The Ultimate Restaurant Manager Training Guide

a photo of Stephanie Schalow

Stephanie Schalow

5 min read

Jun 21, 2022

The Ultimate Restaurant Manager Training Guide

The role of a manager is one of the most important positions in a restaurant. The general manager (GM) oversees daily operations, finances, hiring, customer relations and much more. Because their role is so pivotal, managers need to go into the job with the proper know-how. 

When you put new hires through a restaurant manager training program, you can ensure they’re equipped with the knowledge and skills they need to be successful on the job. Training levels the playing field, no matter a manager’s background.

So exactly what should a program like this entail? We’re going to reveal that and more in this restaurant manager training guide:

Why restaurant manager training is important
Restaurant manager training checklist

Why Is Restaurant Manager Training Important?

A restaurant manager training program is a formalized system for teaching a manager how to perform their role. There are a number of reasons why implementing one is beneficial for your restaurant.

A training program creates consistency. By formalizing training (by creating a handbook for it, for example), you can make sure you don’t leave anything out. When you put all of your managers through the same training, they’ll perform consistently and meet your restaurant’s standards of hospitality. A manager training program sets the bar for the quality you expect leaders to maintain.

Thorough training can also help reduce staff turnover, which stands at a staggering 73% annually and costs restaurants almost $6,000 per employee. When managers have the resources they need to do the best job possible, they’ll be more successful and engaged, and want to stay at your restaurant.

Restaurant Manager Training Checklist

This restaurant manager training checklist highlights eight subjects every program should cover:

Employee management
Restaurant technology training
Understanding and managing customer sentiment
Purchasing inventory
Financial management

Now let’s take a closer look at each of those topics.

1. Managing Employees

Managing employees is a GM’s most important responsibility. Train managers to be good leaders by showing examples of what effective leadership entails. This portion of your restaurant manager training program should also cover how to resolve conflicts among staff. Roleplaying is an engaging way to practice these skills.

Train managers on how to create staff schedules that are fair to employees and comply with labor laws. 

Since GMs are responsible for conducting performance reviews, cover these in your training as well. They should learn how to give fair, objective feedback that encourages professional growth.

2. Restaurant Technology Training

Managers need to be adept at using your restaurant’s technology and should be able to train others on how to use it. Teach them the ins and outs of your restaurant’s customer relationship management platform (CRM), point-of-sale (POS) system, employee scheduling software and more.

3. Understanding & Managing Guest Sentiment

Staying on top of guest sentiment is important in the hospitality industry, which is why it needs to be included in your restaurant’s manager training program. Cover all of your bases with in-person satisfaction checks, feedback surveys and online reviews.

Managers should learn how to conduct satisfaction checks during service by visiting customers’ tables. They also need to know how to review post-visit feedback surveys and identify patterns in customer sentiment to improve the business.

There are many review sites GMs need to keep an eye on, like Yelp, Google and TripAdvisor. Instead of making them manually check reviews, set them up with review aggregation software, which creates a daily digest of reviews, tracks overall sentiment and even links reviews to guest profiles in your CRM.

4. Purchasing

Managers are typically responsible for ordering supplies and maintaining relationships with vendor. Train them on your ordering systems and give them agency to switch vendors when there’s an uptick in prices or drop in quality.

5. Safety

Train managers to keep guests, employees and the business safe from food poisoning, COVID-19 and theft.

When it comes to food safety, managers need to learn proper food handling techniques and make sure the back-of-house team’s food handlers’ permits are up to date.

The COVID-19 situation ebbs and flows, so managers must know what to do when health guidelines change. Train them to be able to make smart decisions about social distancing, masking, sanitization, vaccination requirements and more.

Managers should also be aware of external and internal theft threats. They need to be able to train employees to prevent and handle dine-and-dash situations. They should also learn the signs of internal theft. Train managers to review POS and inventory reports to make sure staff aren’t overpouring, giving away food or giving out unauthorized discounts.

6. Hiring

Managers are responsible for hiring both front-of-house and back-of-house restaurant staff. They should become familiar with your restaurant’s values so that they can hire people who will fit in well with the team’s culture. GMs also need to understand what each role entails so they can hire the right people.

Managers must also learn how to create and promote job postings, interview candidates and train new hires.

7. Marketing

In many restaurants, managers also handle marketing, which could include managing social media, sending out email newsletters and coming up with ideas for new promotions.

Make sure your restaurant’s manager training program covers marketing best practices. Managers should, for example, understand how to create Instagram posts that will resonate with audiences and be able to write engaging newsletters.

Marketing automation software takes the heavy lifting out of email marketing by doing it for you. Equip managers with this kind of tool so they can focus more on other marketing efforts, or on other aspects of the business.

8. Financial Management

GMs are also responsible for managing the business’ finances. Your manager training program should equip them with the know-how to do things like set and manage a budget, create sales goals, approve timesheets and process payroll. They’ll likely also need some basic accounting training and should learn how to use all of the finance-related tools your restaurant relies on.

Create Your Restaurant Manager Training Program Today

By putting all of your restaurant’s managers through a rigorous training program, they’ll be able to perform consistently and at the level you expect. When managers have the resources they need to do a good job, they’ll be more satisfied at work and less likely to look for new opportunities.

Create a restaurant manager training program that covers employee management, technology training, customer sentiment management, purchasing, safety, hiring, marketing and finances. By covering these bases, you’ll set your leadership team up for success.

SevenRooms can streamline many restaurant manager responsibilities. Request a demo today.

FAQs About Restaurant Manager Training

1. What Do You Need to Be a Manager at a Restaurant?

Skills needed to be a manager at a restaurant include: the ability to lead, strong communication skills, problem-solving skills and strong attention to detail. You also need to work well under pressure and be self-motivated. Food and hospitality should be your passion.

2. Is it Hard to Become a Restaurant Manager?

Becoming a restaurant manager takes time and dedication. It is a job that can be difficult but offers interesting, differentiated tasks each day along with the opportunities to lead and be creative.

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