Restaurant manager duties

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John Sutton is the manager of the Clocktower Restaurant, which is based in a hotel and golf complex. He is responsible for the smooth running of the restaurant and has the job of organising many important functions.

How did you get into this job?

I started as a professional football player with York City, but after an injury decided I needed a more secure profession. The club assisted me in completing a City & Guilds course in Leisure Management. I then obtained a job as a management trainee here.

What does the job involve?

I am responsible for up to 20 staff we have working in the kitchen and serving food and drink to the customers in the restaurant. Also, I have to recruit and interview any new kitchen, waiting and bar staff we may need and make sure that everything is working smoothly in the restaurant – that includes making sure the equipment we need is maintained properly and that we don't run out of food and drink for the customers. In addition, I prepare financial budgets to monitor how much money we are spending on food, drink and wages. I need to balance this against the income we get from people dining in the restaurant to check that we are making a profit.

What about the equipment?

The range of equipment we use in the restaurant, kitchen and bar is extensive and includes items such as storage bins, mixers, cutlery, glasses, crockery, pots and pans as well as ovens, cooking utensils and restaurant furniture. One of my main tasks is to make sure that all this equipment is working and we have ready supplies of things such as knives and forks, glasses and plates, for instance.

Do you receive ongoing training?

Yes. I have received training at the hotel provided by outside organisations. This has included management training and interview techniques.

What is your usual working week?

I work long hours as I have to be available when the restaurant is open and frequently work very late into the night. I work either five or six days a week.

What do like most about the job?

I enjoy the busy atmosphere and the interaction with staff and guests. It is hard work but it is very satisfying to know at the end of a particularly successful evening that you have contributed to the happiness of a lot of people.

Are there any disadvantages?

The unsociable hours must be classed as a disadvantage, but it is possible to come to terms with them and I do get short breaks during the quiet periods.

What skills and qualities are needed for a restaurant manager?

You need a calm personality, the ability to make instant decisions, and good administrative and communication skills.

John's route to his career as a Restaurant manager

  • Professional footballer.
  • City & Guilds in Leisure Management.

John's Restaurant manager tips

  • To be successful you must be focused on your goals.
  • Be prepared for hard work and long hours.

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Restaurant manager salary information

  • For a junior manager, the salary is likely to range from around £12,000 to £18,000.
  • With experience, it could rise to between £20,000 and £25,000, and senior managers can earn over £40,000.
  • Some restaurant managers live in, so they may have a proportional reduction in salary in lieu of rent and living expenses.

Becoming a Restaurant manager

  • You can undertake full-time training at a catering college directly from school. Alternatively, you could study on a day release or modern apprenticeship scheme.
  • Courses available range from NVQ Levels 1 and 2 in Catering and Hospitality (including Food Preparation, Cooking and Food Service) and Intermediate GNVQ in Hospitality and Catering, to Level 3 courses, such as NVQ Level 3 in Catering and Hospitality (including Food Preparation and Cooking, Kitchen and Larder and Patisserie), NVQ Level 3 In Hospitality Supervision (Restaurant/Kitchen), or a BTEC National Certificate in Hospitality Supervision.
  • Higher level courses available include BTEC/SQA Higher National Diploma (HND) in Hospitality and Management, Hotel, Catering and Institutional Management (including Culinary and Professional Cookery).

Modified: 16 June 2013

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