Hospitality & Tourism

Cafe or Restaurant Manager

Café or restaurants managers are responsible for the daily operation of establishments that prepare and serve food and beverages.

  • Entry-level education

    VET qualification

  • Job outlook

    1 2 3 4 5

What does a Cafe or Restaurant Manager do?

Café or restaurants managers are responsible for the daily operation of restaurants and other establishments that prepare and serve food and beverages. They direct staff to ensure that customers are satisfied with their dining experience and the business is profitable.


Work activities

As a café or restaurant manager, you could work in hotels, small independent restaurants, eateries that are part of a large chain, and fast food outlets. Your role would be to make sure that the restaurant runs smoothly. You would oversee the business side as well as making sure customers get a high standard of service.

Your duties as a restaurant manager might include:

  • planning menus
  • advertising vacancies and recruiting staff
  • making sure that all staff are fully trained
  • keeping staff motivated to provide the highest standard of service
  • organising shifts and rotas
  • managing stock control and budgets
  • running the business in line with strict hygiene, health and safety guidelines.

If you are the restaurant owner as well as the manager, you would work closely with the chef, selecting recipes and creating menus.


Key skills and interests

To become a café or restaurant manager, you would need:

  • excellent communication skills
  • strong customer service skills
  • the ability to motivate and manage staff
  • a tactful and diplomatic manner
  • the ability to keep calm under pressure
  • good teamwork skills.

Working hours and conditions

Working Hours

As a café manager, your working hours would typically include weekends and perhaps public holidays. As a restaurant manager, your working hours would typically include evenings, weekends and public holidays.

Shift work and split shifts (working mornings and evenings, with time off in the afternoon) are also common.

Overtime may often be required around important events, for example Easter or Christmas.


You will usually be based indoors, splitting your time between the front of the restaurant and the kitchen. There may be travel involved for meetings or to provide cover for other cafés or restaurants within the same company.


How to become an Cafe or Restaurant Manager?

Entry Level Education

You can work as a café or restaurant manager without formal qualifications. You would get some training on the job. Your employment prospects may be improved if you have qualifications. You may like to consider a VET qualification in hospitality or kitchen operations.

Restaurant or café managers usually start work in waiting or food preparation roles, and work their way up to management roles after a number of years’ experience across the various operational areas of food service.

In licensed premises, restaurant managers may need to be minimum of 18 years old and hold a responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) certificate. RSA short courses are widely offered by TAFE and Registered Training Organisations.


Job outlook

  • 1 2 3 4 5

Employment of café and restaurant managers is projected to show little or no change.

Population and income growth are expected to result in greater demand for food at a variety of dining establishments. People will continue to dine out, purchase take-away meals, or have food delivered to their homes or workplaces. In response, more restaurants will open, and cafeterias, catering services, and non-traditional food services, such as those found inside grocery or retail stores, will serve more prepared dishes.

However, employment growth should be limited as companies that operate restaurants and other food service establishments continue to consolidate managerial functions and may use first-line supervisors to perform the work previously done by managers.


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