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Restaurant operations managers typically work for companies that operate multiple restaurants, coffee shops or other food service establishments. They are usually based at regional headquarters, from where they manage several operational aspects of the restaurants, from budgeting and procurement to staffing and training. Ultimately, these professionals are responsible for the operational efficiency and profitability of the restaurants.
Using the Skills
Strong analytical and problem-solving skills are common among competent restaurant operations managers. When evaluating existing customer-service standards, for example, they must analyze customers' feedback, identify areas of concern and find more effective ways to improve service delivery. Excellent multitasking and budgeting skills are essential, as these managers must oversee workflows in multiple restaurants, and effectively allocate operating funds to all the establishments. Interpersonal and communication skills are a must too, as restaurant operations managers must keep close links with suppliers or vendors, ensuring they deliver services according to contractual agreements.
Restaurant operations managers ensure that the restaurants are adequately staffed with properly trained workers. They oversee the process of hiring senior staff such as food service managers, and delegate the task of hiring and supervising kitchen and cleaning workers to these managers. Operations managers closely monitor the operating performance of the restaurants, often stepping in to address performance hindrances. For example, if customers wait for too long to be served after making orders, the operations managers can instruct the restaurant heads to hire more food servers.
Overseeing Restaurant Branding and Other Duties
When a company establishes a new restaurant, the operations manager oversees its branding, ensuring it has the same feel and look as other restaurants in its portfolio. This involves supervising interior decorating activities such as painting and arrangement of seats. He then can invite food critics to review the facility or implement another promotional strategy.
Other duties of restaurant operations managers include ensuring the restaurants comply with relevant food safety regulations and safety standards, purchasing supplies such as dining accessories and cooking ingredients, and making sure the suppliers make timely deliveries to all the restaurants.
Pursuing an associate or bachelor’s degree in restaurant management is the first step to becoming a restaurant operations manager. The credential should enable you to land a supervisory or managerial role in a food service establishment, where you should gain several years of work experience. Supplementing your experience and undergraduate training with a certificate in advanced restaurant management can make you an irresistible candidate for this job.
As an experienced restaurant operations manager, you can pursue a master’s degree in business administration to boost your chances of becoming a general manager.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, general and operations managers of restaurants and other eating places earned an average annual salary of $71,740 in 2013.
Based in New York City, Alison Green has been writing professionally on career topics for more than a decade. Her work has appeared in “U.S. News Weekly” magazine, “The Career” magazine and “Human Resources Journal.” Green holds a master's degree in finance from New York University.