Restaurant Manager

    If you are wondering how to become a restaurant manager, below are tips and advice on training for and beginning careers in this area of the catering, hospitality and travel industry, as well as job prospects in the UK.

    The Job Description
    Restaurant and catering managers are responsible for making sure customers are satisfied with the quality of food and service provided in eating places.

    As a restaurant manager, you could work in hotels, small independent restaurants or those part of a large chain, and fast-food outlets. Your role would include being front of house, welcoming customers to the restaurant and showing them to their table.

    As a catering manager you would work in larger catering operations, such as business or factory canteens, hospitals or schools. You would have less contact with customers than a restaurant manager, and spend more time behind the scenes.

    Typical responsibilities:

    planning menus
    advertising vacancies and recruiting staff
    making sure all staff are fully trained
    keeping staff motivated to provide the highest standard of service
    organising shift patterns and rotas
    managing stock control and budgets
    running the business in line with strict hygiene, health and safety guidelines.
    Your aim would be to achieve the highest standards in customer service and food quality.

    Person Specification
    The key personal attributes of good restaurant managers include:

    tact and diplomacy
    the ability to motivate and manage staff
    strong customer service skills
    strong communication skills
    the ability to keep calm in a crisis
    a well organised and methodical approach.

    How to become a catering manager
    You may be able to start work as a trainee manager, for example with a small or independent restaurant, if you have a good general standard of education such as GCSEs (A-C) in English and maths, or a BTEC National Certificate in Hospitality,

    It is also possible to work your way up to restaurant or catering manager after starting as a waiter or waitress, chef, counter service assistant or kitchen assistant. In these jobs, you may be able to do an NVQ in Hospitality, Multi-skilled Hospitality Services or Food and Drink Service – these qualifications, combined with your experience, could prepare you for a management position.

    Many hotel chains run management trainee schemes that can lead to restaurant or catering management. Fast-food chains, catering companies and large restaurants are also likely to run similar schemes.

    To get onto a management trainee scheme, you will often need a qualification such as a foundation degree, BTEC HNC/HND or degree, although some employers will take you on with A levels or a BTEC National award. Subjects like hospitality business management, culinary arts management, and hotel and restaurant management would be particularly useful. Check with colleges and universities for course entry details.

    Training and Development
    Once you are working as a manager or trainee manager, you will usually receive on-the-job training. You could support this training by working towards a qualification such as an NVQ Level 3 in Hospitality Supervision.

    If you are a graduate with a degree not related to hospitality, you could take a one-year BA (Hons) conversion degree course in Service Sector Management. If your degree is in a relevant subject, you may further your career by taking a postgraduate diploma or Masters in hospitality management.

    As a restaurant manager, you may be encouraged to apply for a personal licence for the sale of alcohol. In England and Wales, restaurants serving alcohol are required by law (since 2005) to have both a premises licence and a named personal licence holder (usually the manager). To apply for a personal licence, you need to meet four criteria. You must:

    be at least age 18
    not, within the last five years, have had a personal licence forfeited
    have an accredited licensing qualification (or be a ‘person of prescribed description’)
    have no convictions for relevant or foreign offences.
    Three awarding bodies offer the approved Level 2 National Certificate for Personal Licence Holders qualification; the British Institute of Innkeeping Awarding Body (BIIAB), GOAL, and GQAL).

    The Pay (a rough guide)
    Starting salaries for trainee restaurant or catering managers can be between £16,000 and £20,000 a year.
    With experience, this could rise to around £30,000.

    Job Prospects
    Many of the UKs restaurants are owner-managed or run by the owner in partnership with a manager. With experience and financial backing, you could set-up and run your own restaurant.

    As a catering manager, you would find job opportunities in business, industry, education, the health service and the Armed Forces. With experience you could you could start-up your own contract catering business.

    You could use your experience as a restaurant or catering manager to move into areas such as hotel management or regional or area management.

    Useful hospitality, catering and travel industry resources:
    Developing Hospitality Ltd
    Tel: 0845 170 0001

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