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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.

Supervise Employees 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.

Manage Finances 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.

Oversee Inventory 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

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.

Helpful Resources

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

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Restaurant Owner Resume FAQ

How much does a restaurant owner make?

How much you earn as a restaurant owner depends on geography, average pay rate, average rent costs and average business costs related to ingredients, supplies and energy. According to the restaurant payment app Toast, a restaurant owner can earn between $24,000 to $155,000 a year. The national salary average is around $68,146 a year.

How do you become a restaurant owner?

How you become a restaurant owner will depend on your knowledge of the industry and neighborhood. However, you can follow these suggestions to get started.

  1. Research the neighborhood: Conduct market research on the neighborhood’s consumers and competition. You could have an amazing idea for a tapas restaurant, but opening in a crowded market with a small residential base could lead to failure.
  2. Create a concept: You’ll need a full business plan with concept menus, potential locations, interior design and remodeling plans, and marketing ideas before you start pitching to potential investors and business partners.
  3. Secure funding: A growing number of restaurants report breaking even monthly. To avoid financial strain, calculate a minimum of two years of business costs (rent, supplies and staff) to secure enough funding to function without profits.
  4. Hire staff: A restaurant is nothing without its front- and back-of-house staff. Work with your partners to hire an adequate number of opening staff.
  5. Self-promote before opening: Collaborate with local business owners, residents, neighborhood alliances, food reviewers, and delivery apps to promote your soft or grand openings.

How can you be successful as a restaurant owner?

A restaurant owner oversees the day-to-day operations of a dining establishment. You can be successful as a restaurant owner by:

  1. Creating detailed staff onboarding training and refresher courses.
  2. Constantly refreshing your menu.
  3. Excelling at customer service and culinary knowledge.
  4. Maintaining a clean, professional work environment.
  5. Collaborating with local businesses and neighborhood associations to promote restaurants.