Bar managers perform a variety of tasks that, in larger organizations, are often done by several different types of managers. They oversee hiring, firing and training, resolve payroll issues, and make financial decisions. Some specialize in managing either waitstaff or kitchen workers, while others oversee the entire bar. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that women are well-represented in this segment of the economy; as of 2010, 47.4 percent of food service managers were women.
Food Service Managers
Food service managers working at bars reported an average wage of $26.03 per hour and an average annual salary of $54,140 to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2012. This compares favorably to the wages of food service managers working in restaurants, who earned $50,260 per year. However, it is less than managers of hotel restaurants, who reported an average salary of $60,270 during the same period.
Kitchen supervisors may or may not have manager in their title, but it is their job to oversee the work of kitchen staff such as cooks, food preparation workers and dishwashers. As of 2012, first-line supervisors of kitchen workers employed by bars earned an average of $15.09 per hour and $31,910 per year. This is slightly more than the average pay of kitchen supervisors in restaurants, $30,630 per year.
General and Operations Managers
General and operations managers make large, far-reaching decisions for bars. For example, they may decide what hours an establishment will remain open, or what demographic of patron a bar is seeking to attract. They also make financial decisions and try to ensure that the bar turns a profit. General and operations managers of bars reported an average salary of $71,080 as of May 2012. This is slightly less than the reported wage of general managers of restaurants, $73,080, and considerably less than the average salary reported by general and operations managers across all industries, $114,850.
While jobs for food service managers are expected to decrease by 3 percent between 2010 and 2020, the high rate of turnover in the restaurant and bar industry means that those who aspire to bar management have a good chance of finding a job. Those seeking employment as a food service manager or kitchen supervisor will often begin their career as a bartender or member of the kitchen staff, and may be promoted to a management position after gaining several years of experience. Those aspiring to the position of general manager should consider pursuing a college degree related to business administration.
2016 Salary Information for Food Service Managers
Food service managers earned a median annual salary of $50,820 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, food service managers earned a 25th percentile salary of $38,260, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $66,990, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 308,700 people were employed in the U.S. as food service managers.
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Food Service Managers
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: May 2012 National Industry-Specific Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates for Drinking Places
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: May 2012 Wages for General and Operations Managers
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: May 2012 Wages for First-Line Supervisors of Food Preparation and Serving Workers
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: May 2012 Wages for Food Service Managers
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Employed Persons by Detailed Occupation and Sex, 2010 Annual Averages
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook: Food Service Managers
- Career Trend: Food Service Managers
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