Food safety

Restaurant management | How to manage a restaurant

A restaurant with a knowledgeable manager can run smoothly with less risk of gathering employee and customer complaints ...

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A restaurant with a knowledgeable manager can run smoothly with less risk of gathering employee and customer complaints on both food safety and quality.

  • Restaurant management includes supervising everyday restaurant operations, business strategies, staff control, customer service requirement, and managing business finances.
  • Proper restaurant management is key for a food service business to succeed in operating and growing.
  • Managing food safety using FoodDocs helps save time and boost efficiency.

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The restaurant industry is one of the fastest-paced businesses that require constant change. A food business under this category requires an adaptable individual who can manage people while improving the food service quality. Proper restaurant management is key for a food service business to succeed in operating and growing.

Managing a restaurant is a very demanding task. It requires people skills, customer service management, and critical thinking. Restaurant management goes further than just knowing how to meet customer expectations. It also needs skills in crafting strategies to boost the company's performance.


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What is restaurant management?

Restaurant management definition refers to the process of supervising everyday restaurant operations, business strategies, staff control, customer service requirement, and managing business finances. It is the core operation in a restaurant that ties up all the different sections of the food business. 

Restaurant management involves the essential tasks of monitoring the company's progress in terms of profit generation, food safety, quality, and brand recognition. While restaurant management can be a collaborative task among different committees and key personnel, an appointed manager is responsible for collecting the information and delegating tasks. 

Managing a restaurant is a critical job for an appointed employee or the business owner themselves. It ensures consistent operations according to the company standards while continuously finding ways to improve working efficiency for the company's sake.


Managing a restaurant


Why is restaurant management important? 

Proper restaurant management is vital to achieving a successful food business. It is the manager's responsibility to keep all areas of the food business in check, evaluate if operations are properly done, and if any points can be improved upon. Without a managing individual, each department will be running around without a clear objective.


Efficient restaurant management is key to achieving the following aspects of food service:

  • Clear mission. It's important to have a clear vision of a team's overall objectives and more specific everyday goals. Having a clear set of missions can help a restaurant team keep track of progress and properly assess if the operations need improvement.
  • Holds staff together. Restaurant management includes managing staff, from recruitment to the delegation of tasks and monitoring everyday performance. Proper restaurant management ensures that team members know what they are doing by providing key training programs and monitoring their progress.
  • Smooth operations. A successful and worry-free operation is achieved through proper restaurant management. A clear organization of tasks through the right tools can help minimize issues in operations, food safety, and quality before they even occur.
  • Boost consumer confidence. When the restaurant management style succeeds in organizing and supervising operations and staff, the results are translated through repeat purchases, customer returns, and increased customer loyalty.
  • Ensure food safety. Effective restaurant management also includes the assurance of food safety. While some restaurant owners delegate the task of managing food safety, others take it upon themselves to oversee safety as well. Proper food safety management can significantly reduce the risk of causing foodborne illnesses from the products you are serving.


A food business often will not survive with poor restaurant management. Every restaurant business must invest in securing proper management, whether it is for food safety or the company's overall performance.

Allow FoodDocs Food Safety Management System Software to help you with food safety. This digital solution can intuitively generate digital solutions that will help you manage your restaurant. You can also save at least 20% of your time from supervising your team using a real-time dashboard and intuitive notifications.

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How to manage a restaurant?

Managing a restaurant is more than just serving delicious foods. It requires knowledge of business aspects, managerial skills, experience, and training. While some individuals are born with natural leadership skills, managing a restaurant requires refinement and constant expansion of knowledge on administration. 

If you are just starting as a restaurant manager of your own food business, you must be prepared to handle all sections of your establishment. Restaurant managers are responsible for overseeing front- and back-of-the-house operations and continuously take action to improve these operations to be even effective.


Here are the core tasks that restaurant management should cover:

1. Secure compliance

One of the very first tasks of managing a restaurant is ensuring that your business is up to code and that it is compliant with all license and permit requirements. 

2. Recruit and train competent staff

As a business owner, your decision in choosing the staff who will be working for your restaurant is vital. A key to a successful restaurant business can be easily achieved with a set of competent and reliable staff. Trained or professional employees, such as chefs, kitchen cooks, servers, and baristas, are essential.

An important part of employee management is providing positive reinforcement for your team to boost their morale. A good relationship system and communication can significantly reduce employee turnover in your operations.

3. Manage restaurant inputs and outflows

Restaurant management also includes covering cash flows. Even with the help of an accountant or an accounting software tool, you must understand where the majority of your budget goes and where most profits come from to allot resources properly.

4. Manage everyday operations

Manging is an everyday task. You are responsible for overseeing every operation in your restaurant, including the kitchen, cleaning staff, and service area. 

Use customizable food safety checklist templates to help you determine which tasks need to be done at what time.

5. Manage material stocks

Ensuring the availability of your food ingredients to serve customers properly is essential. It is important to monitor materials used for cleaning and sanitizing to keep the restaurant's hygiene at the top level.

6. Plan menus

In a restaurant business, there will always be top-selling food products and less popular ones. You need to understand which ones to upsell to optimize ingredients. Managers must always keep track of how well their products or food dishes are performing and be able to analyze if the pricing is generating profit.

Planning menus also include the proper presentation to highlight dishes that bring the most revenue.

You can use our free Food Cost Calculator Tool to determine the profitability of your operations and dishes. A Food Calculator Tool can help you adjust prices immediately according to the cost of ingredients changes. 

7. Ensure food safety

Maintaining food safety is a core responsibility for any food business owner and manager. The safety of the foods you serve and the operations you perform will determine the level of confidence that consumers will grant your business. Food safety compliance is achieved through constant monitoring.

Delivering consistently safe and quality food products will allow your business to grow. See all features that help you to manage the restaurant efficiently and monitor food safety tasks in an organized manner.

8. Promote your business

A part of a growing business is reaching more customers. While this task can be done through the traditional word-of-the-mouth, you will need to coordinate with proper advertising channels to tell more customers about your business. Marketing your business is a vital task to growing a food business.

9. Present progress and points for improvement

Managing a food business includes consistently gathering information and analyzing them to come up with better strategies for improvement.

Managers can use tools that collect and present data for easier analysis and strategy-making.

10. Find smarter solutions

An adaptive food manager is a successful one. The food industry has embraced the advantages of using digital solutions that allow managers to work faster and more efficiently.

Check out our list of Restaurant Software and find which one can help you improve your business.

Restaurant management involves continuous learning and adapting more ways to make every operation more efficient and effective. As the people behind the food service industry always find ways to make restaurant management easier, managers must learn to adapt and train their teams quickly.


how to manage a restaurant


Is managing a restaurant easy?

Managing a restaurant is often seen as a difficult task. A restaurant manager needs to oversee and supervise all operations, from the largest details up to the smallest ones.

A manager must be able to forecast how the business can improve through the information they gather on a daily basis. What can make managing a restaurant easy is employing the help of digital solutions.

The best example of an innovative and effective digital solution is FoodDocs' Food Safety Management System Software. Using our digital solution, you can automatically generate essential monitoring logs and get an intuitive notification system that alerts food handlers whenever a task is up.

Our digital solution also compiles and presents your everyday food safety operations in a neatly presented dashboard. You can save time in identifying areas where you can improve by remotely reviewing the dashboard.

Using FoodDocs' digital solution, you can significantly maintain and improve your food safety compliance and focus on other aspects of your restaurant.


Critical restaurant management responsibilities

Restaurant managers are the main directors of a food business operation. They oversee operations from cleaning and sanitation rules to cooking, accounting, monitoring, and serving in a restaurant. The many responsibilities of a restaurant manager make the task demanding and require a lot of patience from an individual.

Restaurant managers are tasked to supervise the following responsibilities in a food service establishment:

  • Administration of business
    • Interdepartamental coordination
    • Delegation of everyday tasks
    • Monitoring and improving operational costs
    • Financial accounting of cash flow
    • Progress reporting
  • Human resource
    • Interviewing and recruiting employees
    • Administrating training programs
    • Daily supervision and monitoring
    • Evaluating and appraising employees
    • Communicating long- and short-term objectives
  • Food safety compliance
  • Customer service management
    • Identifying target consumers
    • Table management
    • Managing online services
    • Managing customer relations
    • Providing customer loyalty rewards
    • Addressing customer complaints
  • Inventory management
    • Planning menu items and prices
    • Finding key and alternative suppliers
    • Monitoring the efficiency of storage and receiving
  • Marketing and promotion
    • Developing restaurant advertisement
    • Tailoring marketing campaigns based on identified consumers

The responsibilities of a restaurant manager can go further beyond the listed information. In some cases, the responsibilities can be shared between department heads, but coordination will be done by a supervising individual.


Restaurant management tips

Restaurant managers may have their own styles of managing their teams. Despite this fact, some core values and tasks are very common and are mandatory for every restaurant management operation. 

Here is a comprehensive, yet non-exhaustive, list of qualities and operations that every successful restaurant management should include:

  1. Clearly lay out the company's goals and objectives to your staff
  2. Communicate with the team. Delegate management if necessary
  3. Promote a positive food safety culture
  4. Discuss the importance of keeping food safe
  5. Hire and train competent employees
  6. Define employee roles and expectations
  7. Regularly monitor and verify operations
  8. Deal with customer issues and complaints appropriately
  9. Advertise your food business. Invest in proper marketing channels
  10. Plan the restaurant menu. Track food costs and adjust prices accordingly
  11. Monitor operating costs for daily operations
  12. Track and monitor inventory regularly
  13. Always keep up with restaurant trends, and adopt the applicable ones
  14. Continuously improve managerial skills through training
  15. Invest in digital solutions, such as a point-of-sale system for restaurants
  16. Adapt to customer reviews and feedback
  17. Focus on providing a high-quality dining experience for customer satisfaction

Being a restaurant manager means knowing the business inside and out. Applying the mentioned management tips can help you improve your daily operations and free up more space for improvement. 

An in-depth understanding of the importance of these business operations for both the manager and restaurant workers can lead to accountability. Once achieved, the business can operate seamlessly.


manager of a restaurant


How to run a restaurant kitchen?

The kitchen is often regarded as the heart of a restaurant. It is where your dishes are made and where the majority of your staff spend their time. 

A kitchen involves food service operations such as cooking, cleaning, and preparing, which are all under different areas of the facility. A kitchen can be the busiest section of a restaurant, and managing it can sometimes be very challenging.


Below, we listed some effective ways how to manage a restaurant kitchen more effectively:

  • Optimize the layout of your kitchen. Some kitchens are built using a particular layout that works with different management styles. There are layouts that promote communication, whereas others highlight the ease of access to ingredients and tools. Evaluate your menu items and management style and adapt the layout of the kitchen to facilitate operations.
  • Involve the kitchen staff with planning. Your kitchen employees work the most inside the kitchen. They understand what needs to be done to improve efficiency, and they can provide you with this information when given the opportunity. Providing for the needs of employees in their working environment is an important restaurant management skill.
  • Organize all ingredients and utensils. Proper organization of your utensils and ingredients not only improves working efficiency but also reduces the likelihood of cross-contamination. Ensure that tools and solutions used for cleaning are stored far from the food preparation area. Keep a record of which employees have access to which tools and ingredients.
    • FIFO. When organizing ingredients, practice the First-In, First-Out system (FIFO). This stock rotation system will help you ensure that the dishes you serve in your restaurant are always fresh.
    • Label everything. Whether it is raw materials or leftover foods, make it a habit always to store food in airtight containers and properly label them. 
    • Always wash your hands. A majority of food safety issues come from improper handwashing. This task is a fundamental practice that must be learned by all food handlers in your food business. Proper handwashing is one of the most effective operations to control food safety.
    • Keep all areas clean and sanitized. Train employees in proper sanitation using manuals, such as sanitation standard operating procedures. Consistent sanitation can reduce the likelihood of cross-contamination significantly.
  • Train employees on restaurant food safety. Your kitchen is the most likely place where contamination may occur. Provide adequate training for employees on the most important food safety practices and the essential programs for providing an enjoyable customer experience. Having trained employees on food safety minimizes the need to spend time micromanaging them. 
  • Provide useful visual aids. A restaurant business involves several food-handling tasks. To help your team ensure that the duties are performed correctly, provide food safety posters and other visual illustrations in the kitchen.
  • Implement food safety management software. Food safety management software is one of the best systems that you could invest in for your restaurant. This type of management software can help you relieve your team of repetitive tasks every day while boosting your compliance standards.

Several core practices are performed in the kitchen, which may significantly affect both the safety and quality of your food products. It takes both time and resources to build a kitchen staff and facility that is reliable and can provide high-quality food products. Use smart tools to help you manage your kitchen operations more efficiently.


How to manage restaurant staff?

After hiring competent individuals, you need to consistently monitor and nourish their skills for them to become more independent and accountable. Skilled team members require less micromanaging. As a manager, hiring a team with reliable skills and work ethics can make your job easier.

Food businesses that have a motivated staff are most likely to work better and less likely to leave your team.

We have listed some of the most critical pointers on how to manage a restaurant staff:

  • Provide clear job expectations

During interviewing and hiring of employees, it is important to lay out your expectations regarding the individual who will fill the position. This step will give you and the applicant an eye-to-eye level of understanding, which can help you avoid employees who are not fit for the position. Job expectations can also be used to measure the performance of an employee, which can be used for later evaluation.

  • Communicate with staff

Proper communication is key to building a strong relationship with your team. Communicating involves properly laying out everyday tasks, points for improvement, evaluations, and praises.

Clear communication between you and your team reduces the likelihood of mistakes, laziness, and disloyalty. It can also reduce the likelihood of having a high employee turnover in your team.

  • Train restaurant staff

Training restaurant staff is critical to building a strong and independent team of employees. The fundamentals of customer service, food handling practices, and food preparation must be implemented for every employee.

Training also includes regularly scheduled refreshers for your team to update current information and remind them of the basics through time. Refresher programs are also helpful events for evaluating the performance of every employee.

Use our food safety quiz tool to train your staff on essential food handling practices and current information on food.

  • Training restaurant managers

As you expect your team to be open to feedback and improvement, managers must also be open to such. Understanding that there is always room for improvement can lead you to improve your managerial skills further.

Aside from in-house evaluation, participate in programs for training restaurant managers. Training programs will help you evaluate your current skills and point out areas that need more improvement.

Use our comprehensive article on food safety tips as a reference for the essential handling practices in the food industry.

  • Promote a positive food safety culture

The collective response to achieve the mentioned pointers is to build a positive food safety culture within your entire staff team. This aspect refers to the shared vision and goals between the company and its employees. Promoting a food safety culture means improving on communication, rewarding employees, improving customer service, increasing efficiency, and overall improvement on management.


Staff management is a key area in your restaurant business that is always worth investing in. Building a group of skilled and trustworthy individuals can relieve a huge burden on your management schedule. Empowered employees are more accountable and more likely to do their job correctly, even without anyone watching.


Common restaurant problems

Being a restaurant manager requires a lot of preparation and predicting what might happen. Restaurant managers must be able to anticipate common problems and train staff on how to react and address the situations most efficiently.

We have listed some of the most common management problems in the restaurant industry and brief solutions that you can do:

  • High employee turnover
    • A high employee turnover often happens in a restaurant with a poor food safety culture and weak management. Employees make up your restaurant team, and a positive relationship with them can promote staff retention.
  • Very high labor cost 
    • Labor costs are one of the highest expenses when running a food business. The most efficient solutions to high labor costs are hiring fewer but more skilled workers and implementing automatic solutions. Software solutions and automated machines can help reduce the load of labor costs in the long run.
  • Poor customer experience. 
    • Poor customer satisfaction can be a combination of low-quality dishes, inconvenient purchases, poor service, lack of alternatives, and other reasons. The first step to solving poor customer experience is to gather essential feedback and analyze what is the issue exactly.
  • Increasing costs in food ingredients.
    • Food restaurant managers must be adaptive and have connections with alternative suppliers. Having a list of trusted suppliers gives you more flexibility in choosing materials that will fit your cost. Regularly manage food costs by computing the food cost percentage of your product and adjust serving size or menu price accordingly.
  • Marketing strategy issues
    • Marketing strategies are important to promote your business. Poor strategies can cost you a lot of money without profitable results. Know the appropriate channels for your food business or hire an academic advisor on advertising. A quick alternative to this solution is to invest in digital marketing strategies. 
  • Poor food hygiene
    • It goes without saying how important food hygiene is for food handlers. Upon providing proper training, use a regular employee hygiene checklist to monitor compliance and ensure that food handlers follow standards on food safety. Food hygiene also includes other operations that will keep your facility clean, such as pest control in restaurants.
  • Food safety issues
    • A  customer complaint is a common occurrence in a disorganized restaurant. Food safety complaints can be very damaging to your brand reputation. In dealing with food safety issues, prevention is better than reaction. Establish a comprehensive food safety plan in your food business to ensure that critical controls are set in areas most prone to food safety issues. Representatives who regulate food safety focus on evaluating this system to determine your team's preparedness.


Problems are common in a restaurant setting. What makes the difference is having an effective restaurant management style. It is part of a manager's duty to prepare their team for potential problems and how to address them properly.

Planning and critical thinking are essential characteristics of an effective manager. Exercising these traits will prepare your team for any potential problems or shortcomings.


common problems when running a restaurant


Managing restaurant operations and production with digital tools

Managing a restaurant business can be easier with the correct restaurant management tools on your side. 

A good and effective restaurant manager knows that learning is a continuous and never-ending process. To help you navigate some of the essential tools you will need to manage operations, here are a few pointers and software suggestions that you can use:

  • Managerial training. Whether you have the appropriate degree for managing a food business or not, you can always opt for more specific training. Managerial training programs can also help you discover trends in restaurant operations, innovations in management, and current issues that need to be addressed in restaurants. 
  • Employee management tools. While traditional methods of managing employees work fine, summarizing and critically analyzing them can take time. You can use employee management software programs that can track working hours, delegate shifts seamlessly, monitor accomplished operations, and create restaurant inspection reports in an instant. 
  • Digital food safety managing tools. Digital food safety software is an intuitive tool that can save you time by using automated tasks. A great example of this tool is FoodDocs' digital Food Safety Management System. Our software automatically creates the necessary monitoring logs for your team and is equipped with a notification system to help the team remember food safety tasks. Such tools also provide cloud storage where you can archive, organize, and access information anytime and anywhere.
  • Restaurant advertisement. Nowadays, advertisements are mainly done through digital channels. Aside from the fact that advertisements through the internet do not require costs on printing, information can travel faster. Use restaurant advertisement software programs that can create custom emails, coupons, or loyalty rewards for your business to improve customer retention and find more like-minded customers. 
  • Customer relationship management (CRM). CRM has become a vital tool in the restaurant industry. A CRM system helps businesses effectively collect information from customer purchases and interactions. The system then tailors suggested services to the customers for a more personalized experience.

Restaurant managers will benefit the most from tools, such as restaurant management software, that can easily give a summarised overview of the operations. Such tools will shorten the time needed to present the information. Software programs can offer intuitive insights into your progress and reduce human errors.

Individuals seeking the position of restaurant manager must be adaptive to trends in the food industry. It is also a requirement to determine which tools are appropriate for your operations and which ones are not.


What do you need from a Restaurant Management System? 

Restaurant management demands a lot of attention and thinking from an individual and must be consistently improved upon. A manager's responsibility is more than just overseeing customer service operations; it also includes components of marketing, human resources, and accounting.

One of the largest areas where the attention of a restaurant manager goes is managing food safety compliance. This aspect of management requires constant monitoring. Failure to comply with set standards can lead to problems like causing a foodborne illness outbreak or reputation damage.

The most applicable Restaurant Management System to get your food safety task compliance done is Food Safety Management System Software.


Best restaurant management software for food safety monitoring

To help you efficiently manage your food safety tasks, use FoodDocs' digital Food Safety Management System. Powered by artificial intelligence and a machine-learning program, our software features easy implementation and intuitive solutions.

Set up your food safety system in just 15 minutes

  • Our solution automatically generates monitoring logs, checklists, and task documents for your entire team.
  • Customize every generated monitoring log according to your operations and assign them to team members.
  • Get a notification system that will alert food handlers of tasks that need to be done. Improve your team's accountability and nourish an independent staff.
  • Implement your food safety system with just a few clicks. 



Digital Food Safety System at FoodDocs


Save 20% of your time on supervision.

  • Improve efficiency in monitoring your food safety by using a real-time dashboard that shows an overview of your daily operations. Identify areas that require more attention to address problems efficiently.

Maintain digital records and organize activity logs

  • Keep all digital documents and compliance records in digital cloud storage, ready for any inspection.
  • Using our digital solution, you can get the essential management tools for maintaining food safety compliance and intuitive solutions to help your team improve efficiency. 


Building a food safety plan for new restaurants

If in case you are a restaurant manager or food business owner of a new and developing restaurant, you will need a food safety plan before starting operations. The most comprehensive plan that you can use is based on the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point system.

Our digital solution at FoodDocs comes with a built-in digital HACCP plan builder that can generate a comprehensive food safety plan based on your business information in just 1 hour.

Customize the comprehensive digital HACCP plan so that you can get specific details tailored to your requirements. 



Digital HACCP plan from FoodDocs


Using our built-in digital HACCP plan, you can get a detailed food safety plan with the following components:

  • Basic flowchart
  • Hazard analysis
  • Critical control points with critical limits
  • Monitoring procedures
  • Verification procedures
  • Corrective action plan
  • Recordkeeping and documentation procedures

Fulfill one of the most critical tasks in food safety compliance within just 1 hour when you use our digital solution

Our digital solutions were built with food handlers and managers in mind and finding ways to make food safety compliance easier. 

Find out more and experience how our software programs can help you achieve and maintain compliance fast. Use our free-14 day trial.



Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions regarding restaurant management.


How many managers should a restaurant have?

The number of managers in a restaurant can depend on the size of the food business. Some restaurants can have up to four managers, including general, restaurant, kitchen, and bar managers. In some establishments, only one manager can be responsible for the entire operation.


What degree is best for restaurant management? 

Ideally, a restaurant manager must have a degree related to hospitality and management. Most food service surveys indicate that a manager must have at least three to four years of experience in food service for better management performance.


Restaurant management requires the following skills.

  1. Communication
  2. Attention to detail
  3. Problem-solving and critical thinking
  4. Financial knowledge and skill
  5. Cultural awareness

A large restaurant usually has three levels of management: low-, mid-, and upper levels. The upper level includes company executives and owners. The middle-level management serves as the communicating manager between the upper and lower management. The lower-level managers are the front-line or on-site supervisors for a restaurant. The levels of the management system will vary on the size of the restaurant.




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