Front of House Manager Job Description
The front of house manager oversees all operations at a restaurant (except for the kitchen). They shape a restaurant-goer’s experience by maintaining the dining room’s appearance, hiring and training quality staff, and ensuring good customer service. Front of house managers are “people-people” with strong organization and leadership skills. A talent for conflict resolution is also important for addressing customer complaints and handling staff disputes. This position is usually full-time and often demands long hours with night, weekend, and holiday shifts.
Front of House Manager Duties and Responsibilities
A restaurant’s front of house manager is responsible for overseeing an establishment’s dining room and customer experience. The specific responsibilities vary from restaurant to restaurant depending on size, staff, budget, and the general manager’s preferences, but the following tasks are almost always associated with the job:
Interview and Hire Staff
Front of house managers are responsible for a restaurant’s bar and waitstaff. Hiring the right people for these roles is critical to a restaurant’s success and reputation. Front of house managers must occasionally develop a specialized hiring process to meet a restaurant’s needs.
Manage Staff Training
Even experienced servers, bartenders, hosts, and bussers might need training to meet the specific needs of a particular restaurant, so front of house managers schedule and direct training sessions. Training is even more critical for inexperienced staff, so they also arrange additional training to help set new employees up for success.
Supervise Upkeep of Guest Areas
The front of house manager is also responsible for supervising the cleaning and maintenance of guest areas. Directing staff to attend to messes or accidents and assisting in cleanup are both critical responsibilities in maintaining the customer experience.
Ensuring each shift is properly staffed is essential to running a successful restaurant. Front of house managers use scheduling systems to assign waitstaff based on anticipated demand. They also direct staff to handle unexpected situations and customer concerns throughout a shift as needed.
Front of House Manager Skills and Qualifications
Front of house managers have a mind for customer experience and service, as well as great people and leadership skills. There are no licensing or certification requirements, but employers value a bachelor’s degree and prefer one to two years of restaurant management experience. Well-qualified candidates have the following skills:
- Point of sale system experience – front of house managers are responsible for cash transactions, including refunding customers, providing discounts, and comping items, which requires proficiency with the restaurant’s POS system
- Organizational skills – front of house managers often juggle many responsibilities at a time, so top-notch organizational skills and prioritization skills are critical for running successful shifts
- Training – as the front of house manager leads staff onboarding, experience teaching or training new staff is preferable
- Leadershipskills – it’s the job of a front of house manager to keep staff on task, motivated, and focused. They also resolve staff conflicts and customer’s concerns
- Management - hiring, firing, training, and disciplining staff is the front of house manager’s responsibility, so they must have strong managerial skills
- Customer service – dedication to providing excellent customer service and improving the customer experience are important qualities
Front of House Manager Education and Training
Most restaurants only require a high school diploma or GED. Since this is a management role, employers do prefer general restaurant, management, or restaurant management experience. Front of house managers usually receive on-the-job training on restaurant policies, processes, and equipment. Additionally, some restaurants provide formalized training for specific job duties.
Front of House Manager Salary and Outlook
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) categorizes front of house managers as food service managers, who earn a median annual salary of $50,820. The lowest 10 percent make less than $28,290, while the highest 10 percent earn more than $87,120. Tips are not commonly shared by front of house managers. Benefits vary widely and are determined by the restaurant.
According to the BLS, this role will grow about 9 percent from through 2026, which is about average for all jobs. As restaurant demand increases, it’s expected that demand for front of house managers will also rise.
These resources can help you perfect your skills and become a great front of house manager:
National Restaurant Association – this website offers an impressive number of job-specific articles and tips, along with information on training, certification, and education for food service workers
Restaurant Operations Management: Principles and Practices – written by Jack Ninemeier and David Hayes, this comprehensive guidebook covers the entire restaurant management process, from industry basics to restaurant analysis and improvement
The Restaurant Manager’s Handbook: How to Set Up, Operate, and Manage a Financially Successful Food Service Operation 4th Edition – frontline managers will appreciate the chapters on staff management, hiring, and customer satisfaction
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