Is a Career as a Restaurant Manager for Me?

Many managers have the motivation, education, talent, and energy level to become a good restaurant manager. On a resume they look like the perfect candidate, but a resume only tells half the story. The first thing the candidate needs to do is assess whether they have what it takes to actually do the job well.

There are as many types of restaurant manager jobs as there are restaurants. Some managers may never leave their desk. Others are required to be hands on at every level as well as manage the paper work.  Here are a few points to consider before making a career move into a restaurant management position.

Can You Handle Stress?

It is lonely at the top. The manager is rarely given credit for the hard work they do. There is no one to share their problems with. They are expected to solve every problem from personality conflicts between team members to problems in the quarterly reports. Every day provides new problems – or challenges. It all depends on your attitude.

A good manager respects the fact that they need to learn organizational, people, and problem solving skills. They don’t expect everyone to put up with them. Their ‘good enough’ is never ‘good enough.’ They strive to cut the budget, improve performance, retain employees, and build a loyal customer base.

No Affirmation

There is no immediate reinforcement in this position. Goals are more long-term, quarterly, or even annually. The only measure of a manager’s success is the improvement in his managmenet skills, and improvements in their team’s performance.  Niether of these offer immediate feedback. In many cases, the only way to track success is by measuring the impact of negative feedback.


This is no job for someone who has problems with people or facing confrontation. In fact, a little thrill seeker hidden beneath the surface may help managers get through the day. If you’re looking for a quiet manager’s position then a restaurant job may not be your best fit.  If you’re motivated by the last minute, have a flare for the dramatic, and embrace challenges that would cause the typical person to tremble in fear then this is the job for you.

The restaurant manager is responsible for everything starting with employee safety and creating a harassment free environment. There is no top to this. One day they may need to approve an advertising campaign, the next they may need to make a final decision before contractors can start work.

Financial Restrictions

There is never enough money. All restaurant managers have great ideas, solutions to problems, and know how to triple dividends for investors. They have more than one solution for every problem. They know why the restaurant’s success eludes them. What they don’t have, and rarely have control over, is the budget to execute their plans.

A career in restaurant management is not for everyone, but for those who are a right fit, it can be the most rewarding and energizing experience of your life. It is more than a job. It is a lifestyle. It is more than work. A born manager can get the same enjoyment from the job that many people get from entertainment, or vacations.   

If it is for you, or you’d like to know how to become a manager, then take the plunge today. Talk to a career professional who can help you assess your strengths and weaknesses. Pick a recruiting firm in the restaurant industry. They can help identify your talents and help you chose the right management position to launch your new career

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