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Restaurant Supervisor Duties and Responsibilities

No two restaurant supervisors are exactly alike, as specific duties vary from employer to employer. However, after analyzing online job postings, we identified several core duties and responsibilities common to the job:

Hire and Train Staff From cooks to waitresses, a restaurant supervisor is responsible for hiring all restaurant staff. They interview candidates, make personnel decisions, set schedules, and oversee training programs. Restaurant supervisors might write job descriptions, place help wanted ads, and review the performance of each employee.

Monitor Customer Experience Restaurant supervisors typically visit dining tables to check on guests and make sure they are satisfied with food choices and service. They get opinions about the restaurant's food, menu, ambience, and other factors. They oversee food presentation, ensure restaurant cleanliness, manage restaurant decor, and review customer survey responses to identify areas in which customer service can be improved.

Manage Inventory While restaurant supervisors might delegate some inventory duties to head waiters or waitresses (such as ordering napkins, table linens, and other supplies) and others head chefs (such as cooking ingredients), they oversee all inventory activities in a restaurant. They generate inventory reports and make sure that all needed materials are on hand at all times.

Ensure Adherence to Food Safety and Sanitation Standards Restaurant supervisors consistently inspect a restaurant's kitchen and oversee food preparation to determine whether all food safety and sanitation regulations and standards are being met. To this end, they check for food stock rotation, proper cleaning of kitchen equipment and handling of food, and removal of spoiled or outdated food items.


Restaurant Supervisor Skills and Qualifications

Do you possess strong people skills? Are you prepared to work in a fast-paced environment? Do you enjoy providing top-notch customer service to restaurant patrons? You would make a great restaurant supervisor. After examining several online job postings, we found that employers favor candidates who display the following skills:
  • Project management - budgeting, cost estimating, and scheduling are the main project management tasks that restaurant supervisors should be adept at
  • Physical fitness - restaurant supervisors should be able to stand for long periods of time, and lift and carry incoming inventory items when necessary
  • Mentoring skills - the ability to assess an employee's strengths and weaknesses, supply adequate training, and teach them the skills needed to be successful in their given position is crucial for restaurant supervisors
  • Communication skills - restaurant supervisors spend their days talking to customers, staff, and restaurant owners, and they must possess strong verbal communication skills to converse with a wide variety of individuals
  • Interpersonal skills - an outgoing, eager-to-serve personality fits best with the restaurant supervisor role
  • Organization skills - from arranging dining areas to setting employee schedules, restaurant supervisors must have strong organization skills
  • Team building - it's important that restaurant supervisors are able to develop strong teams of servers, preparers, hosts or hostesses, cleaning crews, and other personnel to create successful restaurant operations

Restaurant Supervisor Education and Training

A review of online job postings reveals that few employers require more than a high school diploma or its equivalent from prospective restaurant supervisors. However, some upscale hotels or restaurants might prefer job candidates who have successfully completed a four-year degree program in hospitality, food service, or restaurant management. Many such programs include an internship that allows candidates to gain hands-on experience in the fast-paced world of restaurant supervision. Voluntary certifications, such as the Foodservice Management Professional (FMP) designation, are available from professional organizations and could be helpful for advancing in a restaurant management career.

Restaurant Supervisor Salary and Outlook

According to the most recent information provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), restaurant supervisors earn a median annual salary of $52,000. Those earning in the 10th percentile are paid about $30,000 annually, while top earners can realize a median yearly wage of just over $90,000. Salaries vary widely depending on where a restaurant supervisor works. For example, the BLS reports that those working in special food services can make an average salary of just over $61,000 per year, while those working for restaurants make $54,300, and those employed in the travel industry can earn as much as $67,000. In a full-time role, restaurant supervisors often enjoy health insurance benefits, paid time off, and bonuses. The BLS reports a projected growth rate of 9 percent for restaurant supervisors through 2026. The trend of eating out or getting takeout is expected to continue in the US during this period, resulting in this increased demand for restaurant supervisors.

Helpful Resources

Do you feel that a career as a restaurant supervisor would serve you well? Check out the resources we've provided below to get more details about what this career choice entails and what you can expect when you choose to work in this field:

National Restaurant Association - let the NRA help you become a successful restaurant supervisor by accessing its webinars, attending its conferences, networking with fellow professionals, and reviewing helpful articles and papers

The Restaurant Manager's Handbook: How to Set Up, Operate, and Manage a Financially Successful Food Service Operation - from cost control to kitchen management, this award-winning book, written by an experienced national and chain restaurant manager, is a thorough how-to guide for anyone starting out as a restaurant supervisor or seeking to start their own food service venture

How to Rock Restaurant Management: 5 Ingredients to Leading a Successful Team - both experienced and novice restaurant supervisors can find value in this book, which gives in-depth advice about customer relations, time management, team building, and more

Modern Restaurant Management - this extensive site allows restaurant supervisors to review industry trends, study marketing practices, read equipment reviews, get details about restaurant financial management, and gain insight into menu planning and other relevant strategies

Restaurant Facility Management Association - restaurant supervisors who become RFMA members can enjoy professional development and networking opportunities such as webinars, conferences, videos, and publications. They can also review best practices and industry standards

Restaurant Hospitality - restaurant management tips and strategies, current trends, menu ideas, and operations processes are at the heart of this website, which supports both new and seasoned restaurant supervisors

Restaurant Management: A Best Practices Approach - this comprehensive book covers all aspects of working as a restaurant supervisor, from budgets to menus. Read it to study key terms, franchising, pricing methods, and so much more

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