What does a restaurant owner do?

One profession, several hats

Restaurant managers oversee the smooth operation and efficiency of restaurants. They seek to provide customers with enjoyable dining experiences that live up to the brand’s standards. Their efforts, which include effective employee management, are ultimately aimed at keeping the restaurant profitable.

Indeed, an RM encompasses general management, administration, customer services, human resources, supply chain and purchasing, health and safety, compliance, accounting and marketing – all of these in one. This is especially true for those who work in small establishments, who are in frequent contact with customers and employees. Restaurant managers in larger organizations may see more office work.

Job opportunities for restaurant managers can arise in a variety of settings, from local independent restaurants, cafes and bars to larger scale hotel restaurants, chains and groups of hotels or leisure facilities. In all of these contexts, restaurant managers must demonstrate both leadership and teamwork. As you will see in the responsibilities below, culinary knowledge is also an asset. Food and drink (F&B) enthusiasts will be able to put their passion to good use as restaurant managers, with the profession ranking as the number one job in hospitality for foodies.

Restaurant manager duties

What does a restaurant manager do? The duties of a restaurant manager vary from executive to executive and often depend on the employer. Typical responsibilities include:

General management and administration

  • coordinate and optimize dining and indoor catering operations
  • controlling operational costs and promoting efficiency
  • weekly, monthly and annual financial reporting
  • general Administration
  • take reservations
  • repair

Customer service

  • welcome and advise customers
  • provide F&B service to meet customer expectations
  • foster positive relationships with customers
  • handle customer inquiries and complaints

Human ressources

  • recruit, train and supervise staff
  • manage staff turnover
  • conduct performance reviews and set goals
  • optimize workflow and productivity

Supply Chain, Sourcing and Culinary Advantage

  • search for dishes and plan menus
  • track inventory and order supplies
  • monitor product quality and manage suppliers

Compliance, Health and Safety

  • ensure compliance with licensing, health and safety regulations
  • establish and maintain policies and protocols


  • proactively promote the image of the restaurant
  • striving to expand the reach of the restaurant through targeted promotions

What does it take to do the job well?

To perform their tasks well, restaurant managers need in-depth knowledge of F&B and a good memory of ingredients and dishes in order to be able to provide customers and staff with all the necessary information. They must have good organizational, problem-solving and communication skills. To be effective leaders, they must demonstrate friendliness, professionalism and motivation.

Invariably, restaurant managers have to face various challenges in their day-to-day business life. The often thin margins in the F&B industry pose a particular challenge. To successfully manage the balance between quality and affordability, financial management skills are essential. Also, factors such as seasonality and sustainability should be considered. Then there are the different restaurant management software options to take in hand. Flexibility, commercial acumen and excellent customer service skills complete this profile.

Several paths can lead to a job as a restaurant manager: higher education, tailor-made apprenticeships or simply consolidation of years of hard work. However, you might say that one of the key considerations when considering running a restaurant is the innate ability desire to be a welcoming host.


About the EHL Group

The EHL Group comprises a portfolio of specialist business units that deliver hotel management training and innovation around the world. Based in Lausanne, Switzerland, the Group includes:

EHL Hotelschool of Lausanne is an ambassador of traditional Swiss hospitality and has been a pioneer in hospitality education since 1893 with over 25,000 alumni worldwide and over 120 nationalities. EHL is the first hotel management school in the world to offer undergraduate and graduate programs on its campuses in Lausanne, Singapore and Chur-Passugg, as well as online learning solutions. The university of applied sciences is ranked No. 1 by QS World University Rankings by subject and CEOWorld Magazine, and its gourmet restaurant is the only educational institution in the world to hold a Michelin star for the third consecutive year.

EHL Swiss School of Tourism and Hospitality has been a leading hospitality management college for hospitality specialists for over 50 years. The College awards Swiss-accredited Federal Vocational Training and Higher Education Diplomas at its 19th-century spa hotel in Chur-Passugg, Graubünden to Swiss and international students from 30 countries.

EHL Consulting Services is the largest Swiss hospitality consultancy specializing in the implementation of service culture, business consultancy, as well as the development and quality assurance of learning centers. EHL Advisory Services has offices in Lausanne, Beijing, Shanghai and New Delhi and has carried out mandates in more than 60 countries over the past 40 years.


Hotelschool of Lausanne
Communications Department
+41 21 785 1354

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