With the new information coming out of one might think that it isn’t difficult to become a restaurant manager.

  • 1 million+: Restaurant locations in the United States.
  • 7 million: Restaurant industry employees.
  • 6 million: New restaurant jobs created by the year 2027.
  • 10%: Restaurant workforce as part of the overall U.S. workforce.
  • 9 in 10: Restaurant managers who started at entry level.
  • 8 in 10: Restaurant owners who started their industry careers in entry-level positions.
  • 9 in 10: Restaurants with fewer than 50 employees.
  • 7 in 10: Restaurants that are single-unit operations.


It is fairly easy to read the statistics and think that you can fast trac your hospitality career to a restaurant management position.  The Recruiters at, one of the USA’s largest, and most successful, hospitality recruitment firms offers some advice for hospitality workers who want a job as a restaurant manager or general manager.

  1. Walk the Walk

If you want to be a restaurant manager then you need to walk the walk, and talk the talk. The job of restaurant manager isn’t about keeping the restaurant running smoothly day by day. It is about increasing the profit margin by:

-Taking pre-emptive strikes to prevent problems

-Increasing profit margins by lowering staff turn over, waste, lack of organization, loss of customer loyalty.

– Always keeping your eye on the horizon, 2 years in the future.

“You don’t know what you don’t know until you learn what you don’t know.” Let that sink in for a minute.  You see your current manager for brief periods through the day. The manager is handling organizational issues, staffing, and purchasing. It looks easy.

But it is the parts that you don’t see that make a great manager. One of the ways to learn ‘what you don’t know’ is to join a restaurant manager’s organization, and keep an eye on all the restaurant associations.

“If you know the job, certification is easy.” It is true that you may not need certification, but if you really know the job then it shouldn’t be difficult to become certified.

  1. Education

There are three ways to learn: formal education, mentorship, on the job. You cannot eliminate one or two of these and hope to reach the top of your career.  Yes, you might be able to avoid updating your skills, continually, but you may never have a six-figure restaurant management job.

The restaurant industry has developed a program designed to help train up a new generation of restaurant managers – take advantage of it. Take the courses. Learn the job.

  1. Soft Skills

Don’t forget your soft skills.

“Passion for the industry and the potential job they are interviewing for, loyal and steady past employment with little to no job hopping, prior experience required by the client, great communication skills, and leadership qualities.” Gecko Hospitality Recruiters

  1. Qualified Restaurant Manager Candidate

One of the most frustrating things for hospitality recruiters is wading through piles of resumes by candidates who are not qualified to apply for a restaurant management job posting.  Two of Gecko Hospitality’s recruitment professionals explained what they consider a qualified restaurant management candidate looked like:


“A candidate that has both strong hard and soft skills and be devoid of red flags that employers will see on a resume. They must check all the boxes of what the client is seeking for prior experience, education, certifications and size/scope of property. The candidate must demonstrate confidence, enthusiasm, leadership, knowledge of the position and industry, passion for what they do and an ability to describe examples over our conversation about their previous roles.”  Robert Krzak, CEO


“I consider a candidate qualified if they:

  1. A) Must have consistent restaurant management tenure/experience
  2. B) Meet with the requirements of my client.
  3. C) Passion! Do you love the industry or is it “just a job?”
  4. D) Have a depth of knowledge of running a successful concept – what can they bring to the company?
  5. E) Have full and complete knowledge of Budgets/P&L’s
  6. F) Do they possess leadership skills i.e. Can they be a positive influence to the team/company and change behaviors or bad habits to meet client’s criteria. “




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