Restaurant Management: Do You Have What it Takes?

Its been a while since we looked at culinary career options. Here's one many may have overlooked.

Have your ever considered a career in restaurant management? If so, you might be making a smart choice. Whether you work in fine dining, fast food, or somewhere in between, restaurant management allows individuals with multiple talents and skills to enjoy a rewarding, dynamic and fast-paced work setting.

While in decades past, many restaurant managers began in positions such as server or cook/chef and worked their way up, today it is becoming more commonplace for food establishments to seek out candidates who hold a 2-year associates degree or 4-year bachelor's degree in hospitality management. If you're serious about a career in restaurant management and don't want to wait years to begin making a decent full-time salary, then consider obtaining your degree from a reputable culinary institution that offers this course of study.

Restaurant management requires a diverse mix of talents and personal strengths. First and foremost, this is a demanding industry that requires a very strong work ethic. Expect to work long hours including weekends and holidays, and fill in when employees call out or fail to show up. You will be required to be on your feet nearly all the time, so that's something to consider as well. Other important skills to have:

Business and finance skills. Many restaurant managers are responsible for budgeting, bookkeeping, managing inventory costs, running/analyzing reports that are used to track profits and expenses, and so forth. Planning skills factor heavily into this job description as well.

Management skills. The restaurant manager oversees the food establishment's daily operation. He or she is typically in charge of hiring and training new employees, scheduling the work week, keeping existing employees motivated and updated on changes in policy and/or procedure. Restaurant managers hand out weekly paychecks, settle workplace disputes, and oversee that all shifts are covered and jobs are being carried out in an adequate fashion.

Versatility. Anyone who works as a restaurant manager should possess enough job knowledge on all aspects of the restaurant to be able to easily fill in in an employee's absence - whether it's cook, chef, dishwasher, host, maitre di or wait staff.

Customer services skills. Restaurant managers are expected to make the rounds during normal hours, ensure that the service and food meet the satisfaction of the customers, and that everything in the dining room is clean, orderly, and running smoothly. If customer complaints arise, the restaurant manager is expected to address and resolve such issues calmly and efficiently.

Because of the high turnover rate in the restaurant and hospitality industry, restaurant managers are in fairly high demand. If you're a hardworking individual who enjoys dealing with people in a fast-paced, food service setting and excels at multi-tasking, then restaurant management could very well be a rewarding and lucrative career for you.

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