Restaurant Owner Job Description
Restaurant owners are responsible for the daily operations of a restaurant as well as its overall direction, profitability, and reputation. Since they determine their own tasks, their work can vary widely depending on their approach and the restaurant’s size. Some restaurant owners are extremely hands-on, helping out in the kitchen and interacting with customers, while others hire managers and focus on strategic planning. In any case, they spend much of their time supervising employees, directing operations, and finding ways to adapt to customers and industry trends. While the job is stressful and demanding, often resulting in more than 40 hours per week, most restaurant owners describe it as extremely satisfying.
Restaurant Owner Duties and Responsibilities
A restaurant owner’s specific job duties vary from day to day, but there are several core tasks common to all restaurant owners:
Develop Business Strategy
It’s up to restaurant owners to develop business strategies for their restaurant. They regularly monitor various aspects of the restaurant, from sales data to customer reactions, and formulate plans to address problem areas and capitalize on strengths. In addition, they take charge of brand development, which includes menu selections and presentation.
Restaurant owners supervise and direct employees, including servers, chefs, dishwashers, and kitchen managers. This entails delegating tasks, conducting performance evaluations, and promoting a team culture to improve camaraderie and productivity. It’s also common for them to handle hiring and recruitment and organize training programs.
Promote the Restaurant
In order to attract more customers, restaurant owners invest significantly in promotion and public relations. They must create a comfortable, friendly ambience for customers and respond promptly to complaints. On a larger scale, they may lead marketing campaigns and hold holiday parties, seasonal discounts, and other activities.
Restaurant owners manage the finances of the restaurant as a whole, and they have the final say in major financial decisions regarding budget allocations and menu price points. When it comes to day-to-day administrative duties, they may hire a bookkeeper or accountant, especially for specialized, time-consuming tasks such as tax filing and payroll calculation.
A well-managed inventory is essential to restaurant operations. Restaurant owners monitor supplies carefully, estimate demand, and develop an inventory control program that lowers costs. Additionally, they coordinate equipment repairs and oversee food ingredient and equipment purchases.
Restaurant Owner Skills and Qualifications
Restaurant owners are creative entrepreneurs who excel at spotting trends and building a unique culinary brand. At the same time, they have strong organizational and managerial abilities. Most restaurant owners have several years of experience in the food service industry along with the following skills:
- Leadership skills – restaurant owners are comfortable taking on a leadership role. Since they set the direction of the entire restaurant, they’re accountable for the its business performance, and they must be able to inspire and motivate their staff
- Business acumen – it’s crucial for restaurant owners to combine food industry expertise with innovative thinking and a knack for operations and marketing if they are to succeed in a competitive, fast-paced market
- Interpersonal skills – restaurant owners must maintain good working relationships with their employees, even when giving orders during busy periods. They should also be professional and respectful toward customers
- Organization skills – since restaurant owners typically have a heavy workload, they need good organization and multitasking skills, and they should be able to remain calm and composed in intense, high-stress situations
- Customer service – restaurant owners place a high value on customer recommendations and reviews. Aside from being aware of the preferences of their target market, owners should consider customer suggestions and proactively respond to complaints by making improvements
Tools of the Trade
Restaurant owners often use the following tools in their day-to-day functions:
- Restaurant point-of-sale software (Slurp!, Loyverse POS, BIM POS)
- Employee management software (7shifts, Humanity, HotSchedules)
- Financial management software (Freshbooks, Restaurateur, Orderly)
- Microsoft Office (Word, Excel)
Restaurant Owner Education and Training
There are no formal education requirements to become a restaurant owner, although many have a degree in business, hospitality, or a related field. While restaurant owners only need enough funds and capital to start, it’s useful for them to also have many years of experience in the restaurant industry, as they will be self-employed and relying on their own expertise. To improve their skills, they have the option of taking workshops and classes or obtaining certification.
Restaurant Owner Salary and Outlook
Restaurant owner salaries differ widely depending on several factors, such as the size of the restaurant and its number of employees. All in all, PayScale reports a median annual salary of around $61,000 for restaurant owners. Those in the bottom 10 percent of earners receive $29,000 annually, while those at the top 10 percent make more than $150,000.
Employment outlook data is hard to estimate because restaurant owners are entrepreneurs. However, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts that restaurants are likely to increase for the next 10 years because of growing public preference for dining out.
As you continue to explore what’s involved in being a restaurant owner, here are some online resources that may interest you:
National Restaurant Association – food service students and professionals are welcome to join NRA, a trade association that offers a one-stop hub for educational content and networking opportunities. Its website contains comprehensive material about restaurant management, policies, research, and career development
Making the Cut: What Separates the Best from the Rest – restaurant owners looking for inspiration can turn to this book, which revolves around candid interviews with world-class chefs about their entrepreneurial journeys
Nation’s Restaurant News – NRN is the leading digital publication for business intelligence in the food and restaurant industry. Equipped with a large editorial team, it features articles about business trends, restaurant news, regulations, and studies, as well as regular industry reports
How to Rock Restaurant Management: 5 Ingredients to Leading a Successful Team – this easy-to-read, informative book details the traits of a good restaurant manager and provides tips for creating and leading teams with the goal of boosting business performance. Other topics include time management, guest relations, and good communication
Restaurant Owner Resume Help
Explore these related job titles from our database of hundreds of thousands of expert-approved resume samples: