Restaurant managers oversee all restaurant operations, from the chef's food preparation to how the kitchen displays an entree on the dish to pricing items and ordering food and kitchen supplies. A hotel restaurant manager often works together with the hotel manager to ensure the hotel restaurant is making a steady profit and that all guests and customers are satisfied (or hopefully more than satisfied) with the restaurant's service and food quality.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 2010-11 report, managers supervise all cooks and waitstaff to ensure the safety of all employees. The restaurant manager also walks through the restaurant, making sure that all dining guests are satisfied and treated well by the waitstaff. While many employees are involved in executing a dish and serving a guest, the restaurant manager is responsible for any mistake, slowness or loss of profit from a table. Conversely, the restaurant manager also takes credit (or stands proudly behind) the professional service and attitude of her staff.
In smaller hotels (fewer than 60 rooms) and restaurants, managers handle the administrative side of business as well as managing the kitchen and dining service. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, restaurant managers handle administrative and human resource functions so they know who is in their kitchen and on the restaurant floor. They may recruit and train new employees and monitor their performance.
In large restaurants, a manager's work is more administrative than in a smaller restaurant. They need a firm understanding of accounting, budgeting, credit policies and banking methods to complete all paperwork, invoices and human resource duties. Managers also buy all food and beverages following the hotel's budget.
While the executive chef prepares food without a manager's assistance, the restaurant manager directs and coordinates the kitchen staff. In a small hotel restaurant, the manager may also greet guests and seat them, serve as cashier and cook alongside the chef when the restaurant is especially packed.
Engineering & Maintenance
Managers also often assume responsibility for resolving engineering and maintenance issues. Cooking, lighting and proper ventilation equipment in a kitchen gets expensive. Managers stay aware of the cost of installation and know how to repair the equipment if a problem occurs.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics for Food Service Managers, depending on the size of the hotel and hotel restaurant, the number of guests and the size of the staff, food service managers work an average of 12 to 15 hours per day, and sometimes seven days a week.
Experience & Training
Based on the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 2010-11 report, hotel restaurant managers tend to qualify for their positions according to their previous restaurant-related experience. However, an increasing number of employers prefer managers with a two- to four-year degree in a hotel or restaurant management-related field. Getting ahead in a hotel management career means taking courses and getting real world experience in the field.
As of 2010, the Professional Culinary Institute of California's College of Hotel and Restaurant Management program, for example, offers two- to five-hour courses in the introduction to the hospitality industry, safety-sanitation, physiology of taste and smell, menu management and purchasing, dining room management and table service and accounting.
Job Outlook & Salary
As of May 2010, food service manager jobs are expected to grow 5 percent, slower than average for all occupations, through 2018 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Job opportunities should remain strong, though, due to replacing managers who leave the occupation or receive promotions to other positions.
Median annual wages of salaried food service managers, as of May 2008, ranged from $46,000 to $59,000 per year, depending on the type and size of the hotel restaurant.
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