7 Key Traits to Look For in a Restaurant Manager

Author profile picture
Geri Mileva
June 21, 2023
A restaurant manager is holding a tablet as a server holding food smiles behind him.

A restaurant manager plays a crucial role in ensuring that your dining establishment operates efficiently and lucratively. Although the quality of the food served in a restaurant highly determines its success or failure, many operational and administrative factors rely on a good and efficient leader.

The multifaceted role of restaurant managers is rooted in their ability to oversee and organize essential components within the restaurant. They have the skills to foster a positive work environment, motivate and educate staff, and improve productivity. They uphold quality standards, address customer issues, and cultivate a good reputation for the company.

The Key Roles of a Restaurant Manager

The success of a restaurant depends significantly on the efficiency of its team and the leadership of its manager. The restaurant manager is tasked with managing all aspects of the establishment to guarantee its profitability and success. They have a significant influence on shaping the company's culture and ensuring customer satisfaction.

The role requires a combination of technical and interpersonal skills to effectively handle multiple duties. It encompasses leveraging innovative methods to enhance profits and sustain a strong market position. The job requires a wide range of expertise, including financial management, marketing skills, supply chain knowledge, and employee management abilities. A good restaurant manager adopts the right business models, practices, and strategies. They also invest wisely in reliable restaurant management software and systems like payroll, POS, and CRM technology. After all, 73% of diners feel that restaurant technology improves overall customer satisfaction.

Moreover, a restaurant manager supervises daily operations, inventory management, staff recruitment and training, and scheduling. They are present during meal service and work the floor during their shift, serving as a valuable source of guidance and support for their team.

How Many Managers Does a Restaurant Need?

The number of managers required to run a restaurant is determined by multiple variables, such as its size, type, organizational structure, and scale of operations. In general, a dining establishment must at least have one manager, sometimes referred to as a general manager, who oversees the day-to-day activities and operation of the business.

However, multiple managers are usually employed by restaurant chains or large dining establishments to manage various domains and duties, ensuring that everything runs without a hitch, such as:

  • Kitchen Manager: handles the back-of-the-house operations, including food and kitchen prep
  • Dining Room Manager: supervises the front-of-the-house operations, including dining room prep and guest service
  • Bar Manager: handles the hiring process and logistics of the bar operations
  • Catering Manager: supervises the staffing, operations, and execution of the restaurant's catering services
  • Shift Manager: oversees operations and customer service when the general manager is off

The Average Salary of a Restaurant Manager

Being a restaurant manager can be a lucrative career, especially for those with years of experience. Even for entry-level, it’s a good industry to be a part of. The employment rate for food service managers is expected to increase by 10% between 2021 and 2031.

As per Payscale's data, an experienced manager can expect to earn an average annual salary of $50,066 USD. Restaurant managers with over 20 years of experience receive an average total compensation of $53,224 USD. An individual with less than a year of experience as an entry-level manager is estimated to earn a total compensation of $43,497 USD.

7 Traits That Make an Exceptional Restaurant Manager

Hiring a manager is a crucial step. There are tools that you can use to ensure that you employ the right person for the job. There are also guidelines and questions you can check out to guide you in your choice. When hiring a restaurant manager, here are 7 traits that need to be prioritized.

1. Leadership Skills

Possessing leadership skills is essential to effectively guide and motivate a team toward achieving the restaurant's goals. A manager with strong leadership abilities can communicate goals, enforce protocols, and motivate their team toward optimal performance. Leadership skills also encompass making well-informed decisions, having strong time management skills, assigning responsibilities, and adeptly handling conflicts.

Leadership skills enable managers to efficiently overcome challenges, manage pressure-filled situations, and serve as role models, resulting in seamless operations and exceptional levels of customer satisfaction.

A restaurant manager and a server are high-fiving.

2. Organizational Skills

A manager needs excellent organizational abilities to manage every aspect of the establishment, which includes dealing with multiple tasks and timelines. They are responsible for coordinating schedules, monitoring inventory, tackling financial management, and ensuring smooth operations. The individual's strong organizational skills enable them to prioritize tasks, manage their time, and maintain a well-structured work environment. Staying organized can help managers prevent shortages, minimize waste, and streamline processes.

3. Customer Service Orientation

A restaurant's success hinges on the satisfaction of its customers. The manager's ability to provide excellent customer service, be attentive to guests' needs, and handle any issues or complaints with grace and professionalism are crucial to achieving this goal. They know how to prioritize customer satisfaction by effectively addressing complaints and creating a welcoming environment. When a restaurant's managers adopt a customer-centric approach, they can establish positive relationships with their patrons, promote recurring visits, and amp up the establishment's reputation. 

A restaurant manager is chatting with a couple of customers.

4. Communication Skills

Effective communication is necessary for a manager to ensure smooth operations every day. This includes communication with staff, customers, and suppliers. The manager must ensure instructions, expectations, and feedback are understood and carried out accurately. Managers need to have active listening skills to effectively handle concerns and conflicts to create a work environment that’s conducive to positivity, teamwork, and excellent customer service. 

5. Problem-Solving Abilities

In the fast-paced restaurant industry, unforeseen problems can often arise. One crucial trait a restaurant manager must possess is adept problem-solving skills. They should be able to think quickly on their feet, assess complex situations without getting personal, and come up with practical solutions. A problem-solving manager has a better scope and understanding of how to handle customer complaints, staffing issues, operational delays, and other unforeseen events.

6. Financial Literacy

A manager must have the financial expertise to efficiently handle the restaurant's operations. To sustain profitability, they must have an excellent grasp of budgeting, cost control, understanding their sales vs labor, and revenue management. Financial literacy is crucial for managers, as it allows them to accurately evaluate financial statements, make well-informed pricing decisions, manage expenses, and maximize resource allocation.

A restaurant manager is reviewing financial documents.

7. Attention to Detail

A keen eye for detail is necessary to maintain a high standard of quality and consistency across the board. Restaurant managers need to give utmost attention to preparation, presentation, and service to meet or exceed their customers' expectations. The role also involves monitoring food safety, cleanliness, and compliance with regulations. A detail-oriented manager can maintain the restaurant's high standards and improve the overall dining experience.

Final Thoughts on Requirements for a Restaurant Manager

A restaurant without a restaurant manager is like a ship without a captain. The success of a restaurant can be greatly impacted by hiring a competent manager who can effectively oversee daily operations. 

Push understands that the recruitment and onboarding processes can present challenges. As such, we offer an easy-to-use platform to help you recruit a restaurant manager who can contribute to your business’s growth and success. Book a demo with Push to witness firsthand how our platform can streamline your hiring and recruitment processes.

Table of content

June 2023


You Might Also Like

An owner of a restaurant LLC is holding a clipboard in his restaurant.

LLC Basics For Restaurateurs: From Formation To Operation

A restaurant employee is conducting inventory management.

An Unexpected Path to Increased Profitability: Linking People Management and Inventory Management

A coffee shop manager is cross-training a team member.

5 Benefits of Cross-Training Your Team


Want to know more about how you could work more in on your business?

Save money with this easy all-in-one restaurant management tool


payroll and onboarding


per week



Don't take our word for it, hear what our customers have to say

“In the labor numbers, we were reporting about a $300 to $400 difference than what we were getting through Push!”

-Tara Hardie, ZZA Hospitality Group, 16 locations

Capterra's review score for Push
G2's review score for Push
Software Advice's review score for Push
Google's review score for Push
G2 easiest to use spring 2022 badge for Push
Easiest To Use
Spring 2022
G2 high performer spring 2022 badge for Push
High Performer Spring 2022
G2 best usability spring 2022 badge for Push
Best Usability Spring 2022
G2 easiest setup spring 2022 badge for Push
Easiest Setup
Spring 2022
Crozdesk trusted vendor high market presence badge for Push
Trusted Vendor
Crozdesk quality choice top-ranked solution badge for Push
Quality Choice

Easily and quickly scale your restaurant with the all-in-one solution

Book a Demo Call!