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The amount of effort necessary to successfully run a restaurant typically requires the combined effort of several employees, particularly the front-of-house and kitchen managers. Managers in the front of the house are in charge of hosts, waiters, bartenders and any other worker that comes in contact with customers. The job entails supervising only part of the restaurant, yet the front-of-house manager's responsibilities are detailed, important and seemingly endless.
Many restaurant managers start in the food business through an entry-level opening, like cooking or serving, where they accumulate experience. Some obtain a Food Service Management Professional certification from the National Restaurant Association of Educational Foundation, although this is not a requirement. Successful front-of-house supervisors have good stamina and keen communication, organizational and leadership skills. They should be detail-oriented and promote excellent customer service.
Front-of-house managers are responsible for ensuring a smooth dining and bar experience for the customers. This includes timely seating and food delivery as well as proper attention from servers. A manager's goal is to have seats filled most of the time, requiring them to monitor meal durations, flip tables and manage the waiting list. They work to reduce the risk of losing or incorrectly taking a reservation while still providing a convenient booking means for customers.
Some front-of-the-house managers have a hand in marketing the establishment. In this role, they might oversee e-mail campaigns and promotions, or keep the restaurant's website updated and informative. Managers also train employees to anticipate and meet customer needs.
Although a college education is not a requirement, a rising number of employers is selecting applicants with a bachelor's degree in restaurant or hospitality management. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics includes front-of-the-house managers under the broader job category of food service managers. The average pay for food service managers in restaurants and other eating establishments was $56,010 a year as of May 2016. New Jersey is the highest-paying state for these occupations, with an average yearly salary of $75,880.
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