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A Day in the Life of a Restaurant Manager

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Jenny Day
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A restaurant manager moves at a frantic pace. Covering a huge amount of ground and juggling a variety of tasks, few outside the industry can comprehend their daily challenges.

How much does a restaurant manager make in the United States?

According to Salary.com, the average Restaurant Manager’s salary in the United States is $56,353 as of May 25, 2023, but the range typically falls between $51,174 and $63,383. Salary ranges can vary widely depending on many important factors, including education, certifications, additional skills, the number of years you have spent in this profession.

How many hours per week does a restaurant manager work?

A full-time restaurant manager works a minimum of 40 hours per week. The hours vary  with many restaurant managers working 60+ hours a week.

What is the daily routine of a restaurant manager?

At surface level, the general manager is responsible for the daily operations of the restaurant which includes restaurant staffing, scheduling, and supervision while ensuring a quality guest experience. But not everyone realizes what kind of detail and responsibilities go into making this happen. Restaurant general managers also need expertise in accountingpayrollfood costingkitchen operationsfood inventory management, and more.

Is being a restaurant manager stressful?

A restaurant manager’s daily life is often very hectic and subject to high levels of pressure. Thus, a considerable amount of physical, mental, and emotional stamina is required.

In a single hour, the manager can place an order for chicken, jump on the line in a backed-up kitchen, revise employee scheduling for the next day, cover the hostess stand, console an unhappy customer, and call up a repairman about a busted refrigerator. Over the course of a day, the manager might be extended further to recruit three new servers, forecast a week’s worth of business, and schedule 20 employees all of which are asking for different days off or extra shifts.

What does a day in the life of a restaurant manager look like?

Customer service comes first of course. So, when the restaurant manager is not knee-deep in delighting customers, resolving employee issues, repairing equipment, and more they are responsible for making sure that the restaurant is running smoothly and profitably.

A restaurant manager’s daily duties are not to be underestimated. While every manager’s day will vary on the type of service offered, hours the store is open, shift worked, how many employees are scheduled, standard operating procedures, and more, below is a minimum of what a day’s work can look like:

8:00 AM: Check the logbook

For years, the manager’s logbook was a physical journal. No more. By digitizing this critical communication tool on the cloud, operators can stay on top of any issues that arise to ensure resolution, while managers can ensure seamless communication across shifts.

8:30 AM: Review yesterday’s daily sales summary

The Daily Sales Summary (DSS) is a snapshot of each restaurant location’s daily performance: sales, labor, tips, guest count, all of it. By quickly running through the DSS of each location in their areas of responsibility, operators can quickly spot any rising issues and get with managers to find fast resolutions.

9:00 AM: Receive and properly stock incoming deliveries

Make sure your deliveries arrive as close as possible to when the first authorized person to sign for it is on site. Typically, between 8:00 – 10:00 a.m. works for many operators. There’s nothing worse than a truck at the back dock when the restaurant is slammed so be sure that your staff has time to properly receive, conduct a quality check, and correctly stock new arrivals. This is also a good time to hold for weekly inventory counts on a day that a shipment is not scheduled. Consistent counts on the same day and same time each week will give managers the most accurate insight into the store’s inventory.

10:00 AM: Monitor and control labor

Next to food cost, labor is the largest cost driver in the restaurant industry, and one could argue it’s even more difficult to control due to the human factor. By using a platform that generates schedules based on historical sales data, restaurant leaders can schedule more precisely while using tools like enforced scheduling and robust reporting to prevent any questionable or unnecessary overtime.

10:45 AM: Pre-shift staff meeting

The pre-shift meeting is an ideal for discussing menu adjustments, specials, or a limited availability featured dish. It also is a good time for coaching and motivating employees, addressing housekeeping tasks, assigning side work, answering questions, and more.

11:00 AM – 2:00 PM: Lunch service peak

2:00 PM: Track invoices and pay vendors

Invoicing and accounts payable are among the most complex tasks in the business, and the ones that most never see. By eliminating paper from the process using vendor integrations, virtual invoice uploads, and digital payments, operators get off the paper trail and quickly verify payment accuracy and preserve cash flow.

3:00 PM check inventory levels and place orders as needed

is to check the inventory levels and set the next shift up for success. The next manager will need to know that you have run out of asparagus and the “vegetable of the day” needs to be changed to green beans. Or that there are only eight more orders of boneless chicken wings on hand before that menu item will be 86’d for the day. Orders will need to be placed for delivery the next morning on items that are required for the next day’s success.

4:00 PM: Record wastes

The final task before signing off for the day (if that’s actually a thing..) is logging item transfers and recording wastes. Using a tool like a food waste log can help managers record sources of waste at the time it happens for analysis later.  Examining waste logs daily is important to understanding the store’s inventory and improving profitability.


Being a restaurant general manager is a difficult job and can be quite overwhelming. That’s where Restaurant365 can help. Restaurant managers can gain a 360-degree view of their operations while saving time, minimizing errors, and helping staff work better together in a secure online environment by implementing a system like Restaurant365.