Understanding the Basics of Restaurant Management

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Congratulations! You have moved up in the restaurant industry and are now managing the restaurant. This promotion is amazing for you in many ways, but there can be some blunders that appear from time to time. Managing a restaurant is not always an easy task, it comes with a lot of responsibility and high expectations to perform the job in a satisfactory way. So, what are you supposed to do when things get crazy?

It is important to understand the basics of restaurant management, and learn how to implement them into your plan of action for your restaurant and staff. One good place to start is by looking at these 15 restaurant management tips to improve the way you work. Once you have had a chance to glance over that information, you will be better equipped to work effectively. But, maybe you still do not understand what the basics behind proper restaurant management are, so let us take a look at some breakdowns of the new role you have gotten into. After all, a strong manager is an essential component of a successful restaurant.

Customer Service

You have heard the old saying, “the customer is always right.” Today, that is still true and is a huge focus of many successful and competent restaurant managers. Even if the customer has a complaint that seems incredibly disagreeable, handling the situation professionally and with grace and poise will determine whether the customer chooses to patronize your facility again. If you want to avoid mistakes that could inevitably be costly to your business, it is important to learn how to avoid mistakes and consider these options:

  1. Learn to effectively deal with customer complaints to keep them in your customer base

  2. Take full advantage of advertising tactics for maximum exposure

  3. Consider new ways to increase sales with promotions, catering, new menu options, and more

  4. Motivate and encourage staff members so that they perform at their highest level

What Your Staff Should Expect

In every aspect of your restaurant, hiring the best people to fill each role is essential to helping your business run smoothly. From waitstaff to bussers, every single role in your establishment is important and should be treated as such. When interviewing potential employees, always be sure to check references as this is an effective way to determine if the person will be a good fit for the position in question. It is also a good idea to have them work a trial period before permanently hiring in order to avoid potential pitfalls. Workers should not only be skilled in their job tasks, but they should also have strong interpersonal skills since working in a restaurant requires a lot of communication with others – including other staff members. 

It is a good idea to offer incentives for good work. This keeps your employees motivated and feeling important in their role. Recognition of good employees is one of the best ways to keep them around as long as possible.


As the manager, a share of the advertising is likely to fall onto your shoulders, so advertising your restaurant well is very important. Keeping customers happy is an effective way to rely on word-of-mouth for growth in sales, but constantly looking for ways to gain exposure is key.

Having an online presence in today’s world is valuable to your success. These generally include a website and social media accounts. The website should feature your restaurant in a good light, so be sure to put time into it to make it aesthetically pleasing. It should contain items such as hours, menu, location, reviews, photos, and promotions.

When it comes to a social media presence, the rules tend to vary from place to place. The best practice is to use social media to run promotions and share experiences with potential and current guests. Consider creating a hashtag specific to your business so people can find your posts more easily.

Monitoring Expenses

Cash flow is the term used to describe the amount of cash coming in versus the amount that is going out of your business. This is something that you should be monitoring daily, weekly, and monthly, as finances are what keep the business running at the end of the day. It is important to understand this concept to avoid any financial blunders. Having a point-of-sale (POS) system is one of the easiest ways to track sales, cashflow, and food inventory. This makes the day-today restaurant management requirements much simpler and helps cut food costs and payroll. It also allows you to track the popularity of menu items so you can figure out where to make cuts in that department. There is no point in having a huge inventory of something that just is not selling in your restaurant. 

More Sales

This is probably one of the most important things you can do as a restaurant manager. Having a daily business review report gives you the ability to build a history of the business. It helps to analyze sale trends, payroll costs, and customer counts as well as predicting future sales. Many restaurants offer catering, and this generally comes with some specific and helpful clientele. Expanding into catering for large and small events is another great way to get your name out there while making sales and increasing the word-of-mouth advertising that is important for your success.

It is also a great idea to add feature promotions in order to increase sales. This can include things like happy hour or two-for-one dinner specials. This is generally something that you will want to create specifically to your customer base, no one solution is right for everyone. Food prices change pretty frequently, so the cost of running your business is likely to change as well. Your menus should have prices that keep food costs low and bring in high profits. 

Find Ways to Cut Costs

Your boss will thank you if you are able to find ways to save money across the board. Looking for places that you can afford to cut costs not only looks good for you, it helps the restaurant in the long run. Switching to energy-efficient light bulbs and low-flow faucets help save money on energy and water. Take some time to look around your restaurant to find hotspots that can require less cost without putting a dent in customer service. You may be saving money by switching to chairs that cost less, but customers may not return if the experience causes them discomfort. This is an example of how to weigh out the pros and cons of the decision before actually making any cuts. Because, like we’ve noted many times, the customer experience is the most important thing.

At the end of the day, managing a restaurant involves a lot of different responsibilities. From hiring and firing staff to tracking sales and learning how to advertise, there is a lot to learn before you are to be considered completely ready to take over. As a restaurant manager, it is up to you to make sure operations run effectively and efficiently to provide the best possible service to every customer.

About Becky



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