- Getting Into the Restaurant Industry
Complete your education. Most manager positions require that you at least have your high school diploma or GED.
In addition to your high school degree, consider completing a two-year or four-year hospitality management degree. This degree can give you an edge during hiring and will help you learn valuable management skills quickly. A degree program can also help you find quality internship placements and gain valuable experience with reputable employers.
- Consider what type of restaurant you want to eventually manage
This will help you determine where you want to get entry-level experience to best prepare you for your career.
What size restaurant do you prefer? Managing a small restaurant can be a quite different experience from managing a restaurant that seats 300 people a night. What style service are you looking for? Fine dining? Casual? Fast casual? Do you have a preferred culinary style? For example, you might know that you’d love to manage a sushi restaurant or a fine-dining Italian restaurant.
- Apply for entry-level restaurant work
In becoming a restaurant manager, there is no substitute for seeing how a restaurant works by working in one.
Try to apply for jobs in restaurants that have similar qualities to the type of restaurant you’d like to manage.
Many managers start in front of house positions, as a waiter or waitress, but you can also start in a kitchen position, if you are really interested in learning the food side of the business.
No matter where you start, take an interest in the business. Ask questions to employees who have worked at the restaurant for a while. Take an interest in how other people work, and ask about positions other than your own. Be willing and eager to take on additional responsibilities.
If you are pursing a degree program, working in a restaurant while you study is a great way to make a living and also gain experience. If this is the case, let your managers know. Likely, they will want to give you extra responsibilities and teach you on the job.
Look for locally owned spots. Often, if you work at a locally owned restaurant, you’ll be able to meet the owner and managers. You’ll get a better feel for the decision-making process involved in the restaurant business.
- Acquire your certifications
Depending on what state you live in, you will need to have a variety of certifications to handle food and work in restaurants.
You might need a food handlers card and complete a course in food safety and handling instructions.
If you work at a restaurant that serves alcohol, many state require that you complete a course and get an alcohol server’s card.
Before you begin applying for managerial positions, you should already have these certifications. Even though you can usually work for a few weeks before getting them, it’s a small edge that can put you ahead of other candidates.
HR & Training Dept