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What Food Service Managers Do

Food service managers are responsible for the daily operations of restaurants and other establishments that prepare and serve food and beverages to customers. Managers ensure that customers are satisfied with their dining experience. 


Food service managers typically do the following:

Besides coordinating activities among the kitchen and dining room staff, managers must ensure that customers are served properly and in a timely manner. They monitor orders in the kitchen and, if needed, they work with the chef to remedy any delays in service.

Food service managers are generally responsible for all functions of the business related to people. For example, most managers interview, hire, train, and, when necessary, fire employees. Finding and keeping good employees is a challenge for food service managers. Managers schedule work hours, making sure that enough workers are present to cover each shift—or managers may have to fill in themselves.

Food service managers plan and arrange for clean tablecloths and napkins, for heavy cleaning when the dining room and kitchen are not in use, for trash removal, and for pest control when needed.

In addition, managers do many administrative tasks, such as keeping employee records, preparing the payroll, and completing paperwork to comply with licensing, tax and wage, unemployment compensation, and Social Security laws. While they may give some of these tasks to an assistant manager or bookkeeper, most general managers are responsible for the accuracy of business records. Managers also keep records of supply and equipment purchases and ensure that suppliers are paid.

Many full-service restaurants have a management team that includes a general manager, one or more assistant managers, and an executive chef. Managers add up the cash and charge slips and secure them in a safe place. Many managers also lock up the establishment; check that ovens, grills, and lights are off; and switch on the alarm system.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition