General Manager Job Description

General managers manage their company’s employees and day-to-day operations. Restaurants, retail stores, and other businesses hire general managers to work full-time hours during flexible shifts, including evenings and weekends, depending on when the business is open. General managers report to the district manager or business owner and may be required to travel to various store branches to help manage operations at multiple locations.


General Manager Duties and Responsibilities

General managers perform varied daily job duties based on the industry they’re in, the number of staffers they manage, and the needs of the hiring company. However, these core tasks are carried out by general managers in most workplaces:

Keep Workplace Clean

General managers keep the workplace and all customer areas, including bathrooms, neat and clean at all times.

Manage Employees

General managers oversee all aspects of employee management, from interviewing, hiring, and training new hires to creating employee schedules. They supervise and monitor employees to ensure they follow company standards and fulfill their job responsibilities. General managers also fire employees who fail to perform at acceptable levels.

Follow All Company Procedures

General managers adhere to company procedures and protocols at all times to serve as an example for all other employees.

Manage Inventory

General managers manage inventory supplies and order new items as needed.

Address Customers

General managers address customer complaints and questions.

Open and Close Stores

General managers ensure that store opening and closing procedures are followed accurately and on time.


General Manager Skills and Qualifications

General managers are leaders who manage daily business operations, address staffing requirements, and handle customer concerns. Employers look for general managers who have the following essential skills:

  • Management – general managers hire, train, supervise, and fire staff members, all of which require strong management skills
  • Customer service – because general managers address customer complaints and questions, employers look for professionals with good customer service skills
  • Attention to detail – general managers need excellent attention to detail to monitor staff, manage inventory, and keep business operations flowing smoothly at all times
  • Communication skills – strong verbal communication skills are essential for general managers, who must effectively talk to staff and customers
  • Computer skills – general managers use digital systems to create inventory reports and employee schedules, so some computer skills are necessary
  • Problem-solving skills – general managers use good problem-solving skills to address all daily problems as they arise
  • Multitasking – general managers often handle many problems at once and must be able to multitask to keep staff members focused and manage all business operations
  • Time management – general managers use time management skills to observe business opening and closing times, note when employees are late for their shifts, and address customer problems in a timely fashion


General Manager Education and Training

Candidates need a high school diploma or GED to pursue this career. Many employers also require general managers to have past work experience in a related industry, or past management experience in any career field. Specialized education and training are not typically required.

General managers receive paid training to learn the details of daily business operations and company procedures. This training period varies by company and may last for several weeks. During training, general managers work closely with upper management, usually a district manager, to learn their job tasks.


General Manager Salary and Outlook

According to data from PayScale, general managers earn $50,779 annually. Job data compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows that food service managers earn $52,030 in yearly median pay. General managers and food service managers have similar education requirements and perform many of the same tasks, as food service managers are general managers who specialize in the food service industry. BLS data shows that these jobs will increase 9 percent by 2026, a rate as fast as the national job growth average.

General managers typically receive comprehensive benefits that include medical coverage with dental and vision insurance. A majority of employers also provide general managers with retirement plans and life insurance benefits. After a period of sustained employment, usually three months to one year, general managers receive paid vacation leave and sick days. Some additional job perks may be awarded to general managers depending on the industry they’re in. Restaurants, for example, may provide free meals. Retail stores typically provide employees with reduced rates on purchases.


Helpful Resources

Use these resources to find education opportunities, job openings, strategies, and tips for being a successful general manager:

Global Association for Quality Management – learn tips and techniques for being a great manager at the e-learning portal, search for certification programs of all types, and find ways to advance in a general management career with this website

No-Nonsense Management: A General Manager’s Primer – this book is designed to help professionals improve their management style with a straightforward, simple approach

American Management Association – listen to seminars, participate in online learning, find web events, and use the resource library at AMA to find ways to improve your management skills and advance in this career path

Becoming a Top Manager: Tools and Lessons in Transitioning to General Management – find practical insights into management with this book designed to help professionals get to the top of their field

Product Development and Management Association – find management jobs at the career center, find dates for upcoming events, and browse resources for management professionals of all types at this website

First, Break All The Rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently – find out what great managers have in common and learn how to use those qualities with this book


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