Restaurant & catering manager

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Bronwyn, late 20s

How did you become a restaurant manager?

Bronwyn has been the restaurant manager of King's Buffet at Crown casino for over 2 years now, after having gradually worked her way up the restaurant hierarchy.

Initially attracted to the industry because of the large number of positions available in food and beverage, Bronywn started off working part-time as a waitperson while she was still at school.

Obviously, you don't just start off in a management role. You'll need some hospitality experience first, and some employers will encourage you to undertake formal training as well, such as a Certificate III in Hospitality. You can facilitate your professional advancement too, by increasing your food and wine knowledge.

"I love meeting new people, and it's a great atmosphere - working in such a busy restaurant," says Bronwyn. Every day is different, and I'm constantly learning new things... And the pay's great too!" she says.

What does a restaurant manager do?

"My role involves organising staff rosters, ordering food and beverage, ensuring that the restaurant is up to standard (that everything is working and cleaned properly), paying invoices, budgeting, attending meetings, and working on the floor during service times," says Bronwyn.

"It's a job that requires good organisation and leadership skills, and an ability to prioritise." She adds that you'll also need to be able to work well under pressure, "I'm always on the go, and have to be proactive rather than reactive."

Perhaps even more importantly, you will need strong interpersonal skills. "You definitely need to be a people person," stresses Bronwyn.

What sort of skills and qualities do you need?

For those interested in following such a career path, Bronwyn also reminds us that like most jobs in this industry, you should be prepared to work long hours and do shift work at times.

However, unlike a bar or waitperson, as a manager, you will also have to contend with high rates of absenteeism and high staff turnover. Your organisational skills will be continuously stretched.

"Rostering plays a big part in absenteeism. If you want to minimise problems associated with understaffing, you need to be organised, and get staff timetables in before drawing up the roster. You also need to be flexible, and take into account factors that influence staff availability, such as public transport, and so on," says Bronwyn.

Any tips for getting a job as a restaurant manager?

Bronwyn advises, "You can't afford to be weak in any areas - you need to be as good at administrative duties as you are with people but it takes experience and determination to work your way up to a management position."

Find out more about this career path at myfuture.edu.au (new window) (Note: free registration is required to access the myfuture site).