5 skills a restaurant manager needs

By Megan Prevost

Restaurant managers have a heavy responsibility and need certain skills to handle all the moving parts to create an excellent dining experience. Here are five skills a restaurant manager needs to keep their restaurant at the top of its game.


Communication is vital to a restaurant’s success, as you might be liaising with employees, vendors, and customers on a daily basis.

Communication skills build a strong network and connection with vendors, customers, fellow restaurant managers, and potential employees to serve as an endless well of resources.

The ability to communicate between the kitchen, the vendors, the wait staff, the bar, and the customers can feel like an intricate dance, especially during busy times. An effective manager keeps an open line of communication with all these groups, helping them work together smoothly.


Problem-solving is an essential skill for anyone in a management role. Conflicts can be costly for a restaurant and demotivating for your employees. Solving problems as they arise with efficiency is one of the most useful tools in restaurant management.

Conflict resolution can look like an unruly customer, a struggling employee, or a miscommunication with a vendor. A good restaurant manager can find solutions to these problems in the heat of the moment and come up with fail-safes to limit recurrence in the future.

Restaurant workflow is a well-oiled machine. As a restaurant manager, you need to be able to assess situations in every space, from the dining area to the serving station to the kitchen and keep them all working together to maintain a quality dining experience.


A manager should express compassion and empathy when communicating with others. Restaurants are high-stress environments and having a strong awareness of your staff’s needs keeps them feeling like part of the team.

Taking time to develop cultural awareness and understand different backgrounds, ages, genders, and nationalities can help you connect with your network and communicate more effectively.

Mistakes and conflict are inevitable in a restaurant. Remember, a manager’s success depends on their team, and a happy team is an effective team.

Compassion also allows managers to grow, too, as they connect with their staff’s struggles and strengthen those relationships. The ability to take criticism and learn from experience, rather than stomping out any sign of dissatisfaction, helps a manager make better choices to avoid future conflict.


Good marketing can be a game-changer for the profitability of your business. Making the right decisions about design and advertising could catch the attention of the right customers and drive them to your restaurant.

Create a brand that speaks to the clientele you want to serve. Reach out to customers with flyers, well-branded social media pages, or a user-friendly website. Hold special events that will bring new customers to your restaurant. Marketing can help get your restaurant off the ground or build on the existing brand, so this is an important tool for a restaurant manager.


A creative spirit is what takes your business to the next level. Bringing creative decision-making into your restaurant allows your business to stay at the top of its game, which will help bring in new clientele.

Creativity plays an important role in the day-to-day decisions of restaurant management. Whether you change the menu to reflect the season or update restaurant design and marketing plans, a creative spirit can help make the process smoother.

Creativity goes hand in hand with innovation, and an innovating business is a growing business. Effective restaurant management means relying on your creativity to build the best restaurant possible.

Putting it all together

None of these skills operate independently; communication feeds your compassion, and problem-solving and marketing build on the foundation of creativity. Each of these skills is important in its own way, but an effective restaurant manager knows how to best use them together.

Building these skills can take time and practice, but they make all the difference in creating a restaurant and dining experience that stands out from the crowd.

Megan Prevost is a contributing writer for RestoBiz and a Content Manager for MustHaveMenus. Her work has also appeared in App Institute, Bar Business, Modern Restaurant Management, Small Business Currents, PMQ, FSR, The Daily Fandom, and FanSided.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *