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Fast Food Manager Duties and Responsibilities

Fast food managers deal with the operation, finances, and people management of a restaurant, ensuring that health and safety codes and sales targets are met. A fast food manager will typically:

Schedule Shifts Fast food managers deal with the coordination of shifts and rotas for their staff to ensure that there are enough members of the team working to cover all open hours. They assign and oversee duties to make sure that all tasks are done to the appropriate standard by closing time.

Oversee Food Preparation Health and safety standards are of high priority in food preparation areas, so fast food managers are responsible for supervising these areas and checking that all hygiene standards are met. This includes arranging for the maintenance of equipment and the establishment, such as trash removal and full cleaning when the restaurant is closed to the public.

Manage Finances Fast food managers look after the financial side of the business, from administering payroll to controlling the operational costs. They manage the budget and make sure that the business' financial records are kept up to date.

Appraise Staff Performance Managers deal with all aspects of employee management, which includes interviewing and hiring new staff, giving performance reviews, and disciplining and even firing employees who are not performing to the right standard. Managers are also in charge of making sure that employees have the right training for their role.

Respond to Customers Customer complaints and queries are directed to the manager of the branch, who responds efficiently but respectfully. It's the manager's job to ensure that all customers have a pleasant dining experience and that the brand's reputation is upheld.


Fast Food Manager Skills and Qualifications

Fast food managers should have strong interpersonal and people management skills and be able to lead a team effectively. Typically, employers will require a bachelor's degree in a food management or another hospitality-related subject and prior management experience, ideally from a commercial background, as well as the following abilities:
  • Leadership skills - managing a team involves establishing a strong work relationships and an enjoyable work environment. Fast food managers need to be able to motivate people and set a good example
  • Customer service - this customer-facing role requires the ability to remain polite, courteous, and professional at all times
  • Communication skills - fast food managers are good at communicating effectively not just with customers, but also with their staff. Giving clear direction is important for running smooth shifts
  • Business aptitude - managing budgets, schedules, and inventory is all part of a fast food manager's role, so having a talent for business helps the restaurant to run properly and ensures that it meets its targets
  • Problem-solving - managers are responsible for dealing with any customer complaints or personnel issues, so the ability to troubleshoot and find solutions is valuable in this role
  • Time management - fast food managers keep track of schedules and shifts and ensure that all necessary tasks get done each day, so it's crucial to be good at prioritizing and managing time

Fast Food Manager Education and Training

Although there's no formal qualification required to become a fast food manager, previous experience in a similar role is often expected, and applicants usually have a degree in food management or a similar subject. Some larger chains also offer their own graduate management training programs and accept applicants from any discipline.

Fast Food Manager Salary and Outlook

Fast food managers earn a median annual salary of just over $36,000. Managers in the 10th percentile earn around $25,000, while the highest paid earn almost $51,000 annually. There are opportunities to earn overtime pay and tips in this job, as well as bonuses that can reach up to $6,000 a year. Health benefits are not commonly offered with this role. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the growth rate for food service managers is expected to grow by 9 percent through 2026.

Fast Food Manager Helpful Resources

Below we've collected some of the best resources you'll need to succeed in a managerial career:

On Managing People - this book examines how to tailor your management technique to suit your staff for a well-functioning team. The articles here will help you build trust and motivate effectively to increase performance

The First-Time Manager - a great resource for novice managers that offers guidance on everything from hiring new employees to finding ways to motivate your team

Focus POS Systems - Focus POS Systems' blog is a useful and regularly updated collection of restaurant-related advice and news. Tackling a wide variety of topics and issues, it's a helpful guide to running a restaurant well

Managing People - a pocket guide that provides solutions for a range of common managerial problems, such as improving communication and resolving conflicts

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