Restaurant Management: The Operations Manager

Hoping to find a job in restaurant management?

Restaurants are divided into two groups, most widely known as Front of the House (FOH) and Back of the House (BOH). The front of the house is where you’ll find service positions: Hostesses, bartenders, waitresses, busboys etc. The back of the house is the kitchen operation: line cooks, prep cooks, all the way up to the Executive Chef. Everyone knows that the Head Chef  runs the kitchen, but who makes sure the rest of the restaurant runs smoothly?

After all, good food doesn’t mean anything if the service is terrible. This is where the Operations Manager comes in. The Operations Manager is the one who makes sure day to day operations of restaurants and other food service facilities go well. This means overseeing the hiring of employees to interacting with customers who may have a complaint, as well as working with the owners and General Manager to come up with marketing strategies and other ways of creating revenue. What Kind Of Person Makes A Good Operations Manager? Being an Operations Manager is no low stress job. You have to be willing to work long hours, and deal with problems as they arise, whether they come from employees or customers.

You must have great people and communications skills, as you’ll not only have to deal directly with customers once in a while, but you’ll also have a large staff of people working under you. Dealing with employees will be a big part of your job. This means seeking out applicants, interviewing, hiring, training, and often firing employees, so having a tough skin is a must. You will responsible for managing inventory (although probably not for the kitchen), and making sure financial records are accurate. You’ll be responsible for handling the restaurants budget an sticking to it. When equipment such as refrigerators or ranges break down, it’s the operations manager that will be responsible for getting these thing repaired or replaced without losing revenue in the process.

You must also be highly motivated. Many Operations Management jobs offer salaries with high bonuses. It is with these bonuses that you can really make a lucrative career out of restaurant management. If the restaurant succeeds, so do you. Overall, to be a good Operations Manager, you must be organized, personable, and hard working. You must be able to juggle multiple jobs at once and be able to prioritize which things on your list should come first. It is a must that you can handle high stress and long hours as these come with the territory  of the job.

How Can I Become A Operations Manager?

A college degree is certainly not necessary to obtaining a career in restaurant management, although it will certainly set you apart. Degrees in things such as restaurant management or hospitality are more helpful than food service degrees such as those in Culinary Arts. Of course, even more important than a degree is experience. Since Operations Managers are required to run all daily operations in a restaurant, it’s only safe to say that the more positions you have held in various food service venues, the more qualified you will become. As an Operations Manager you never know when you may have to step up and be a bartender for a day, so knowing what each job entails can only help you.

Keep a good network of industry contacts from each job, and build up a list of quality references. Restaurant management jobs can be among the highest paying jobs in the business, so it’s a good assumption that those jobs are highly competitive. Any edge you can get will help you. Lastly, as with any industry, it’s a good idea not to burn bridges. Professionals often keep in contact with those in the business and will check with those they may know when it comes to hiring such an important position. Since they don’t want to have to go through the hiring process again, they want it done right the first time.

Any negative impression you may have left will certainly come back to haunt you later. That being said, leave every position you have on a positive note, and always act professionally. Becoming a restaurant Operations Manager can be a highly rewarding and lucrative career for the right person. If you are willing to build yourself from the ground up, you can most certainly have a successful career in restaurant management.

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