What is a Café Manager?
A Café Manager oversees daily operations of a café, which sells food and drinks to customers. From planning menus and working with vendors to training employees and managing budgets, this individual is responsible for all aspects of running the business. They work in independently owned cafés, national chains, as well as cafés that are located on college campuses, in hospitals and in privately-run companies. This position often requires working long hours – more than 40 hours per week – and being available on nights and weekends.
Café Managers must have experience working in the restaurant field; many candidates get promoted from lower managerial positions, such as Assistant Manager or Shift Supervisor. Demand for Café Managers is growing: 7,710 annual jobs are expected to open up for all food service managers through 2024, accounting for a 5 percent overall increase, according to The Bureau of Labor and Statistics.
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Café Manager Duties and Responsibilities
Providing Customer Service
Café Manager Skills
Successful Café Managers are business-savvy, have leadership qualities and are organized and friendly. They must be able to create an inviting and comfortable experience for the café’s guests, yet be professional and command respect from staff and vendors.
Core skills Most job listings for Café Managers across the U.S. required these basic skills
- Customer service skills to meet and address customers’ requests, demands and concerns.
- Skills in both management and administration in order to lead a team, allocate resources and make intelligent decisions about the best strategies for running the business.
- Knowledge of basic mathematics, accounting and payroll, in order to maintain the café’s books and handle payroll.
- Good management of time and organizational skills to handle a multitude of tasks efficiently and be able to prioritize.
- The ability to negotiate with vendors for lower prices or better service.
Advanced skills In our review of online job postings, some employers listed the following skills as preferred. Including these on your resume can help your chances of securing employment
- A passion for food, and the ability to suggest unique recipes and product offerings.
- Social media marketing experience with platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
- Fluency in another language, most commonly Spanish.
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Café Manager Q & A
What are some of the core duties performed by a restaurant manager?
The restaurant manager is responsible for the “flow” of the restaurant. Coordination of the front of the house (wait staff, bartenders, bussers, etc.) and the back of the house (cooks and dishwashers). There is also an administrative aspect, including scheduling, reconciling sales and coordinating with vendors.
What challenges does this position face?
The challenges include long hours, transient staff, demanding customers and the unpredictable nature of the business.
What skills does this position use most?
The ability to multi-task, to be detail-oriented and, most importantly, to be able to work with staff and handle customer requests.
What should someone consider before becoming a restaurant manager?
The hours are long and unpredictable; most places require nights, weekends and holidays. Working in a restaurant can be a lot of fun, but you have to be able to balance having fun with getting the work done.
What type of person is successful in this job?
People who are willing to work hard and truly enjoy being with people. As a manager, your job is to get the work done through people. The job is helping guests have fun.
What do you find to be the most rewarding about this position?
A successful shift is one that is planned for and the staff has all of the tools and information that they need. When it goes well, everyone feel an immediate sense of satisfaction; usually the atmosphere is one of fun, which makes for an easier day at work.
Café Manager Salary
Café Manager Resources
We scoured the Internet to bring you additional resources to help you learn more about a career as a Café Manager. From blogs, to books and influencers, utilize these sources to help you make a smart career decision.
On the WebRestaurant Den Blog
A blog for Restaurant and Café Managers on topics such as acing health inspections and marketing tips.Ctuit Blog
A blog with advice on aspects such as nutrition labeling and accounting.Modern Restaurant Management
A website dedicated to providing the latest strategies to help Café and Restaurant Managers with all aspects of running their business.
A resource for restaurant jobs across the country.@Chris_Donnachie
Restaurant Manager at Martin Wishart at Loch Lomond, previously of Yatai, Musa & The California Grill in Orlando, Florida.@RonRuggless
Writer for National Restaurant News, and an expert on everything happening in the restaurant world.
A group with over 18,000 members whose goal it is to create a networking platform for Restaurant Managers working in or with the hospitality industry.Restaurant Management Career Development
A networking group for Restaurant Managers who want to advance their careers in this field.Restaurant and Retail General Manager Network
A group for Café Managers that want to to connect with others in their field to share best practices.