Restaurant supervisors have a wide range of responsibilities in day-to-day operations, managing everything from food ordering to employee schedules. It is a fast-paced job and one the requires a wide variety of skills and knowledge. A restaurant supervisor could be planning a sophisticated menu one minute and helping to resolve a simmering dispute between employees another. Besides an extensive knowledge and experience with food, these managers must be organized and capable of handling complex logistics. A knowledge of accounting or the basics of money management is helpful as well, as restaurant supervisors may be required to help monitor the weekly cash flow of the restaurant, as well as paying outstanding bills.
Restaurant supervisors are the first line in managing the employees. A supervisor typically conducts interviews for open positions and do the hiring, as well as overseeing the training of new employees. In addition, supervisors discipline and fire employees, and thus must be familiar with personnel laws and regulations. In small restaurants, a supervisor may be tasked with handling the payroll. Supervisors are also responsible for creating schedules and monitoring employee hours.
Logistics and Supplies
Supervisors need to ensure that the restaurant has what it needs to operate. This includes ordering food for the kitchen and planning menus, which is often done in collaboration with the head chef. The restaurant also needs linens, paper products, computer equipment, furniture, cleaning supplies and the like, all of which have to be ordered prior to need and delivered on a timely basis.
Supervisors must be cognizant of, if not managing directly, the restaurant’s bottom line. This means checking the daily receipts and tracking income. If dips in receipts are evident, it may be up to the supervisor to suggest or employ plans to bring in more income, either through promotions or menu changes. Supervisors need to be aware of the restaurant’s cash flow, to ensure that the bills and payroll can be met.
Supervisors are responsible to ensure that the restaurant meets all code and licensing requirements, from dealing with food inspectors, getting liquor or other required operating licenses, to renovations and repairs. They may also have to deal with internal disputes between employees to keep the restaurant running smoothly, or field complaints from disgruntled customers in a way that keeps them happy, thereby retaining them as customers.
Bill Brown has been a freelance writer for more than 14 years. Focusing on trade journals covering construction and home topics, his work appears in online and print publications. Brown holds a Master of Arts in liberal arts from St. John's University and is currently based in Houston.