From Front Of House To Operations Director, What is Your Career Path?

27 Jan 2020

27 Jan 2020

From front of house to operations director, let’s look at the journey from the moment you get that first waiting job and you realise that not only can you earn good cash but your work environment is fun and exciting... it starts here but it sure does not stop here! If you are capable and determined, the right business will provide you with the right stepping stones to climb the management ladder. It ultimately comes down to you, are you ready to open the doors to endless opportunities within the hospitality sector? There are clear and achievable career paths for those Front of House Orientated through the Restaurant Management channel.

So, is it time to embark on this exciting journey to a Restaurant Manager and beyond?

Step 1: Waiter or Waitress – Front of House Team Member

Becoming a successful Management figure in the restaurant sector requires a whole load of experience and understanding in first, front of house work. Entry level roles such as waiting staff or runner are a great way to gain insight into the operational side of a restaurant and gauge whether this is the right career for you.

As a Waiter or Waitress, your responsibilities will include:

  • Deliver the company sequence of service, providing an efficient, friendly and professional service at all times
  • Taking orders and issuing bills
  • Gain product knowledge and help build the guest experience
  • Ensure that the restaurant is set accordingly to standards

The Waiting Staff will usually earn £19,000-£20,000 annually but the exact rate depends on the establishment.

As a good waiter you’ll have a great product knowledge and a personable way with people and be tip top on your section before progressing to Restaurant Supervisor or Manager in Training


Next Step: Supervisor  

Becoming a supervisor you will play a key role in managing aspects of the restaurant business. You will be expected to deliver a high-quality experience to guests and motivate members of staff assigned to you to ensure excellent customer service. Supervisors will be responsible for maintaining quality and increasing profitability.

A Supervisor is responsible for many tasks, including:

  • Oversee certain aspects in front and back of the house restaurant operations (depending on the company you work for)
  • Ensure customer satisfaction through promoting excellent service; respond to customer complaints tactfully and professionally
  • Maintain quality control for all food served
  • Analyse staff evaluations and feedback to improve the customer’s experience
  • Oversee health code compliance and sanitation standards
  • Generate weekly, monthly, and annual reports
  • Train new employees and provide ongoing training for all staff

The qualities of a good Supervisor include the ability to be prepared to switch between tasks and serve as a link between subordinates and upper management.

The salary for a Supervisor in the UK ranges from £22,000 to £26,000.

Time to Move Up: Assistant Restaurant Manager / Deputy Manager


As an Assistant Restaurant Manager you’ll be learning all the skills and controls in the business while running Management shifts solo, taking responsibility of the whole restaurant and THIS is where you learn your trade. You have the additional responsibility of being No.2 in the business before progressing to General Restaurant Manager.

  • take responsibility for the business performance of the restaurant
  • analyse and plan restaurant sales levels and profitability
  • organise marketing activities, such as promotional events and discount schemes
  • prepare reports at the end of the shift/week, including staff control, food control and sales
  • create and execute plans for profit and staff development
  • set budgets & agree them with senior management
  • plan and coordinate menus
  • coordinate the operation of the restaurant during scheduled shifts
  • recruit, train, manage and motivate staff
  • respond to customer queries and complaints
  • meet and greet customers, organise table reservations and offer advice about menu and wine choices
  • maintain high standards of quality control, hygiene, and health and safety
  • check stock levels, order supplies and prepare cash drawers and petty cash.

Combining strategic planning and day-to-day management activities, the role is both business-like and creative, particularly in terms of marketing and business development.

The salary for a Assistant Restaurant Manager in the UK ranges from £25,000 to £28,000.

Taking The Leap: Restaurant Manager

The General Restaurant Manager’s position is the Mumma or Papa of the Restaurant. The buck of the individual business stops with you here and you’re expected to grow the business, control the stocks and of course develop your support team as they help you achieve the business’ goals. A pretty good deal.

Typical job responsibilities include:

  • recruiting, training and supervising staff
  • agreeing and managing budgets
  • planning menus
  • ensuring compliance with licensing, hygiene and health and safety legislation/guidelines
  • promoting and marketing the business
  • overseeing stock levels
  • ordering supplies
  • producing staff rotas
  • managing customer enquiries and complaints
  • taking reservations
  • greeting and advising customers
  • problem solving
  • preparing and presenting staffing/sales reports
  • keeping statistical and financial records
  • assessing and improving profitability
  • setting targets
  • handling administration and paperwork
  • liaising with customers, employees, suppliers, licensing authorities and sales representatives
  • making improvements to the running of the business and developing the restaurant.

It doesn’t stop there of course. NO NO NO ! Once you’ve mastered General Restaurant Management the Next Step to climb is Area or Operational Management where you’ll lead and mentor the Mammas and Pappas and help steer them towards success.

The salary for a Restaurant Manager in the UK ranges from £30,000 to £35,000.

Climbing Even Higher: Area Manager / Multi-site Manager

As an Area Manager you are responsible for organising and overseeing the operations of a number of restaurants. You will assume responsibility for the overall success of the restaurants by setting targets, supervising restaurant managers, and ensuring they are attained.

  • Formulate fruitful business development strategies to ensure long-term success
  • Set standards and objectives for different stores and departments
  • Optimize and oversee operations to ensure efficiency
  • Lead your team of restaurant towards effective collaboration and attainment of goals
  • Undertake sound financial management to ensure restaurants are profitable and stay within budget
  • Ensure compliance with company’s policies and operational guidelines
  • Deal with problems by providing creative and practical solutions
  • Evaluate performance and address issues to improve it
  • Report to Operations Directors on progress and issues
  • Assist upper management in decisions for expansion or acquisition

As you’ll know there are many additional skills to perform and perfect in all areas of Restaurant Management but now your skills through the business have been fine tuned, it may be time to take that bold and life changing leap into becoming a Restaurant Operations Director.

The salary for a Restaurant Area Manager in the UK ranges from £35,000 to £45,000.

The Top of the Ladder: Operations Director

As Restaurant Operations Director you are running the group operationally and to say that it’s a challenge is an understatement. Your skills through the business have been fine tuned and your decision making needs to be sharp at all times. You’re responsible for the whole culture piece and working closely with all heads of department from operations to Back of House, HR, Marketing, Finance and IT.

No one gets here without working hard and developing others and your people focus at this level of Restaurant Management is absolutely crucial.

The salary for a Restaurant Operations Manager in the UK ranges from £50,000 to £80,000.

So, back to the question at the beginning of this article, is it time to embark on this exciting journey to a Restaurant Manager and beyond? The answer is.. yes!