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Restaurant Manager Career Ladder

Restaurant managers play an important role in food service organizations. After working as a restaurant manager, some professionals may wish to seek a direct role in food preparation or more responsibility in terms of management roles.

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Career Growth Opportunities for Restaurant Managers

Restaurant managers work within food service organizations to ensure that the dining experience lives up to the customer's expectations. Restaurant managers oversee employees, food preparation, and customer service. They typically enter this role with a high school diploma and experience in the restaurant industry. After working as a restaurant manager, some professionals may wish to grow their careers. Some may wish to take a more direct role in food preparation by seeking training as a chef. Others may opt to pursue additional responsibilities in management by becoming a food and beverage director, district manager, or supply chain manager. Information about these opportunities is presented below.

Job Title Median Salary Job Growth (2016-2026)* Education or Experience
Chefs $45,950 (2017)* 10%) Apprenticeship or post-secondary program
Food and Beverage Director $65,831 (2018)** 9%(food service managers) Bachelor's degree and experience
District Manager $65,443 (2018)** 9%(food service managers) Bachelor's degree and experience
Supply Chain Manager $81,453 (2018)** -3%(purchasing managers, buyers, and purchasing agents) Bachelor's degree and experience

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), **PayScale

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Career Information

Chef

Restaurant managers have overseen the entirety of operations in a restaurant. Some may wish to specialize in overseeing the kitchen, and undertake the role of a chef. Chefs are the leaders of the kitchen in restaurants. They develop the dishes that will be served, prepare food, and supervise the other employees in the kitchen. Chefs must consistently ensure that appropriate hygienic practices are followed. There are various routes to becoming a chef. The most common paths are seeking an apprenticeship to learn under an experienced chef or attending a culinary arts program at a technical school or community college.

Food and Beverage Director

Some restaurant managers may wish to move into an executive position in a company. These individuals may consider working towards a role as a food and beverage director. Food and beverage directors are responsible for all facets of the company that deal with the serving of food and beverages. They are responsible for purchasing and must be able to ensure that a menu offers a wide range of menu items that appeals to guests and keeps food trends in mind. Food and beverage managers must have strong financial abilities and be able to analyze cost and sales ratios. They are also responsible for the hiring and training of new employees. This position is considered a management role, and a bachelor's degree in addition to several years of experience in restaurant management is required.

District Managers

Some restaurant managers may wish to oversee a range of restaurants. These individuals may wish to consider a career as a district manager. District managers work closely with the general managers of restaurants to provide oversight for several restaurants within a specific territory. They monitor operations to ensure that they are in compliance with company standards in a range of areas, such as sanitation and customer service. They review budget results from their restaurants. District managers typically have a bachelor's degree and experience in the field.

Supply Chain Manager

Restaurant managers play an important role in ensuring that their restaurants are properly stocked and supplied for service. Those who enjoy this aspect of the position may examine a role as a supply chain manager. These professionals are common in franchised restaurants. Supply chain managers are primarily responsible for purchasing operations in their businesses. They ensure that inventory is complete and maintained at an optimal level. The common requirement to move into this role would be a bachelor's degree and several years of restaurant and purchasing experience.

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