Key Takeaways:

  • Restaurant managers oversee all aspects of restaurant operations, from staff management to food quality and customer relations.

  • They play a vital role in the UK's hospitality sector, ensuring positive dining experiences and business success.

  • Skills needed include leadership, customer service, organisation, budget management, and food & beverage knowledge.

  • Career prospects are promising, with opportunities to progress to area manager, head office roles, or even owning a restaurant.

Restaurant managers in the UK

Restaurant managers play a vital role in the UK's hospitality industry. They are highly skilled and experienced professionals who are responsible for the smooth running of restaurants and for providing customers with a positive dining experience.

Restaurant managers are responsible for creating and maintaining a positive and productive work environment for all staff. This is essential for ensuring that the restaurant provides a consistently high standard of service to its customers.

In addition to their day-to-day responsibilities, restaurant managers also play a key role in the strategic planning and development of the business. They work with the owners to develop the menu, set pricing, and implement marketing and promotional strategies.

What does a restaurant manager do?

A restaurant manager's duties can vary depending on the size and type of restaurant they work in, but some of their core responsibilities include:

  • Hiring, training, and managing staff: Restaurant managers are responsible for hiring, training, and managing all of the restaurant's staff, from front-of-house to back-of-house. This includes ensuring that all staff members are properly trained and that they are meeting the restaurant's high standards of customer service.

  • Overseeing food and beverage operations: Restaurant managers also oversee the restaurant's food and beverage operations. This includes working with the head chef to develop and implement the menu, ensuring that all food is prepared and served to a high standard, and managing the restaurant's inventory.

  • Managing customer relations: Restaurant managers are also responsible for managing customer relations. This includes dealing with customer complaints and feedback, ensuring that all customers have a positive experience, and developing and implementing loyalty programs and other marketing initiatives.

  • Managing finances: Restaurant managers are also responsible for managing the restaurant's finances. This includes setting budgets, tracking spending, and preparing financial reports.

  • Ensuring compliance with regulations: Restaurant managers must also ensure that the restaurant complies with all relevant health and safety regulations. This includes ensuring that all staff members are properly trained, that the restaurant is clean and sanitary, and that all food is handled and stored safely.

A woman with a form on a notepad, managing a restaurant

Why is a restaurant manager important?

Restaurant managers play a vital role in the success of any hospitality business. They are responsible for ensuring that the restaurant runs smoothly and efficiently, that customers have a positive experience, and that the business is profitable.

Restaurant managers are also responsible for leading and motivating their staff. They need to be able to create a positive work environment and to develop their staff members' skills.

Restaurant Hierarchy

The restaurant hierarchy varies depending on the size and type of restaurant. However, in a typical restaurant, the restaurant manager is at the top of the hierarchy, followed by the head chef, assistant restaurant manager, and other front-of-house and kitchen staff.

The restaurant manager is responsible for overseeing the entire operation of the restaurant, from the kitchen to the front-of-house. They are also responsible for setting the overall tone and culture of the restaurant.

The head chef is responsible for the kitchen and all food preparation. They work closely with the restaurant manager to develop and implement the menu, and to ensure that all food is prepared to a high standard. To understand the hierarchy of the kitchen itself, check out our comprehensive guide on the different ranks of chefs in a professional kitchen.

The assistant restaurant manager is responsible for supporting the restaurant manager in their day-to-day duties. They may also be responsible for specific areas of the restaurant, such as front-of-house operations or staff training.

Other front-of-house staff may include waiters/waitresses, bartenders, and hosts. Kitchen staff may include sous chefs, line cooks, and prep cooks.

All staff members play an important role in the success of the restaurant, and the restaurant manager is responsible for ensuring that everyone is working together to provide a great customer experience.

In a large restaurant, there may be additional layers to the hierarchy, such as general manager, area manager, and regional manager. The general manager is responsible for the overall operation of the restaurant, while the area manager and regional manager are responsible for multiple restaurants in a particular geographical area.

In a small restaurant, the restaurant manager may be responsible for all aspects of the business, from hiring and training staff to developing the menu and managing the budget.

Demand for restaurant managers

The demand for restaurant managers in the UK is high. The hospitality industry is one of the largest and fastest-growing sectors in the UK economy, and there is a constant need for qualified and experienced managers.

This demand is being driven by a number of factors, including:

  • The increasing popularity of eating out in the UK

  • The growth of the tourism industry

  • The expansion of the restaurant sector into new markets, such as casual dining and fast food

As a result of this demand, restaurant managers are in short supply, and there is a constant need for qualified and experienced managers.

How to become a restaurant manager

There is no one specific path to becoming a restaurant manager. However, most managers have a background in hospitality and have worked in various roles within a restaurant, such as waiter/waitress, bartender, or supervisor.

Some managers may also have a formal qualification in hospitality management. However, this is not essential, and many managers have learned their skills on the job.

If you are interested in becoming a restaurant manager, there are a few things you can do to increase your chances of success:

  • Gain experience in the hospitality industry. This could involve working in a restaurant, bar, or hotel. The more experience you have, the more attractive you will be to potential employers.

  • Develop your skills and knowledge. There are a number of ways to do this, such as taking courses in hospitality management, attending industry events, and reading trade publications.

  • Network with recruitment professionals. This is a great way to learn more about the industry and to make contacts that could help you find a job.

Once you have the necessary experience and qualifications, you can start applying for restaurant manager jobs. Be sure to tailor your CV and cover letter to each job you apply for, and to highlight your relevant skills and experience.

Here are some additional tips for becoming a restaurant manager in the UK:

  • Be willing to start at the bottom and work your way up. Many restaurant managers have started their careers as waiters/waitresses or bartenders.

  • Be a team player. Restaurant managers need to be able to work effectively with a variety of different people, from kitchen staff to front-of-house staff to customers.

  • Be able to handle multiple tasks at the same time. Restaurant managers often have to juggle a number of different tasks at once, such as dealing with customer complaints, managing staff, and overseeing the kitchen and front-of-house operations.

  • Be able to work under pressure. Restaurant management can be a stressful job, so it is important to be able to stay calm and collected under pressure.

  • Be passionate about the hospitality industry. Restaurant managers need to be passionate about food and drink, and about providing excellent customer service.

Skills and qualifications needed

To be successful as a restaurant manager, you need to have a range of skills and qualifications, including:

  • Excellent customer service skills

  • Strong leadership and management skills

  • The ability to work under pressure

  • Good organisational and time management skills

  • The ability to manage a budget

  • Knowledge of food and beverage operations

  • Knowledge of health and safety regulations

A restaurant manager having a meeting with the staff

Career Prospects

Restaurant managers with experience and qualifications can expect to have good career prospects in the UK. There are a number of ways that they can progress their career.

Restaurant managers can also specialise in a particular area of the restaurant industry, such as fine dining, casual dining, or fast food. This can make them more attractive to potential employers and give them a better chance of securing a senior role.

Here are some specific examples of career paths that restaurant managers in the UK can take:

  • Restaurant manager to area manager:

    Area managers are responsible for overseeing multiple restaurants in a particular geographical area. They work with the restaurant managers to ensure that the restaurants are meeting their targets and providing a high standard of customer service.

  • Restaurant manager to head office role:

    Head office roles in the restaurant industry include operations manager, training manager, and HR manager. These roles are responsible for managing the overall operation of the company, from developing new menus to training staff.

  • Restaurant manager to restaurant owner:

    Many restaurant managers eventually choose to open their own restaurant. This can be a rewarding and challenging experience, but it is important to have a good business plan and to be prepared for the hard work involved.

Experienced and qualified managers can expect to have a number of opportunities to progress their career, either within the same company or by moving to a new role.

Finding Happiness in Memorable Experiences

Restaurant managers derive satisfaction from solving problems, creating a positive work environment, and witnessing their team members' growth. The success of the restaurant and the happiness of their team are sources of immense gratification.

The journey of a restaurant manager is filled with both challenges and rewards. It is a path of continuous learning, growth, and adaptation. By embracing challenges as opportunities for growth and prioritising their staff’s well-being, restaurant managers can cultivate a fulfilling and rewarding career, finding happiness in the pleasure of ensuring that their guests' dining experience is memorable.

Final thoughts

Working as a restaurant manager can be a rewarding and challenging career. Restaurant managers play a vital role in the success of any hospitality business, and they are in high demand.

If you are looking for a career change, or if you are interested in a career in hospitality, then becoming a restaurant manager is a great option to consider.

How can we help?

Select Recruitment Specialists can help you find the perfect restaurant manager job in the UK. We have a wide range of vacancies available, and our experienced recruiters can match you with the right role for your skills and experience. We can also provide you with advice and support throughout the job search process.

Contact Select Recruitment Specialists

Select Recruitment Specialists are a leading recruitment agency for hospitality jobs. We have a team of experienced recruiters who can help you find the perfect restaurant manager job for you.

If you are interested in working as a restaurant manager, please contact us today. We would be happy to discuss your requirements and help you find the right job for you.