Career Story: Chain Restaurant Manager

Chain Restaurant Manager

Job Title: Restaurant Manager

Type of Company: I work for a southern company that owns three restaurant concepts.

Education: AS, Hospitality Management, Quincy College (Quincy, MA)

Previous Experience: I started out as a dishwasher at age 14 and worked my way up to prep cook, busser, function waiter and line cook. This paid my way through college. I then did an internship at the JFK Presidential Library and a management internship with a Boston-area restaurant group. I started my management career at a small seafood takeout restaurant and have since managed restaurants for companies such as The Ground Round, Boston Market, Brueggers Bagels, Jera's Juice/The Wrap, Captain Fishbones, The Charlie Horse, and Ninety Nine Restaurant.

Job Tasks: I'm an assistant manager for a busy corporate restaurant located near a state college. My daily activities include making periodic line checks to ensure that food is prepared up to Board of Health standards. I have to "pre-meal" my staff to get them ready for their shift, informing them of any specials, soups, drinks, and any items we maybe out of, etc. I spend time on the dining room floor during busy meal periods engaging the guests and making sure their dining experience has been pleasant. Occasionally, I may have to change kegs or get liquor out to the bar if they run out. And from time to time I even have to jump on line and help the cooks out if they get overwhelmed with the orders coming into the kitchen.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job is seeing smiling guests and staff during the course of a given shift.

The things I hate the most are rude guests and how they treat my staff. I usually have to make table visits to people who aren't happy with their meals, drinks or service. Definitely, the worst part of my job is comforting a staff member who is crying.

Job Tips: Always act professionally in everything you do. People think being a restaurant manager is easy. It isn't but it's also fun and challenging. Address your staff and guests as you would like to be spoken to yourself. It's easy, under pressure, to lose it, to scream and lose control like inexperienced managers do, but it is far more productive to be polite to the guests in resolving any guest satisfaction problems, better to talk calmly to staff members in resolving problems and to make them realize the error of their ways, without yelling.

Additional Thoughts: While going to college I noticed a lot of people who were extremely brilliant and book smart. But when they got into the real word, they failed.

It's best to have worked with food and people to get into my profession.

Don't sweat the small stuff. Hard work will pay off in this field. Don't be afraid to roll up your sleeves and work with your staff in order to gain confidence and respect. Remember to have fun while you're working. If the staff sees you having fun and guests see your smile, they will always come back for more.

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