Restaurant managers who can land positions as managers in high-end restaurant establishments can expect to make the big bucks in the restaurant management industry. However, competition for these jobs is generally fierce and requires considerable experience on the part of the manager. The Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that there were over 185,000 food service managers employed in the United States in 2010. Salaries made by high-end restaurant managers were typically the highest in the industry.
The average salary for all restaurant and food services managers nationwide was approximately $52,000 per year in 2010, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This salary included those in all types of eating establishments, however, including fast food restaurants. The average salary for restaurant managers in full-service eating establishments was approximately $54,000 per year. This too only provides a partial picture because it includes the salaries of all full-service restaurant managers, including those managing low-end quality establishments. High-end restaurant managers can typically expect to make more.
The pay scale provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics for all food service managers provides a better indication of what high-end restaurant managers can generally expect to make. According to the bureau, those in the upper one-fourth of the pay scale made salaries that were greater than approximately $62,000 per year. Those in the upper 10 percent of the pay scale earned salaries in excess of $80,000 per year. Peterson's College Search confirms that restaurant managers in high-end establishments generally make more than $60,000 per year. Macomb Community College indicates an upper pay scale that can range as high as $150,000 per year, depending upon the size and quality of the restaurant.
Restaurant manager salaries can vary by location as well. Those that are employed in large cities will typically earn more than those in smaller nonmetropolitan areas. According to the BLS, the top-paid managers in this industry worked in Nevada, making an average salary of nearly $72,000 per year in 2010. Those employed in the state of Delaware and Washington averaged about $68,000 per year. Atlantic City and Las Vegas were the two top cities in which to work, with average reported salaries of approximately $80,000 and $76,000 per year, respectively.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of jobs in the field of food service management should grow slightly by about 5 percent from 2008 to 2018. This slower than average growth will occur as restaurants come and go with some degree of frequency during this period. The number of restaurants that fail will likely offset the number that succeed just enough to keep the job growth rate at a lower-than-average level. Those wanting to land positions in high-end restaurants typically need significant culinary and management experience.