Restaurant Manager Duties | 4 mins read

The Duties and Challenges of a Restaurant Manager

the duties and challenges of a restaurant manager
Mary Kate Morrow

By Mary Kate Morrow

The Duties of a Restaurant Manager

A restaurant manager job description outlines many of the responsibilities restaurant managers face. These common tasks range from employee scheduling to job description template creation.

Beyond the well known and recognized managerial tasks, there are virtually endless duties that a good restaurant manager undertakes when running restaurant operations and making sure staff members are on track.

Responsibilities restaurant managers commonly have according to their job description include-

1. Staff members- A successful restaurant is dependent on hiring great staff members as well as retaining them long term. Managers are highly involved with the processes to hire and onboard new employees. Various duties may include-

  • Create a job description template
  • Post job on social media and employment sites
  • Locate hiring resources
  • Work with the human resources department
  • Generate interview questions
In addition to hiring new staff, a successful restaurant manager will train new hires and go out of their way to help new employees to succeed in their roles. If there are issues with new hire performance the manager must address these issues swiftly and appropriately.

Communication skills and interpersonal skills are very helpful for creating and maintaining a healthy relationship between staff members and their management representatives. Consistent and comprehensive mentorship and employee development are also valuable for retaining top talent employees.

2. Inventory management- Alongside managing your employees, managing inventory levels is a top priority for a restaurant manager. Keeping a well-stocked inventory requires not overstocking or understocking food products and keeping your inventory as ideal as possible.

Overstocking food products in your inventory can lead to food waste and vast amounts of company money wasted on food costs and labor costs. On the other hand, understocking can decrease menu item availability which will decrease customer satisfaction levels.

Managing inventory levels requires a lot of problem solving and resources. Thankfully there are restaurant management software programs available to assist with inventory management to ensure restaurant operations are running as smoothly as possible.

3. Customer experience- Customer service skills are necessary for a good restaurant manager to possess. Most successful restaurant managers have great interpersonal skills and communication skills which can help them navigate customer complaints and other awkward customer interactions.

Customer service is much more than people skills as it is also about making the customer experience outstanding. Customer service includes making sure that your restaurant's reputation and brand are top-notch and that customers leave your restaurant with a great impression of your business.

Responding to social media concerns and reviews online helps increase customer satisfaction and retention levels. Showing your customers that you care about their input and experience will increase the likelihood of them becoming long term loyal customers.

The Challenges of a Restaurant Manager

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With so many challenges faced while running restaurant operations, it is helpful to consider best practice tips created by successful restaurant managers. Common challenges include-

1. Marketing- Marketing may not be a task that a restaurant manager staff member anticipated when they took the position. Thankfully, social media provides a unique opportunity for low-cost marketing even for those with limited or no prior marketing experience.

An additional low to no cost marketing opportunity can be accessed by using customer reviews to your restaurant's benefit. When potential customers are searching for a good restaurant to sit down for a meal they will often check both social media and customer reviews online as their first point of research.

Creating a marketing plan might sound intimidating but you can start off simple. Outline various objectives for the next few upcoming months. From there, you will have gained the confidence to develop future marketing objectives.

2. Employee turnover- With employee turnover rates sky-high for restaurant business workers, retaining top talent employees is a challenge. When employees do not stay in their positions, managers must put in additional effort to rehire, retrain, and reonboard new staff members.

Instead of going through the costly and time-consuming process of constantly replacing employees, it is much more effective and rewarding to retain great workers long term. A great way to confront high turnover rates is by asking for feedback directly from employees.

Actively look for ways to improve the employee experience, early and often. For example, interview questions can be tailored to understand more about individual employee expectations and goals.

Employees should be offered development opportunities and promotion opportunities throughout their employment to keep them engaged. Development can be focused on a wide variety of topics, ranging from customer service modules to problem solving exercises. With decreased turnover and higher retention rates, both employees and managers will benefit.

3. Customer complaints- Dealing with customer complaints is often cited as one of the most challenging parts of a restaurant management position. As a result, successful restaurant managers are benefited by having great people skills and communication skills inherently.

The good news is that even if you are not someone who has great interpersonal skills or customer service skills you can develop them with training and practice. It is likely that if you have made it to a restaurant management position that you are someone who already values customer satisfaction heavily.