Managers are among the biggest factors in a restaurant’s success. A menu can read great on paper, but if the ingredients aren’t ordered, the cooks aren’t trained, and the kitchen can’t make it through a busy service, does it even matter? If the food hits the pass ready for an Instagram photo shoot but doesn’t have the hands of a well-trained server to ensure it makes its way to a table of guests who are cared for as they should be, the team is only halfway there.
Becoming an effective, successful restaurant manager requires hard work and dedication to developing a wide variety of knowledge and skills. When applying for restaurant manager positions — whether that’s restaurant manager, general manager, or kitchen manager — it’s essential to share the work you’ve done throughout your career and your achievements and expertise. It’s important to do so in a concise, engaging way that leaves a mark on the potential employer. Read on for Restaurant365’s quick guide to writing a restaurant manager resume.
Know Where You Are
Not all management positions are the same, and while they all involve leadership, they also have different responsibilities and priorities. It’s critical to honestly assess where you’re at in your career and match that to potential employers’ needs. Quick tip: For those looking to move up, look at the skills and accomplishments required for those next-level positions and think about how to get there.
The Big Picture
There are a few important things your resume should do in addition to communicating your skills and experience. You must translate those skills and experiences into compelling stories that memorably convey how you’ve grown and added value in previous organizations. Think about:
- What new things did you create? (Training program? New menu section or service? Marketing promotion?)
- What business areas did you improve? (Efficiency? Reduced costs? Improved customer relations?)
In addition to explaining what you’ve done, you want to share a measurable impact and how you did it. Avoid passive voice and passive phrases like “responsible for.” Be sure to tie standard responsibilities to their benefits to guests or the company. For example, instead of “tasked with managing employee training program,” try “managed and expanded employee training program that helped drive a 16% increase in server sales over a six-month period.”
Finally, tailor your resume to the particular position. Consider building a comprehensive, master resume with everything you’ve done. Then, you can tailor what you send out to the company’s needs.
Let’s look at the different elements of a strong resume.
If no cover letter is requested, it’s even more important to tell the story behind the bullet points. Quickly explain your professional intent, your track record in pursuing broader goals, and the specific skills, experiences, and expertise developed to aid you.
Next, provide a detailed history, in reverse chronological order, of past work experiences. The section is a continuation of your professional summary. Don’t just list where you worked and what you did. Explain how you used your role and responsibilities to improve business operations and increase profitability while providing excellent guest experiences. Ideally, these will also be measurable accomplishments such as a percentage reduction in staff turnover, food costs, or labor expenses.
Again, make this section of your resume engaging. Recruiters, managers, owners, and operators get stacks of boring applications that are quickly tossed. Use a wide variety of active verbs. Here are a few examples:
Again, be sure your skills match what the employer is looking for. While reading minds is impossible, most companies will lay it out in the job description. Put in a good mix of hard skills like profit-and-loss statement analysis and softer skills like leadership and dispute resolution. Employers today increasingly use technology-driven applicant tracking systems and hiring tools designed to search for specific keywords. These may include:
- Conflict Resolution
- Cost Reduction & Elimination
- Culinary Arts
- Customer Relations & Service
- Employee Morale & Retention
- Food Quality & Safety Standards
- Hiring & Staffing
- Marketing Strategy Development
- Operations Management
- Process Redesign & Improvement
- Product Inventory Management
- Productivity & Efficiency
- Regulatory & Corporate Compliance
- Revenue & Profit Growth
- Staff Training & Coaching
- Team Leadership & Motivation
- Workforce Planning & Scheduling
This should follow the structure of work experience in listing graduation dates or degrees granted in reverse chronological order. Don’t worry if you didn’t attend college, but list any completed courses or certifications.
The end of your resume is just the beginning. Once completed, you’ll want to proofread it thoroughly and ideally share it with your network for feedback, especially from trusted restaurant industry colleagues. Implement that feedback, and also try restructuring your resume to see what format gets the most response. Some arrangements place a strong set of skills above experience, for example. Finally, a resume is never a static document! Update it as you grow and develop in new areas to prepare yourself for that exciting next opportunity.