How To Manage A Restaurant | 4 mins read

The Basics on How to Manage a Restaurant

the basics on how to manage a restaurant
Lauren Christiansen

By Lauren Christiansen

Introduction - The Basics on How to Manage a Restaurant

Difficult economic conditions aren't stopping motivated entrepreneurs from opening new diners. While COVID's impact has certainly been devastating to restaurant owners, thousands of takeout eateries are still taking the risk and opening anyway.

Because the restaurant industry is facing so many complex challenges, owners must do everything to cut costs and streamline operations. By employing several of these best practices, new business owners will increase the number of customers and generate profit. Read ahead for the top tips to manage a restaurant.

  • High operating expenses - 52%
  • Staffing - 51%
  • Effective restaurant training - 35%
  • Retaining team members - 32%
  • Number of restaurants that expect lower sales in 6 months - 83%

How to Manage a Restaurant Basics

Effective restaurant management is a challenging task for owners and restaurant staff. Restaurant managers need to schedule team members, monitor the restaurant menu, minimize labor costs, and optimize inventory management processes. Small business diner owners also monitor the cash flow and budget properly to keep food costs at a minimum.

Most importantly, a restaurant manager should make sure that staff members provide the best customer service and offer a great customer experience. Managing restaurant processes and food safety requires a set of best practices. These include

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1. How to Manage a Restaurant Offer Good Customer Service

Effective restaurant management includes offering better customer service than the competition. While many principles are evolving in the restaurant industry, the customer is still always right. To manage restaurant customers, owners should

  • Handle customer complaints quickly to ensure they return
  • Handle staff job expectations to make sure they perform well
  • Ensure customers receive the seating preferences they want as much as possible
  • Provide the best food and customer experience
  • Take time to talk to customers and make them feel welcome
  • Offer menu items that the target customer base wants
  • Make sure food cost is low so prices are fair to customers

2. How to Manage a Restaurant Set Job Expectations

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To hire the correct team members, restaurant owners need to check references and optimize the onboarding process. Team members should have all of the required skills to perform their jobs. They also need to be good communicators, organized, and dedicated to show up when the owner schedules them.

Managers need to keep communication lines free so employees are confident enough to voice feedback or complaints. It's also critical for the manager to train employees properly by implementing a rigorous and standardized program.

  • Know exactly what type of employee you want
  • Restaurant managers shoudl set a multiple interview process
  • Look in the right places for quality staff members
  • Don't rush the recruitment process
  • Best practices include promoting from within to increase morale

3. How to Manage a Restaurant Advertise

Managing restaurant processes requires employing all avenues to market to customers such as social media, promotions, or online ads. Owners can also organically grow the day-day restaurant business when they offer good customer service.

A good customer experience improves the odds that patrons will return and/or tell their friends about the wonderful time they had. It's also critical to design an easy use, intuitive website that includes pictures of both food, beverage items.

Online employee scheduling software that makes shift planning effortless.
Try it free for 14 days.

4. How to Manage a Restaurant Monitor Cash Flow

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Cash flow is the amount of money that comes in each day/week/month vs. the amount spent to maintain operations. Managers that use a POS system handle inventory, monitor cash flow and view daily sales. This decreases the amount of workload, minimizes food expenses, and cuts labor costs.

Because there aren't any overpayments or inaccuracies, managers decrease payroll expenses when they use a point sale software system. Managers view all of the financial information each day in the back-house office to keep sensitive information confidential.

5. How to Manage a Restaurant Increase Sales

Managers invest in an automated software solution and other tools to collect sales data each day and review findings. This helps assess patterns, the cost of payroll, the number of patrons each day, and forecast future earnings.

To increase sales further, business owners should consider offering catering services, promotions, or happy hours. The cost of food is always changing, so owners need to regularly assess what to charge patrons. To price items in a way that continues to attract customers, managers must ensure consumers receive value for their purchases.

6. How to Manage a Restaurant Decrease Costs

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There are many ways to decrease operating costs and add to the bottom line. Managers can switch to better light bulbs, use electricity wisely, or cut back on labor expenses.


It's important to chip away at expenses without harming the customer experience. For example, an owner may purchase less expensive furniture for the front house area because few people will notice it anyway.

Owners should collaborate with other stakeholders and use an automated software solution to pinpoint wastage and cut costs.

  • Calculate food costs accurately
  • Be consistent when counting inventory
  • Work with food vendors to decrease costs
  • Join a group purchasing organization
  • Implement restaurant portion control

How to Manage a Restaurant - Key Takeaways

In conclusion, here are the basics on how to manage a restaurant

  • Managers need to provide the best customer service and train employees properly to ensure a high return rate.
  • Job expectations should be set in stone and easy to understand to hire the best workforce. It's important to review resumes, confirm references, and optimize the training process.
  • Advertising is a critical requirement of restaurant management. This may include posting on social platforms, offering promotions, or running an ad on TV.
  • Managers should monitor cash flow and cut back on frivolous expenses. It's also important to find unique ways to increase sales and decrease costs without hurting customer satisfaction.

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