Recruiting Restaurant Managers: the Undisputed Guide

Sep 16, 2020

man recruiting a manager for restaurant

Attracting top talent is a massive part of restaurant success. Every person from the line cook to the bartender plays an integral role in how well the restaurant operates. At the heart of this process are restaurant managers.

Yet the challenges of hiring the right managers are plentiful. After all, when the going gets tough, managers wear many hats and must possess a wide range of leadership and communication skills. The wrong restaurant manager can make or break a restaurant.

In this ultimate guide, you’ll gain tips and strategies for recruiting restaurant managers. This way, you’ll know that you’ve got the right person for the job.


Top Things to Consider in a Restaurant Manager

If you’ve spent any time in the restaurant industry, you know that employee turnover is high. It’s estimated that almost 75% of restaurant staff leave in the first three months. Finding quality candidates is critical for increasing the retention rate. Here are a few key considerations when recruiting restaurant general managers.

Communications Skills

Being able to communicate with different personalities is vital for a restaurant manager. People from diverse backgrounds and experiences are attracted to restaurant jobs. Managers need to possess the ability to effectively communicate essential tasks and make directives clear on the job.

How the manager communicates messages, speaks to employees, and gives praise can determine how well the restaurant team works together. Being an expert communicator is a learned skill and one that a restaurant manager needs to possess.

Leadership Qualities

The exact qualities and characteristics of a great leader vary by company culture. But, generally speaking, an effective leader needs to articulate a clear vision, know that people are the key to success, and lead by example.

Restaurant managers need to lead with respect for diversity and inclusion, to ensure that everyone feels respected and part of a team. When you hire a restaurant manager, make sure you have a clear idea of the type of leader you want to employ, and whether this person holds these qualities in abundance.


Must be a Multitasker

Manager positions require the person to jump in at a moment’s notice. The line cook called in sick, so the restaurant manager needs to fill in. The front-of-house staff becomes overwhelmed with tables, the manager needs to help out.

While filling in when needed, the manager still needs to ensure that the rest of the restaurant is running smoothly. In a restaurant, multitasking is a crucial trait for any manager.

Understands Conflict Resolution

Team dynamics are essential in any restaurant, from a fast food joint such as Taco Bell to fine dining at a country club. If there are conflicts on the line or floor, the food may be suffering, or service quality deteriorates.

However, there’s bound to be conflicts, and when problems arise, managers need to resolve them. Conflict management skills include recognizing and acknowledging the problem and creating workable solutions that both sides can agree upon.

Where to Find Great Restaurant Managers

Restaurant recruiting has changed over the years. In the past, placing job posts on relevant job boards was the ideal solution. Today, this is still a viable route to find restaurant staff. However, there are better ways to attract top talent.

Take Advantage of Social Media

Restaurant management recruiting can be extremely effective on social media. In the past few years, more and more job seekers look to social media to find employment, including restaurant positions.

Modern recruiters can leverage online platforms to showcase their companies’ talents and conduct a robust search for the perfect candidate. The most well-known social networking site is Linked-in. The platform connects professionals with prospective employers.

Tap Your Network

One way to advertise manager jobs is through your network. Reaching out to past employers or colleagues to see if they have any recommendations that may produce the ideal candidate. You never know who may connect with or what possibilities may unfold.

The saying, “It’s not what you know, but who you know,” may really prove to be true when recruiting qualified management candidates.

Hire a Star Within

Sometimes it’s easy to forget about employee referrals. Look at your current crew and train the rising star to manage your team. Current employees may already know the inner workings of the day-to-day operations, from scheduling to inventory management.

Promoting an employee also builds morale and shows that you care about their career path. Providing your restaurant staff with opportunities for professional development helps build a stronger relationship between employees and management.

Use an On-Demand Gig App

Your executive search for qualified candidates can always begin with an on-demand labor app, such as ShiftPixy. While the app places temporary workers for one-off shifts or fills multiple shifts during peak times, it can help you find star talent.

Working with someone on a part-time basis shows you whether they have honed communication skills, can multitask, and possess other critical managerial skills. In the process, you can discover their actual work ethic without having to actually hire them.

The gig app also allows you to fill any type of restaurant position you need, including:

  • Line cooks
  • Chefs
  • Bartenders
  • Sous Chefs
  • Waiters
  • Bussers
  • Hosts
  • And more

ShiftPixy is revolutionizing the way restaurants find employees and fill schedules. It really is the Uber for the restaurant world.

Post on Job Boards

If all else fails, the tried and true may always yield the best results. Restaurant owners can post jobs on one or more popular job sites for the restaurant and hospitality industry.

  • The Restaurant Zone: provides hospitality placements for manager positions in all sectors
  • Poached Jobs: Seattle based job board that may produce some suitable applicants
  • Culinary Agents: Helps connect interested restaurant staff with jobs around the country
  • Hospitality Online: A resource for numerous jobs in every section of the hospitality industry
  • HCareers: Mostly focused on hotel jobs but could be a great place to find a manager

How to Select the Right Candidate

The selection process for hiring managers may take longer than expected, but if you have a straightforward approach to follow, the path may be more fruitful.

Determining the Manager’s Responsibilities

When looking for a manager, make sure you have everything included in the job description. This way, the new hire understands precisely what the restaurant manager’s duties include.

Also, by narrowing down the manager’s responsibilities, you have a clearer picture of what you’re looking for when filling the position. When crafting a restaurant manager job description, you may want to include one or more of the following:

  • Ensure proper staffing levels and create schedules
  • Hire and train new employees
  • Supervise restaurant employees
  • Ensure day-to-day operations run smoothly
  • Forecast needs of equipment, supplies, and food
  • Enforce compliance with sanitation standards, health, and safety
  • Process payroll correctly
  • Create and follow restaurant budgets
  • Reach financial performance goals


Setting the Restaurant Manager’s Salary

One area that always needs clarification right away is the salary scale. Restaurant manager salaries vary by state, region, and type. Regional managers may earn more than general managers.

To determine an acceptable pay range and ensure you’re competitive, you can check out websites, such as PayScale, Glassdoor, or Indeed. They post average salaries based on crowdsourced information from workers in that industry and collected from job listings. You can also ask trusted people in your network to find out what a typical salary is as well.

On average, the following restaurant manager jobs pay the following:

  • Assistant Manager: $21,000 – $59,000 per year
  • Restaurant General Manager: $32,000-$63,900 per year
  • Regional Manager: $31,000 – $81,000 per year

Some restaurant manager salaries may also include bonuses for hitting sales targets and other goals.

Conducting the Interviews

Once you’ve settled on a few candidates, the next step in the process is the interview. Taking the time to really vet a candidate with solid interview questions can pay off.

While each candidate puts on their best game face, you can tell a lot about a person by how they answer why they want this position or explain why they left their last job. Even if the interview questions don’t matter as much to you, meeting them and sensing if they’re a good fit for the team or someone you would trust in a challenging situation.

In some situations, requesting a trial run or shift may be included in the interview process. In any case, the interview is a crucial step when recruiting restaurant managers.

Hiring the Right Candidate

Since you’ve done a stellar job finding the right candidate, it’s time to hire. Hiring and training can almost take as much time, but the manager will be off to an excellent start with the correct orientation. Create a training schedule that works for both of you with clear goals and time frames.

If finding the right person becomes too challenging, try ShiftPixy for all your restaurant staff needs. It completes all the hard work for you by connecting you with motivated, talented, and experienced restaurant staff. It’s transforming the hospitality industry’s hiring process.

In the meantime, follow these tips and techniques in this undisputed guide for recruiting restaurant managers in the hospitality industry.