There are many different paths to securing a job in Restaurant Management. Some prospective Restaurant Managers may have attended college to pursue a restaurant management degree. Others may have “grown-up” in the business and have years and years of experience to fall back on. There are many people who don’t fall into either of those categories but want to achieve their career goal of becoming a Restaurant Manager. How do those people make their way up the restaurant management ladder?
A great starting point for a Restaurant Manager career is to become an Assistant Restaurant Manager first. Assistant Managers may be responsible for one or more aspects of running the restaurant, but unlike the Restaurant Manager or General Manager, he or she does not have multitask quite as much. This way, an Assistant Manager can spend more time learning and understanding the job in smaller doses. For example, an Assistant Manager may be responsible for either the Front of the House staff or Back of the House staff, but usually not both.
If your qualifications don’t land you an Assistant Manager position quite yet, don’t be discouraged. Many restaurants also hire Shift Leaders to supervise staff while a manager is not on duty. Try to learn and understand each position in the restaurant from the beginning, as becoming a Restaurant Manager you will have to manage these positions. This is a great way to gain supervisory experience and earn your way up to a manager title.
Another factor to pay attention to while working toward becoming a restaurant manager is the type and amount of experience that you have. Different types of restaurants tend to follow specific hiring patterns. For example, fast food or fast casual restaurants tend to hire younger and/or less experienced employees and managers, while a fine dining restaurant would be more likely to focus on hiring people who are well-seasoned and experienced in the industry. Applying to jobs that are not below or above where your experience realistically stands will help drive your career in the right direction.