Key Skills to Being a Successful Restaurant Manager

There are many important traits that a restaurant or food service manager must have. Bryant & Stratton’s hospitality management associates degree is designed to build on those traits to develop the skills needed to be a restaurant manager.

What Do Restaurant Managers Do?

Restaurant owners and managers oversee the operations of a restaurant to ensure it is running smoothly and effectively. They organize schedules, hire and train staff, work with kitchen staff, and address any concerns that guests may have about their experience. Over time, they must also spot industry trends so they can apply them as necessary to run a successful business.

A career in the restaurant industry can be rewarding, especially if you like working with people, serving good food and a fast-paced environment. Many people get their start in restaurants through entry-level jobs as waiters/waitresses, hosts, chefs or even bussing tables. Luckily for those people, the industry is known for hiring from within. But, you’ll need more than experience to be considered for management positions. Most senior positions in a restaurant require a restaurant or hospitality management degree. You’ll also need to demonstrate some key skills related to a restaurant manager's duties, like a knack for numbers, marketing and leadership.

As you consider a career in restaurant management, it’s important to gather as much career information as possible so you can make sure this career path is a good fit for you. Here are a few parts of the job you may not have thought about before.

4 Essential Restaurant Management Skills 


You don’t have to be an accountant or bookkeeper, but being comfortable with numbers and basic math are important to managing a restaurant. As the manager your responsibilities include being in charge of inventory management for food ingredients and beverage items. Part of this job also includes knowing when to restock items. You will also be in charge of financial success of the restaurant, so having an understanding of cash flow, sales and controlling expenditures is a must. Lastly, you will keep and monitor payroll records for all employees. A quality hospitality management degree program will help you acquire the skills you need to successfully manage the finances of a restaurant.


A restaurant can’t be profitable without customers and part of your job as a restaurant manager will be getting those customers in the door. So you’ll need to understand how to market your restaurant. Some of the decisions you might face are where to advertise, when to run specials, how often to change your menus and what other offers you can create to drum up business. You will also want to have a deep understanding of who your competitors are and what they are doing to attract your customer base.


Any type of food service requires a sizeable staff and as the restaurant manager it will be your responsibility to make sure employees to do their job. A good manager is someone who can communicate with employees, show they are a team leader, make tough decisions, provide (and take) constructive criticism and inspire employees to do their best. You’ll need all of these skills as you hire, train, promote and even fire your staff. Remember every employee has the potential to influence the experience of your customers and whether or not they will give you repeat business, so having a dedicated and enthusiastic staff is important to your restaurant’s success.


Keeping your restaurant in line with health and food codes takes an eye for detail and as a restaurant manager you will be charged with making sure everything is up to code. If you are earning a hospitality management degree you will have a good working knowledge of the rules and regulations but once you’re working it will be up to you watch for potential violations.

Anyone interested in being a restaurant manager will need training and skills in several different areas of business including marketing, management, sales, operations and finance. Bryant & Stratton College’s associates degree in hospitality management – restaurant and hotel services prepares students to be successful in the restaurant industry. If you are interested in earning a hospitality management degree at Bryant & Stratton College, call 1.888.447.3528 to speak with an admissions representative.

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