Restaurant operation managers oversee the day to day operations of a restaurant. They work together with other managers and owners in the planning, directing and coordinating of restaurant operations. The operation managers, also known as operation directors or director of operations, oversee all other managers and usually the operation manager reports to the restaurant owners directly. They deal directly with customers and employees and are responsible for a diversity of duties that include financial record keeping and hiring, handling and firing employees.
Operation manager’s duties and responsibilities include managing daily operations, and organising the use of materials and employee resources.They are responsible for generally managing the facility. They must ensure that all materials used in food preparation and serving are working properly. They may order new refrigerators, cookers or blenders or order repair services. They often play an active role in marketing the restaurant and devising promotional programs. Operation managers interact with customers and vendors and ensure that their needs are met in a timely and satisfactory manner. They are responsible for managing inventory and keeping financial records of purchases and sales and work with the human resources department to train, develop, hire, retain and fire employees.
According to the BLS, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, most food service mangers do not have a bachelor’s degree. In fast food and major chain restaurants, operational managers are recruited from employees who have experience working with the company. For top-level restaurants and food service a college degree or some level of college education is preferred. According to the BLS, larger top-tier restaurants are recruiting students from two- and four-year college food service management or hospitality programs. These programs require restaurant experience and participation in an internship to graduate. Over 1,000 educational institutions in the U.S. offer degree programs in hotel management or food service management.
Restaurant operation managers can become certified as a foodservice management professional or FMP. This certification is not required to work as an operation manager or director of operations, yet it may be beneficial for advancement and when being hired as an operations manager. The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation is responsible for awarding the FMP certification to operational managers. They must attain a qualifying grade on a test, finish classes that cover food service management subjects, and hold a specific amount of work experience in the field.
According to the BLS, food service manager jobs, including restaurant operational manager positions, are expected to grow more slowly than the national average. These positions are expected to grow by 5 per cent from 2008 to 2018. Job opportunities are expected to be above average as the turnover rate in this field is relatively high.
According to the BLS, median annual salaries in May 2008 for all food service managers, including operational managers, were £30,108. Most food service managers earned between £23,835 and £38,727. The highest 10 per cent earned more than £50,011. The median hourly wage for food service managers in 2009 was £14.70.