communicate with your staff despite being their leader, you should be able to engage your teams in discussions that will help reduce one of the biggest problems restaurants face: high turnover.
According to Gallup, an engaged team reduces turnover by 24 percent in high-turnover industries.
As a leader, you should be able to listen and find out what your team needs, and you should be a leader who by example, you should also make sure that your teammates are happy with certain instructions you give assignment.
7. Management skills
Proper management is one of the skills that is needed to be a restaurant manager, a business that lacks proper management will falter, you have to make sure that the restaurant has a proper management team.
A business with proper management will always be able to provide quality meals and services to its customers, a restaurant manager should be able to handle difficult customers, and be able to come up with lasting solutions to problems and damages.
As a restaurant manager, it is your responsibility to your employees to carry out their jobs effectively, you should be able to take criticism and also make decisions that have the restaurant’s best interests at heart.
You should make sure that your employees are enthusiastic and ready to be trained by their restaurant manager, once your staffs are eager to learn they will be able to contribute greatly to the success of the business.
8. Problem-solving and conflict resolution
Problem-solving and conflict resolution is one of the vital skills needed to become a restaurant manager, without resolution, conflicts can cost a business a lot, and you can lose profits, and no productivity all these are caused by conflicts and poor-decision making.
The way you approach problems at work can either provide solutions to the problem or even escalate the problem because life as a restaurant manager doesn’t always go as planned you should be ready to solve conflicts that arise between employees.
You need always remind your staff or team that they are on the same team, therefore they should not have problems with each other, you should also be prepared to provide lasting solutions to a problem that is by outside sources.
Employees do not always agree with each other times there may be a dispute between a chef and his or her chef assistant or even the waitress, and different problems could arise at any time which is why a restaurant manager should be able to resolve a conflict.
9. Attention to detail and meticulousness
Being able to pay attention to details should be one core skill that is needed by a restaurant manager because without proper giving proper attention to detail and meticulousness a lot of things could go wrong in the restaurant business.
A restaurant manager should pay attention to details like budgets of the month, the expiry dates of different raw materials used in cooking, and other activities in the restaurant, I know it’s hard to keep an eye on everything but your observation is crucial.
If you have great organizational skills it will be easier for you to be meticulous, proper organization will help you prevent those details from slipping through your watchful eyes.
As a restaurant manager, you should be able to train yourself to observe and also pay attention to details, there are programs online you take that will teach you the art of paying attention and also being meticulous.
Keeping your restaurant in line with health and food codes takes an eye for detail and as a restaurant manager, you will be charged with making sure everything is up to code.
10. Marketing skills
Marketing skill is one of the most strategic skills needed to be a restaurant manager, if you are interested in becoming a restaurant manager in the nearest future you can decide to take online marketing classes that will teach you all you need to know about marketing.
The key purpose of starting up a restaurant business is to create value and make money from the value you are creating but without proper marketing skills your restaurant business will not strive are there are so many businesses out competing with yours.
A restaurant business needs to have regular customers and as a restaurant manager, you need to know you get customers to achieve this you need to possess marketing skills to be able to advertise your restaurant and the kind of meals sold in your restaurant.
Before opening or running a restaurant business you should be able to have a deep understanding of the restaurant business and how good your competitors are, you can also decide to conduct research based on your competitors and how you can be a unique business.
11. Physical stamina and endurance
To be a restaurant manager is simple but it is not easy because physical stamina and endurance is one of the vital skills needed to become a successful restaurant manager because you will always be on your toes.
The restaurant manager is always ready to be wherever and whenever there is a problem in the restaurant, this requires also physical strength, the ability to work under pressure, and also the ability to endure even when you feel like giving up or lashing out at your employees.
You have to work long hours if you want to be a successful restaurant manager day in and day out, you will have to walk on your feet and stand most of these restaurant has hard flour which requires endurance and physical stamina.
Being a restaurant manager needs you to have a thick skin because you will be emotionally and physically drained but consistency is the key to any business.
Being proactive means that you are the kind of restaurant manager that makes things happen, instead of waiting for them to happen to you, Active means “doing something.” The prefix pro- means “before.” so if you are proactive, you are ready before something happens.
In the restaurant business industry being able to prevent certain problems before they happen is a big achievement as a restaurant manager, preventing problems will help set higher standards for your team and also reduce your stress.
13. Consistent quality
A restaurant manager should know that quality is very vital in a restaurant business you need to be able to provide quality meals, services, and other things involved in running a restaurant business because quality attracts customers.
Consistent quality is one of the skills needed to be restaurant manager, as a restaurant manager you are a leader therefore your employees are always watching you, you should be able to lead by example while doing anything around the restaurant.
When you lead by example your employees are bound to follow your foot in giving out quality consistently, you can’t be giving out quality when the business is very young and then decide to reduce the quality of meals when the restaurant has started to bloom.
The more consistent you are with setting standards and excellence, with proper marketing the restaurant business will bloom because everyone wants quality not quantity.
14. Digital skills
The world is fastly and vastly evolving with technologies, apps, and even software systems, digital knowledge is one of the skills needed to be a restaurant manager, you need to be attuned to latest technological development in the food industry.
Digital tools are an excellent way to keep track of all important information that is needed to be kept safe, there are tools that is very helpful to accumulate reservation requests and customer data from all booking channels that can help your business thrive.
Being able to understand and use technologies concerning the restaurant industry in a way that when there is a problem that can be solved by a digital tool he or she is able to comfortably take control of such situations.
15. Customer service skills
Customer service skills are one of the best skills needed to be a restaurant manager, you should be able to check on your customers and also get feedback from them, you should also answer any of their questions and make sure they are comfortable.
Creating quality and delicious meals are never enough you should always be warm and offers top-notch hospitality to your customers because once a customer is happy with your restaurant they are bound to come back.
As a restaurant manager, you should treat your customers with empathy and respect, and you also teach and guide your team members to do the same, there are software that help a restaurant manager build and also managing a healthy relationship with their customers.
16. Cultural awareness skills
As a leader and a restaurant manager, you will come across different customers and even your employees will be from different countries, this means you should e able to interact with people from different cultures and countries.
This means you need to respect and consider the will have beliefs, perceptions, and values even though they are different from yours, you need to be culturally aware and also be able to adapt to norms from cultures that are not yours.
It is essential to consider your employees and customers’ cultural background when interacting with them, you can also decide to learn about different cultures this gives you in-depth knowledge about cultures and how to respond to cultural differences.
Even if you do not believe in certain cultural beliefs you should try as much as possible to understand and respect their beliefs this will make your customers happy with your skills regardless of their cultural background.
17. Language adaption skills
Language adaptation is one of the most significant skills needed to be a restaurant manager though it is not compulsory to acquire this skill it’s just like a bonus to your career as a restaurant manager.
As a restaurant manager being able to learn other languages that are frequently spoken around your region then you should be able to communicate with customers and staff who you have to communicate with, this will attract customers to your business.
Being able to learn other languages will make you a multilingual professional and that is a big achievement in the hospitality industry this is because guests are comfortable coming to your restaurant because they know that you are capable of interacting with them efficiently.
18. Collaboration and teamwork skills
Collaboration and teamwork are core skill needed to be a restaurant manager because being able to work together towards a mutual goal need teamwork to make the dream work, you should be able to form comfortable relationships with your teammate.
As a restaurant manager, you should make sure that you create a collaborative environment for your staff, this will help you lead your teammates by example, being able to form a bond with your teammates is crucial to the health of the restaurant.
Given the high turnover rates in the hospitality industry, teamwork can be challenging, you will have to get used to seeing new faces now and then, and also be able to bond with them fast, teamwork is essential on very busy days.
19. Commercial skills
Commercial awareness is one of the skills needed to become a restaurant manager, having commercial skills will help you keep up with the market and fine-tune the business strategies to cater to the industry trends.
20. Understanding of culinary flavors and techniques
Although restaurant managers aren’t responsible for completing prep work and searing steaks, they still need to understand the food that’s coming out of the kitchen.
Great managers are familiar with important culinary terms and flavors as well as kitchen tools and techniques.
With this understanding, they can articulately describe dishes to customers and answer their questions, ensure the kitchen has all the tools and ingredients it needs, and be able to spot a dish that wasn’t styled and plated correctly.
While some restaurant managers may have entered into this new role after working as a sous chef or server, others are new to the culinary field entirely.
How important is the understanding of restaurant operations for a manager?
An in-depth understanding of restaurant operations is vital for a manager to oversee and coordinate all aspects of the business successfully.
This includes knowledge of kitchen procedures, service standards, inventory management, health and safety regulations, and compliance requirements.
How can a restaurant manager effectively manage and motivate their staff?
Effective staff management involves providing clear expectations, constructive feedback, recognition for good performance, opportunities for growth and development, and fostering a positive work culture that encourages teamwork and mutual respect.
In conclusion, becoming a successful restaurant manager requires a diverse skill set that encompasses both leadership and operational expertise.
The ability to communicate effectively, manage a team, and maintain a keen eye for detail are crucial in ensuring the smooth and efficient functioning of the establishment.
Furthermore, adaptability, problem-solving, and a customer-centric approach are essential for navigating the challenges of the dynamic hospitality industry.
By honing these essential skills and staying committed to continuous improvement, aspiring restaurant managers can set themselves on a path to excel in this rewarding and ever-evolving role.