How to Become a Restaurant Manager

Three Parts:Getting Into the Restaurant IndustryApplying for Managerial PositionsContinuing to Improve Your Management Skills

In restaurants, managers have to be flexible and able to solve problems on their feet and keep up with many different types of tasks related to both administrative tasks and food. On any given day a restaurant manager might have to monitor quality, respond to customer complaints and problems, oversee food preparation, make sure the restaurant is stocked with food and other items, guide employees, do the restaurant’s bookkeeping, and uphold health and safety standards.[1] Becoming a restaurant manager takes time and dedication. It is a job that can be difficult but offers interesting, differentiated tasks each day and the opportunity for leadership and creativity.

Part 1
Getting Into the Restaurant Industry

  1. Image titled Become a Stock Broker in Canada Step 4
    Complete your education.[2] Most manager positions require that you at least have your high school diploma or GED.
    • In addition to your high school degree, consider completing a two-year or four-year hospitality management degree.[3]
    • This degree can give you an edge during hiring and will help you learn valuable management skills quickly. A degree program can also help you find quality internship placements and gain valuable experience with reputable employers.
  2. Image titled Become a Stock Broker in Canada Step 18
    Consider what type of restaurant you want to eventually manage.[4]This will help you determine where you want to get entry-level experience to best prepare you for your career.
    • What size restaurant do you prefer? Managing a small restaurant can be a quite different experience from managing a restaurant that seats 300 people a night.
    • What style service are you looking for? Fine dining? Casual? Fast casual?
    • Do you have a preferred culinary style? For example, you might know that you’d love to manage a sushi restaurant or a fine-dining Italian restaurant.
  3. Image titled Manage a Restaurant Step 6
    Apply for entry-level restaurant work. In becoming a restaurant manager, there is no substitute for seeing how a restaurant works by working in one.
    • Try to apply for jobs in restaurants that have similar qualities to the type of restaurant you’d like to manage.
    • Many managers start in front of house positions, as a waiter or waitress, but you can also start in a kitchen position, if you are really interested in learning the food side of the business.
    • No matter where you start, take an interest in the business. Ask questions to employees who have worked at the restaurant for a while. Take an interest in how other people work, and ask about positions other than your own. Be willing and eager to take on additional responsibilities.
    • If you are pursing a degree program, working in a restaurant while you study is a great way to make a living and also gain experience. If this is the case, let your managers know. Likely, they will want to give you extra responsibilities and teach you on the job.
    • Look for locally owned spots. Often, if you work at a locally owned restaurant, you’ll be able to meet the owner and managers. You’ll get a better feel for the decision-making process involved in the restaurant business.
  4. Image titled Manage a Restaurant Step 5
    Acquire your certifications. Depending on what state you live in, you will need to have a variety of certifications to handle food and work in restaurants.
    • You might need a food handlers card and complete a course in food safety and handling instructions.[5]
    • If you work at a restaurant that serves alcohol, many state require that you complete a course and get an alcohol server’s card.[6]
    • Before you begin applying for managerial positions, you should already have these certifications. Even though you can usually work for a few weeks before getting them, it’s a small edge that can put you ahead of other candidates.

Part 2
Applying for Managerial Positions

  1. Image titled Make Money Writing Online Step 1
    Create a food and beverage resume.[7] As you are looking for jobs, you want to make sure that you have a solid resume tailored to the position you are seeking.
    • Include all your jobs and internships in the food and beverage industry.
    • In your resume, include examples of your leadership qualities and any responsibilities you had at your previous jobs. Focus on emphasizing accomplishments rather than merely listing duties.
    • Make sure to have at least two good references to give out. It’s best if these are people who have seen you work in the restaurant industry and can speak to your leadership and organizational skills.
  2. Image titled Handle Customers Step 6
    Work your way up. If you start out working in a restaurant, and you like the atmosphere, you may be able to work your way up into a managerial positions.
    • Don’t be afraid to ask about possible opportunities. Make it known that you’re looking for a leadership position. Often, restaurants that value their employees will create positions for good people. This may not be the track for you, if you want to be a general manager of a restaurant, rather than one of a few managers.
    • If you do work for a larger corporate chain, inquire about opportunities in other cities or states and at new stores. Companies will be more likely to hire someone that shows initiative and has experience with their model of restaurant.
  3. Image titled Make Money Writing Online Step 4
    Look for job postings online and in newspapers and cold call restaurants. For more options, be willing to relocate to accept a position.[8]
    • Look on job boards like Indeed or Craigslist for new positions and in the classified section of your newspaper. Widening your geographical search can open up more opportunities.
    • If you cold call restaurants, make sure you don’t go during busy service hours. Take a printed out copy of your resume.
  4. Image titled Remember Something Step 17
    Network with restaurant managers and owners in your area.[9] If you want to manage a new restaurant, networking is an invaluable tool at your disposal.
    • In many cities, restaurant workers form tight-knit communities. Often, restaurant owners have more than one restaurant in a given area.
    • Display an interest in who’s involved in your local community. Ask who owns different restaurants, and remember names and faces.
    • Attend culinary events in your city, and introduce yourself to people. Show a genuine interest in their work.
    • Make it known that you are looking to manage a restaurant, but don’t be pushy when contacting your connections.

Part 3
Continuing to Improve Your Management Skills

  1. Image titled Manage a Restaurant Step 3
    Maintain a good example for employees.[10] Restaurant managers work on their feet, and you want to make sure that you always pay attention to the small details while you are working.
    • Maintain a positive attitude, and don’t allow your stress to show during the work day.
    • If one of your employees asks you a question, give a definitive answer with authority.
  2. Image titled Manage a Restaurant Step 7
    Respect your guests. As a manager, you will be the one to deal with any customer issues that arise. Even if a customer makes unreasonable demands, treat them with kindness and respect.
    • In correcting mistakes, be gracious. For example, if a take out order gets messed up, let the guest know they can have a free dessert the next time they come to the restaurant.
  3. Image titled Manage a Restaurant Step 16
    Stay informed about the menu. Even if you are primarily working on the financial and personnel side of the restaurant, make sure you maintain a detailed knowledge of food and the dishes on the menu.
    • You need to be a resource both for front and back of house staff.
    • If a customer asks you about a dish, you need to be able to respond professionally with clear knowledge.
  4. Image titled Create a Successful Project (for School) Step 7
    Incorporate new ideas. As a manager, you have the ability to make decisions and change the way things are done at the restaurant.
    • Take time to visit other restaurants in your city and other places you travel. Make note of things you like about them.
    • Don’t be afraid to incorporate new ideas and ways of completing tasks in the routine at your restaurant.


  • Know that restaurant managers often work long hours, and don’t usually work a 9-5 schedule.

Article Info

Categories: Hospitality