• Pricing
  • Get a Free Demo

Restaurant General Manager: Hard Skills vs. Soft Skills

Jenny Day
Jenny Day
Share this

Being the general manager of a restaurant is a difficult job. While there are many hard skills that are teachable for a restaurant general manager’s job expectations and best practices, there are certain soft skills that successful restaurant managers naturally possess.

Key Traits in a Restaurant General Manager

According to indeed.com, hard skills are job-specific skills that are gained through education, experience, or specific training. They include competencies like learning safety protocols, properly operating machinery, and how to use a certain restaurant management software. Soft skills are more often seen as personality traits you may have spent your whole life developing. They are called upon when you manage your time, communicate with other people, or confront a difficult situation.

When applying for a restaurant general manager position, consider highlighting these highly sought-after soft skills to your resume.

Restaurant General Manager Resume: Soft Skill Examples

Works Well Under Pressure

In the restaurant business, you have probably had the experience of being “in the weeds.” It’s restaurant slang for when someone is overwhelmed and falling behind. Feeling continuously stressed can quickly lead to restaurant manager burnout. Restaurant veterans know firsthand this situation is temporary. They just need to break up the tasks before them into manageable chunks and muscle through without cracking under the pressure. A good general manager is able to keep their cool in high-stress situations.

Able to Think on Their Feet

Circumstances change fast in a restaurant. The expected easy Monday dinner shift can quickly fall apart if a coworker calls out sick, a convention is in town, or you run out of ingredients needed to make your most popular dish. When things start to fall apart, it is important for the manager to control the situation before it gets out of hand. Successful general managers are agile and can think fast to swiftly resolve conflicts.

Team Player

Restaurant workers rely heavily on each other, but teamwork is not something that can be enforced by the manager. The employees must realize the value in working as a team to create the best possible experience for the guest. A good general manager can lead by example and support their team in order to reach a common goal.

Able to Multitask

Restaurant managers move at a frantic pace. Over the course of a day, they will create staff schedules, interview applicants to hire, create a purchase orders, process invoices, check inventory, unload food deliveries, and more. Often these duties will overlap. An effective general manager can multitask while maintaining full composure.


Restaurant managers deal with every type of personality. It takes a certain amount of diplomacy to humbly accept “the customer is always right” and maintain a smile. This is also true when it comes to the employees. The handling both customers and coworkers require amazing interpersonal skills. A good general manager can manage diverse personalities with professionalism and compassion.

Solid Communication

Restaurant managers need great communication skills. They need to be able to focus on what others are saying despite the noise and commotion happening all around them. They need to make sure the customers and the staff feel heard without becoming impatient. They can articulate clearly in order to solve situations and create the best outcomes for everybody. A quality general manager can listen, focus, and express themselves calmly and clearly.

Managing Finances

Restaurants face distinct accounting challenges that require a restaurant-specific approach. The key to operating a profitable restaurant is understanding your profits and losses, knowing how to manage food and labor costs, and making strategic decisions about expenses and investments. While there is a lot involved in accounting processes and accounting procedures that can be taught, a restaurant general manager with a natural knack for understanding the value of money and can be responsible handling it properly definitely has advantages over those who don’t do well with finances.


The role of a restaurant general manager requires both hard skills and soft skills. That’s where Restaurant365 can help. We’ve been in your shoes. We know what it takes to run a successful restaurant and are here to make your job easier. The ability to gather and leverage business data to gain the insights needed to make informed decisions will help evolve your restaurant general manager skills.

You can see which recipes are most profitable. You can optimize food usage and reduce waste. You can figure out which servers are outperforming on upsell—and who might need a little nudge. Our back-office management solutions cover accountingpayrollschedulinginventorymanager logbook, and more to give you the insights and intelligence to identify what’s working and what’s not.