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What is a restaurant assistant manager?

Restaurant assistant managers act as a bridge between the rest of the restaurant staff, coordinating the kitchen and front of house and implementing the owner’s standards of service.

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What is a restaurant assistant manager?

A restaurant assistant manager is the second-in-command of a restaurant, providing support to the rest of the restaurant’s management team – including the restaurant manager, kitchen manager, and bar manager.

Assistant managers have many responsibilities. Most notably they must be ready to jump in and help hosts, servers, or bartenders whenever they’re “in the weeds”.They juggle business operations, interpersonal communication, kitchen skills, and customer service.

Assistant restaurant managers must be able to balance the needs of employees and the needs of the restaurant by understanding the strengths and weaknesses of their staff, and identify ways to maximize efficiency throughout the restaurant. 

What are an assistant restaurant manager’s duties and responsibilities?

As a critical member of a restaurant’s leadership, a restaurant assistant manager’s duties and responsibilities include:

  • Supervising kitchen and service staff, and assisting customer service when needed
  • Tracking costs, sales, and losses
  • Recruiting, hiring and training new employees
  • Using restaurant management software 
  • Adhering to food safety standards
  • Implementing standard operating procedures for staff
  • Preparing schedules for kitchen and service staff
  • Coordinating between back- and front-of-house staff
  • Communicate with restaurant owners, managers, vendors, staff, and customers
  • Processing payroll
  • Calculating inventory and equipment needs and place orders
  • Gathering feedback from guests and finding ways to improve the dining experience

How much are restaurant assistant managers paid?

Restaurant assistant managers earn between $38,600 and $54,700 annually, on average. They are typically one of the few salaried employees of restaurants, and their earning potential depends on the sales volume at the restaurant for which they work.

What are the qualities that make a good restaurant assistant manager?

Good restaurant assistant managers have strong interpersonal communication skills and are detail-oriented. They keep restaurants running smoothly by supporting the rest of the restaurant’s management, prioritizing tasks for staff, and helping out where they are needed.

Restaurant assistant managers are competent leaders and are often responsible for setting a positive mood in pre-shift meetings. Assistant managers must be good at communicating updates and goals from owners to the rest of the staff.

Restaurant assistant managers are patient and able to handle issues between staff members or complaints from guests with ease. They are able to stay calm in high-pressure situations and are skilled at making the right decision on the fly.

How to become a restaurant assistant manager

Becoming a restaurant assistant manager requires the right combination of restaurant industry knowledge and management experience. Some restaurant assistant managers earn an education in a hospitality management program, while others work their way up through the ranks in restaurants.

If you currently work in a restaurant and are interested in becoming an assistant manager, show your restaurant’s current management team that you are passionate about the industry and want to learn more about their jobs. Go beyond the expectations of your current role to show that you have the skills to move into management.

If you believe you are qualified to become a restaurant assistant manager, it’s a good idea to browse online job boards to learn about openings in your area. Lots of businesses prefer to promote from within, so you might have to be okay with learning about the business while working in a staff position.

How to hire a restaurant assistant manager

Start the hiring process for a restaurant assistant manager by making a list of the qualifications, certifications, and experience you expect candidates to need. Then, you can imagine the kind of person that will be successful in the role.

Often, promoting restaurant assistant managers from within the ranks of restaurant staff saves some time on training. Internal candidates will be familiar with the ropes of the restaurant and you have had time to assess how they work with the team.

When interviewing candidates, ask them about their leadership skills and evaluate their communication skills. Let them know what the training process is like and what availability you need them to have. Before hiring, verify their qualifications and certifications. Then, hire the candidates with the best combination of skills, education, and experience.

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