Restaurant Manager Responsibilities 101

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Restaurant manager responsibilities are essential to keeping any restaurant running smoothly. Though duties can vary a little based on your restaurant’s type, managers are always responsible for handling business operations and guiding staff.

This guide will explain all of a manager’s tasks more thoroughly so that you can put together the right management team for your business.

If you’re new to management, this guide will help you get a handle on what’s generally expected of your role.

(If you’re looking for information on our Restaurant Manager POS integration, click here.)

Overview of restaurant manager responsibilities

Though responsibilities will vary somewhat by restaurant concept and role, managers should be prepared to handle the following:

Scheduling and payroll

One of the essential parts of all restaurant manager job descriptions is handling scheduling and payroll.

This can include:

  • Creating schedules
  • Allocating staff and assigning shifts (making sure the “aces in their places”)
  • Time tracking
  • Timesheet approval
  • Payroll management
  • Overtime monitoring
  • Labor cost analysis
  • Approving time off requests
  • Filling open shifts
  • Approving shift swaps

A manager performs a primarily administrative job that involves assigning tasks and to-do items to staff. They need to make sure the restaurant always has enough employees present for the completion of essential tasks.

After creating the schedule, managers need to pay employees for the hours worked. This can involve allowing for things like overtime or holiday pay.

Even when companies use automated software for scheduling (which we do recommend), there are still many things that need attention.

Life happens, so managers will need to find people to cover shifts at the last minute. The right software will make it easier to notify the team and find volunteers.

Shift assignments also have a huge effect on team morale. Managers may need to handle disagreements about who gets certain shifts. Addressing staff concerns about scheduling can help keep everyone happy.

Customer service

A smiling server in an apron helping a customer at a cafe.

A restaurant manager’s responsibilities might not seem quite as customer-oriented as a server’s.

However, the manager actually has a very important role when it comes to keeping customers happy and coming back. A good manager thinks of ways to create a more pleasant dining experience.

Responsibilities include:

  • Resolving issues
  • Addressing complaints
  • Providing assistance
  • Special requests
  • Checking in with customers

When anything goes wrong, customers may want to escalate their complaint and speak to a manager. Since managers end up handling irate customers, they need excellent customer service skills.

Managers need to be able to stay patient and soothe ruffled feathers. They’ll need to find solutions to problems. Good customer service can ensure that a disgruntled customer doesn’t end up leaving a bad review. This is true even if you’re running your restaurant from your own home.

Hiring and training

One of a manager’s most essential duties is making sure that there are enough people to keep the restaurant running. This can include:

  • Writing job descriptions
  • Advertising job openings
  • Screening candidates
  • Interviewing applicants
  • Onboarding new hires
  • Training new hires
  • Standard operating procedures
  • Performance evaluation
  • Coaching and mentoring
  • Team building exercises
  • Employee retention strategies
  • Cross-training initiatives
  • Compliance training

Managers need to find the right number of employees and create job postings. They’ll need to check responses to job ads, conduct interviews and hire the best workers.

Managers have to conduct performance reviews, discipline staff and train staff, too.

Furthermore, managers have the responsibility to see that the restaurant retains good staff.

Staff retention can be tough because it requires keeping employees happy and productive. Managers will need strong interpersonal skills and the ability to help employees feel valued and supported.

Accounting and finances

The big-picture finances are usually handled by the business owner. However, a manager is the one who handles day-to-day accounting, such as:

  • Managing cash
  • Running reports
  • Analyzing expenses
  • Controlling costs

Managers need to keep track of all costs, including supplies, payroll and more. They also have to track the money coming into the restaurant and consider ways of increasing profits.

Altogether, a manager is responsible for handling the restaurant’s budget and providing financial reports. They’re required to make tough decisions about restaurant costs. Managers need to do everything they can to keep the business profitable. Because you place so much trust in a manager, you need someone with years of experience in handling finances.

Health and safety standards

A table with several cooking ingredients on it and a hand holding a card that reads, "Food Safety."

Restaurants have to carefully follow all sorts of guidelines on handling food, cleaning dishes and more.

The restaurant’s manager bears much of the responsibility for getting everyone to follow health and safety laws.

Responsibilities include:

  • Following safety protocols
  • Training employees
  • Conducting risk assessments
  • Emergency response training
  • Maintaining hygiene standards
  • Inspections and audits
  • Equipment maintenance
  • Accident prevention
  • Incident reporting
  • Adhering to health regulations

They have to stay up to date on the latest guidelines. This can require taking training courses or getting certifications in certain subjects.

In addition to knowing about these guidelines, managers also have to make sure the rules are actually being followed. They need to track employees carefully and identify any problems.

Managers are also responsible for alerting employees to any changes and training new employees.


As part of their duty of keeping a restaurant profitable, managers have to market the restaurant. This can include using things like social media, television or print media.

Managers may also be responsible for:

  • Setting and meeting business goals
  • Improving sales
  • Building relationships in the community
  • Implementing sales and marketing plans

For example, managers may need to come up with promotional strategies, like limited specials or coupons.

Though managers often work with business owners to create broad marketing plans using specific email marketing for restaurants, the manager is the one who handles day-to-day tasks, like scheduling when an ad runs.

Restaurant marketing duties can vary a lot depending on the type of restaurant you are running.

At a fast food franchise, marketing can often involve things like researching the brand’s latest campaigns and staying up to date with brand logos.

Meanwhile, for a fine dining restaurant, marketing can mean participating in local food and wine festivals or inviting local celebrities to the restaurant.

Food and beverage inventory

Another important manager responsibility is keeping the restaurant fully stocked. They need to find food and beverage ingredients that are of the appropriate quality and within budget. The right inventory choices keep your restaurant running smoothly.

Responsibilities in this area can include:

  • Inventory tracking
  • Supplier management
  • Ordering supplies
  • Receiving deliveries
  • Storage organization
  • Food rotation
  • Waste management
  • Cost analysis
  • Menu planning
  • Forecasting demand
  • Pricing strategies

At a fast food place with a limited menu, this is still a tricky task. It gets even more complicated at fine dining restaurants with seasonal menus.

This duty requires a manager to have extensive knowledge of their restaurant. A manager will have to fully understand the menu and work with the cooks to create a list of necessary ingredients. They need to keep track of customer demands so that they don’t order too much or too little of any item.

To manage inventory in a cost-effective way, a manager may need to negotiate prices or search for a budget-friendly supplier. It’s also important to safeguard the supply chain against possible disruptions.

Restaurant manager responsibilities made easy

TimeForge makes it easier to handle all of a restaurant manager’s responsibilities. Our labor management software makes employee scheduling, workplace compliance, and task management a breeze.

To see how TimeForge can help you and your team, contact us today.

For more tips on managing a restaurant, check out our Restaurant Management eBook.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the key responsibilities of a restaurant manager?

As a restaurant manager, your main responsibilities include overseeing daily operations, managing staff, ensuring customer satisfaction, maintaining quality standards, and achieving financial goals.

How do restaurant managers handle staffing and scheduling?

Restaurant managers handle staffing by hiring and training employees, creating work schedules, and ensuring adequate coverage during peak hours.

They also manage employee performance, address any issues, and coordinate with HR for payroll and benefits.

What role does a restaurant manager play in ensuring food safety and hygiene?

Restaurant managers are responsible for enforcing and maintaining strict food safety and hygiene standards. This includes monitoring food storage, handling procedures, cleanliness of the kitchen, and ensuring compliance with health department regulations.

How do restaurant managers handle customer complaints and ensure a positive dining experience?

Restaurant managers are trained to handle customer complaints professionally and promptly. They listen to customer concerns, offer solutions, and take necessary steps to resolve issues. They also focus on training their staff to provide exceptional service and create a positive dining experience.

What is the role of a restaurant manager in maintaining profitability?

Restaurant managers play a crucial role in maintaining profitability by controlling costs, optimizing inventory management, analyzing sales data, and implementing effective pricing strategies.

They also monitor financial performance, identify areas for improvement, and make informed decisions to maximize revenue and minimize expenses.

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