Restaurant management involves overseeing day-to-day operations within a restaurant, but it also has a significant strategic component, because managers are ultimately tasked with guiding a business to long-term success. Here, we provide all the information you need on what restaurant management is, how it can be defined, why it is so important, and the qualities and qualifications that are required to actually work in such a role.

Quick Menu

What is the Restaurant Industry?

Before getting into the topic of restaurant management, it is worth establishing precisely what the restaurant industry refers to. Essentially, any business that allows customers to order food and eat the food on-site can be considered to be operating within the restaurant industry, including restaurants, bars, and similar businesses.

Restaurants can be independent or connected to a wider business, as is the case with restaurants within hotels. The restaurant industry forms part of the wider hospitality industry. It is also primarily separated from the foodservice industry via the definition that restaurants allow customers to eat food on the premises.

With that being said, many restaurants do also offer takeaway and food delivery services as well.

What is Restaurant Management

Restaurant management refers to the day-to-day management of businesses within the restaurant industry. This includes overseeing the daily operations of the business but also managing the workforce and finances, planning company strategies, ensuring marketing efforts are achieving objectives and managing the business’ reputation.

Restaurant managers need to have an in-depth understanding of their business and how it is running, which means performance tracking is another crucial part of the job. Furthermore, restaurant managers must pay attention to customer service and the level of customer experience being provided, in order to optimise outcomes.

Why is Restaurant Management Important?

As a discipline, restaurant management is important, because restaurant managers must oversee the various different aspects of their business’ day-to-day operations. In many ways, restaurant managers are the glue that holds successful restaurants together, and a good restaurant manager will be able to provide many benefits to their company.

Video: Importance of a Restaurant Manager


In the sections below, you can find out much more about the importance of restaurant managers by learning about some of the qualities they provide and the responsibilities they have to take on.

Providing an Excellent Customer Experience

When it comes to excelling in restaurant management, top performers will take responsibility for providing their customers with the best possible experience. In order to achieve this, they will take steps to optimise their menu, keep up with the latest restaurant technology, provide a pleasant environment, and manage their pricing.

Delivering a positive customer experience requires managers to listen to customers, understand what they want, and live up to or exceed those expectations. Excellent communication skills are absolutely critical, as managers need to oversee the response to complaints or criticism, try to rectify any problems, and learn lessons for the future.

Defining Roles and Setting Expectations

Businesses in the restaurant industry can be very busy, and employees can have vastly different responsibilities. For instance, chefs are tasked with coming up with menu ideas and preparing the food, while waiting or customer service staff are responsible for taking orders from customers and providing them with their food once it is ready.

On top of this, restaurants may have finance staff, marketing staff, HR staff, and more. Those working in restaurant management positions need to contend with this by clearly defining roles and responsibilities, setting expectations, overseeing operations, managing shifts in approach, and ensuring everyone is always pulling in the same direction.

Marketing and Making a Restaurant Appealing

Finally, restaurant managers are also responsible for promoting their restaurant, establishing its unique selling proposition, and adopting the right marketing strategies, in order to attract customers. This means that those working in restaurant management roles must coordinate with their marketing department.

Beyond this, the best restaurant managers will also take the necessary steps to make the restaurant itself as appealing as possible. Investing in upkeep, ensuring the restaurant has everything customers expect, and making sure the decorations and overall aesthetic are pleasant and representative of what the business has to offer are all critical.

5 Qualities You Need to Be a Restaurant Manager

To succeed as a restaurant manager, there are a number of skills, attributes and qualities that you will need to possess. Some of the most important restaurant management qualities are explained below:

1. A Passion for Service

Restaurants and almost all other businesses in the hospitality industry are intended to provide a service to customers, and a passion to deliver high-quality service is one of the single most important qualities anybody looking to move into a restaurant management position can possess.

The best managers care deeply about their customers and want to create not only a profitable and successful business but also a business that positively contributes to the local community. This means taking the necessary steps to make improvements, learn lessons, and go above and beyond to deliver positive experiences.

2. Excellent Communication

One of the most desirable qualities to possess is the ability to communicate clearly and effectively. After all, it is essential that you are able to get your point across to staff and explain things so that they can be understood fully. At the same time, you need to be able to motivate staff and resolve problems.

Aside from communicating with employees, however, restaurant managers also need to be able to communicate effectively with customers, in order to respond to complaints, overcome issues, and explain business practices. Written communication skills are also a must, as report writing and the writing of emails are likely to be core parts of the role.

3. Organisation Skills

To work in the field of restaurant management, you need to be organised, and this has many different layers. For instance, you will need to possess good time management skills, and you will need to be able to balance the different responsibilities that come with the role, without neglecting any of the key aspects.

Yet, aside from the organisation of your own affairs, you will also need to have the ability to organise on behalf of others. This could mean overseeing important decisions related to how many staff are required at any given time, or what work they need to do, and it can also mean the effective delegation of tasks so that everything gets done.

4. An Ability to Coach Others

It is important to understand that those working in restaurant management are leaders within their businesses. To be a good manager, you need to be able to coach others, so that they achieve the required level of competency. Achieving such an objective means managers need to have patience, understanding, and the skills to teach.

Nonetheless, coaching goes beyond simply ensuring that employees are able to fulfil their roles. Instead, coaching duties and activities need to be intended to bring the best out of staff, and to assist them with personal growth as well as professional development. You will also need to help people to overcome any difficulties they encounter.

5. Strategic Thinking

Another quality that you will need to possess in order to achieve success as a restaurant manager is the ability to think strategically and make difficult decisions, based on the evidence available to you. These decisions need to be made carefully, but decisively, and there is often going to be time pressure involved.

A fundamental part of restaurant management involves devising strategies that separate your restaurant from other restaurants. This means having a deep understanding of how the restaurant industry works, and of the various techniques related to pricing, marketing, accounting, inventory management, and employee management.

Education Requirements for Restaurant Management Jobs

Although there is no strict requirement to possess a degree in a relevant field, restaurant management positions are increasingly being filled by people who have studied a relevant subject at degree level or those who have participated in a specialist training programme. Relevant fields include restaurant management, hospitality management, food service management, and business management, although other management courses can be advantageous too.

For some restaurants, a degree will be necessary in order to demonstrate a level of competence, organisation and personal commitment. Moreover, a course in restaurant management or a similar field will provide an excellent foundation by teaching important skills, concepts, strategies, and techniques.

Nevertheless, experience in the industry is also important and with this and some hard work, it may also be possible to work your way up from one of the entry-level positions, all the way to a restaurant management role.

The Role of Restaurant Manager

While some restaurants will live and die by the quality of the food on offer, the reality is that most businesses either succeed or fail based on a wide range of factors, which managers are responsible for controlling. A good way to understand this is as follows: restaurant management involves ensuring a business runs optimally.

This includes providing the best possible customer experience, taking care of reputation management tasks, optimising public relations and marketing strategies, and adopting the right business practices and strategies. Moreover, restaurant managers need to invest wisely in restaurant POS systems, CRM technology, and other restaurant management software.

Restaurant Management and the Restaurant Industry

To work in restaurant management, you are going to need to either possess or acquire an in-depth understanding of all aspects of the restaurant industry. This includes everything from understanding how the industry is defined, to understanding the different types of restaurants that exist and what makes them unique.

You can provide yourself with some important foundational knowledge and improve your understanding of various aspects of the industry by reading the article “Restaurant Industry: The Complete Guide”.

Hospitality and Restaurant Management: The Essentials

When working in restaurant management, or any other hospitality management position for that matter, there are some essentials that you need to fully grasp. These include the core responsibilities, restaurant and hospitality management operations, the latest hospitality trends, and the marketing strategies to adopt.

You will be able to find all of this information, and discover the best channels to use to actually seek out management roles, by reading the “Hospitality Management: The Essentials About Hospitality” article.

Restaurant Management Systems: The Features and Key Aspects

Restaurant management systems are some of the biggest tools in the restaurant management arsenal, as these systems can help to improve efficiency, increase accuracy, and provide options for automation. However, to get the most from these systems, you will need to learn about how they work and where your focus should be.

To discover just about all you need to know about restaurant management systems, including what they are, how they work, and why they are so beneficial, read “Restaurant Management Systems: Overview, Key Aspects and Features”.

Restaurant Management: Understanding the Latest Technology Trends

Finally, those involved with restaurant management must always keep their finger on the pulse when it comes to new technology. After all, technology solutions can help to improve the customer experience, provide a competitive advantage, make life easier for employees, and help restaurants to achieve their strategic objectives.

You can find out about the technology that is being used within the restaurant industry, how it functions, and why it is useful by reading the “Latest Restaurant Technology Trends You Need to Know About” post.

Restaurant management positions are highly sought after, and those working in managerial roles must juggle many different responsibilities. Ultimately, restaurant managers are the glue holding everything together, so the decisions you make and the qualities you possess will go a long way to determining how successful your restaurant is going to be.

Want to Learn More About Management in Related Industries?

All hospitality, travel and tourism-related industries have commonalities, however, management in each industry is influenced by specific unique factors. In the following articles, you can learn more about management within related industries.

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