Managers may seem to have the best jobs among the restaurant staff. They dress professionally and appear at ease performing simple tasks, such as asking customers about their dining experience or honoring coupons. That's the image a manager is supposed to portray. But, if you're considering a restaurant management career -- don't be fooled. Management positions are usually demanding, stressful and involve working many long hours.
Types of Managers
Managers' duties are generally shaped by the type of management positions they have. Some restaurants are so large or busy that they employ various types of managers. For example, a front of the house manager concentrates on the guests, guests areas and staff members that interact with the public, such as waitresses and hostesses. Back of the house managers concentrate on menus, food and employees who work in the background such as chefs and maintenance workers. General managers are responsible for the smooth operation of the entire restaurant and all staff.
Duties in a Typical Week
A restaurant manager performs many duties within a work week. Some tasks are expected. A front of the house manager knows she will have to count money, resolve customer service issues and make her staff's upcoming schedules. A back of the house manager knows she will need to place food orders, manage inventory and assist with food preparation. But restaurant managers are also required to handle incidental tasks, such as addressing equipment malfunctions, hiring and firing employees and dealing with food safety inspections.
Hours on the Job
Restaurant managers' schedules depend largely on the type of establishment they work for and the size of the management team. Regardless, management positions are usually full-time, which can mean over 50 hours per week. It's not uncommon for managers to be the first to the restaurant and last to leave, says Gateway Gourmet. Since many restaurants are open for at least two, and sometimes three, meal periods, a manager's days often span for 12 to 15 hours.
Work Day and Schedules
In addition to the long hours, restaurant managers' schedules commonly change and many do not have have set days off. In some occupations, holidays mean a shortened work week, but that's not the case for restaurant managers since many establishments remain open. Restaurant management is career choice that requires working on holidays, nights and weekends. Some managers even work seven or more days before finally getting a day off.
If the typical restaurant manager's work week doesn't sound appealing but you still want to enter the field, consider a position in a school, factory or office building. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) says those employees tend to work more regular hours.
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.
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