How To Become A Restaurant Manager In Australia?

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Students want to know how to become restaurant managers in Australia.


Are you a born leader with good organisational, multitasking, and problem-solving abilities? If yes, a career as a Restaurant Manager is excellent for you.


Restaurant managers manage restaurants, café, and related establishments to provide dining and catering services. They also recruit and supervise staff, stock and budget, decide service prices, and meet customers' needs.


To become a restaurant manager in Australia, you need extensive industry experience in food service or hospitality. Some employers prefer candidates with a diploma or advanced diploma in cookery, hospitality, or hospitality management.


In this blog, discover the restaurant manager's duties, average salary, required skills and courses, qualifications, job outlook, and the study pathway to becoming one.



1. What Is A Restaurant Manager?


A Restaurant or Café Manager organises and controls the working of cafes, restaurants, and related establishments to ensure their day-to-day operations run smoothly and efficiently.


They supervise the daily operations and the profitability of their food service business and manage their employees. Besides this, Restaurant Managers are responsible for solving customers' issues and complaints and ensuring the quality of food served is of a high standard.



2. Restaurant Manager Skills


Prospective employers look for a candidate with a combination of tech knowledge and soft skills to excel in the role and bring an effective positive change. 


We have listed the most sought skills that will make you desirable to employers and help you enter the profession.



Technology Skills


  • Basic Financial and Computer Knowledge

  • Knowledge of developing a business and customer service plan for their venue

  • Knowledge of food and beverages and menu creation

  • Knowledge of marketing techniques and strategies

  • Good understanding of health, hygiene, and safety standards and willingness to comply with state, and city requirements

  • Proficiency in working with spreadsheets and several restaurant software options to enhance operations, such as software that displays the restaurant's real-time sales and revenue, order tracking software that helps count and order stock, and customer management systems to record and maintain a customer order history, including online accounting and budgeting software



Soft Skills


  • Enjoy serving people

  • Able to communicate well with customers

  • Good leadership skills

  • Able to work well within a team

  • Good at multitasking 

  • Problem-solving abilities

  • Marketing skills

  • Logic and reasoning abilities

  • Administrative skills

  • Personnel management skills

  • Customer service skills

  • Organisational skills

  • Entrepreneurial spirit 

  • Result-focused mentality

  • Initiative-taking and decision-making skills

  • Interpersonal skills

  • Able to manage stress effectively

  • Able to work in a high-intensity, and fast-paced environment

  • Disciplined

  • Comfortable working long, sometimes irregular hours

  • Quick thinker 

  • Effective team leader

  • Analytical thinking

  • Able to motivate others 

  • Strong work ethic

  • Strong observation skills

  • Good at thinking on your feet 



3. Restaurant Manager Job Description In Australia


From planning and managing restaurant functions to hiring new candidates and marketing restaurant services, the restaurant manager job involves various duties. 


Here is a complete list of what you do as a restaurant manager:


  • Consult with the head chef and head sommelier to plan food menus

  • Plan and organise special functions

  • Arrange the purchase and price of goods as per the budget 

  • Maintain records of stock levels, stock orders, and financial transactions

  • Ensure the restaurant is hygienic and functional and complies with health regulations 

  • Identify cross-selling and up-selling opportunities to maximise revenue from wine, sales, and desserts, and encourage staff to pursue them.

  • Hire, train, and monitor waiting and kitchen staff, including chefs, dishwashers, sommeliers, hostesses, barmen, etc.

  • Plan and implement marketing strategies to grow the market share of the eating establishment and help it stand out from the competition.

  • Talk to customers to gauge their satisfaction with meals and service.

  • Assign and oversee staff leave, shift swaps, and sick days

  • Organise kitchen activities and dining room, team

  • Regularly inspect kitchen and dining room utensils, appliances, and equipment and identify any items that need repair/replacement.

  • Count and place an order for stocks

  • May take reservations and greet and advise customers.

  • Handle customer inquiries, and resolve customer complaints

  • Decide on the right POS system.

  • Hire, manage, discipline, and motivate employees to achieve sales goals

  • Set targets, and analyse sales performance 

  • Ensure the employee complies with licensing, health and safety regulations, and guidelines

  • Organise special events and functions 

  • Manage staff, budgets, and projections

  • Select the right restaurant management software 

  • Decide on dining room decorations such as flowers, centrepieces, candles, etc.



4. What Qualifications Do You Need To Be A Restaurant Manager?


There are no mandatory restaurant manager qualifications in Australia. However, as it is a managerial role, employers generally look for candidates with on-the-job experience and a formal qualification in hospitality.


  • Complete an accredited course that focuses on the basics of food and beverage management like an Advanced Diploma of Hospitality Management (SIT60316), a Bachelor of Business (majoring in hospitality management), an Associate Degree in Business

  • A prior experience in hospitality or leadership roles in a related industry or occupation is appreciated.

  • You also need to complete a course to obtain an alcohol server's card (RSA) if you plan to work at a restaurant that serves alcohol.



5. Steps To Become A Restaurant Manager In Australia


Here are the steps to kickstart your professional journey as a restaurant manager:



Step 1: Gain Experience 


Experience plays a role in getting into a manager position in a food establishment. Consider working in the food or hospitality industry for a few years. 


Working and observing the current manager help you understand the working of the restaurant business and gain expertise in the operation of a restaurant, such as kitchen activities, food serving, and dishwashing.



Step 2: Earn Qualifications In Business Hospitality


To work in reputable restaurants, you need a 2-year associate's or 4-year bachelor's degree in business hospitality


The course teaches you about different aspects of business and hospitality. Like other professionals, the higher your education level, the higher your chances of promotion to the managerial level.



Step 3: Get Certified


Once you have the relevant qualifications and experience, the next step is to get the certification to work as a restaurant manager. Receiving the below certifications/training increases the chances of aspiring restaurant managers getting accepted for a role.


  • Food hygiene and handling certification

  • Health and safety training

  • Equipment training, 

  • First aid training, 

  • Restaurant financing certification, and

  • Serving alcohol



Step 4: Apply For Cafe Or Restaurant Manager Jobs


Start by finding Restaurant Management opportunities in your area. Search for job postings in the newspaper or online job portals and track these sites regularly.


You can also visit restaurants in person and hand over a copy of your resume along with two to three strong references that can vouch for your talents.


Networking is another great tool that will find you find related jobs quickly. Join LinkedIn groups, attend local culinary events to make yourself known and get in touch with other restaurant managers.



6. Popular Cafe Or Restaurant Manager Courses In Australia


Hotel and catering schools, academic institutions, and universities offer training courses for budding restaurant and food and beverage managers.


These courses mainly deal with topics that include:


  • Restaurant advertising and location management

  • Food and beverage pricing

  • Market structure and Economics of the restaurant business

  • Organisation and management of food and catering services

  • Staff recruitment and management 



Here Is The List of Courses For becoming a Cafe or Restaurant Manager in Australia:




7. How Much Does A Restaurant Manager Make In Australia?


According to Pay Scale, the average restaurant manager's salary in Australia is AU$58,349 per year or equivalent to AU$24.84 per hour.


A restaurant manager's salary varies significantly based on the type of establishment that you manage. Other factors that influence your salary are:


  • The restaurant location

  • Your duties 

  • Your role - sole manager or part of a management team

  • Your training - whether you entered the profession directly or worked your way up.

  • Type of Eating Establishment you run (a local café or a high-profile fine dining restaurant)

  • Years of experience (As you develop more knowledge, you can expect a higher salary than those new to the industry).


  • Entry-level Restaurant Managers (< 1-year experience): AU$ 55,311 p.a.

  • Early career Restaurant Managers (1-4 years of experience): AU$56,504 p.a. 

  • Mid-career Restaurant Managers (5-9 years of experience): AU$59,936 p.a. 

  • Experienced Restaurant Managers (10-19 years of experience): AU$62,506 p.a. 



Highest Paying Cities For Restaurant Managers in Australia


  • Richmond: $71,872 per year

  • Sydney: $71,456 per year

  • Chatswood: $69,746 per year

  • Brisbane: $69,388 per year

  • Surfers Paradise: $68,787 per year

  • Perth: $67,640 per year

  • Hobart: $67,493 per year

  • Melbourne: $67,210 per year



8. Job Outlook For Restaurant Managers In Australia


ANZSCO Occupation Code:1411 Cafe and Restaurant Managers


(Also called a Food and Beverage Manager or Restauranteur)


Like any other profit-making business, restaurants need capable Restaurants Managers to lower spending and costs to increase productivity and profit.


According to Labour Market Insights, there has been a rise in employment numbers in this industry over the last five years. Presently, 69,400 people are working in this profession, compared to 60,900 five years ago.


The government projects that the employment outlook of Restaurant Managers to grow at a fast pace and reach 81,400 by 2026.



Working Arrangements


Around 76% of people working as Restaurant Managers work full-time hours for an average of 48 hours per week. (All jobs average - 44 hours per week). Around one-third of workers work overtime or additional hours (paid or unpaid).



Primary Industries Of Employment


  • Accommodation And Food Services: 88.3%

  • Health Care And Social Assistance: 3.5%

  • Education And Training: 2.1%

  • Retail Trade: 1.8%

  • Other Industries: 4.5%



Percentage of Employment Across Australia


Café and Restaurant Managers work across all regions of Australia:


  • New South Wales: 31.6%

  • Victoria: 26.4%

  • Queensland: 19.9%

  • South Australia: 6.6%

  • Western Australia: 10.9%

  • Tasmania: 1.9%

  • Northern Territory: 0.9%

  • Australian Capital Territory: 1.8%



Worker's Age and Gender Profile


The average age of Restaurant and Cafe Managers is 40 years, with most of them between the age of 25 to 34 years. Females constitute 54% of the workforce which is six percentage points more than the average of all jobs of 48%.



9. Working Conditions Of Restaurant Managers


Restaurant Managers work in various eating establishments and environments, including family restaurants, resorts, international restaurants, golf courses, and cafés. Those involved in a catering business often work remotely at people's residences, function centres, or locations where the events are.


As restaurants often operate from early morning to late night, managers work long hours. They frequently work unsociable hours and in shifts to cover lunch and dinner service. They have to sacrifice evenings, weekends, public holidays, and nights. 


As their working schedule is quite hectic and stressful, they need to have considerable energy and resilience. The job also requires them to handle a great deal of responsibility and juggle many tasks. 


Usually, they move around, from the kitchen to the front of the house. They also spend time in offices to interview candidates, create staff rosters and formulate strategies to enhance the restaurant's direction.


Restaurant managers operate different equipment to prepare food and beverages and office equipment such as phones, computers, and fax machines.



10. Employment Opportunities For A Restaurant Manager


Restaurant managers enjoy a broad range of career development opportunities, such as:


  • Work in large food service or catering chains

  • Move to a larger and more esteemed establishment in a more enticing location.

  • Work as an area manager coordinating a line of restaurants in a specific geographic location.

  • Open a restaurant that gives them the flexibility to serve quality food to customers and experiment with innovative culinary concepts. It requires an extra set of skills, which includes conducting market research, sourcing financing for your restaurant, and securing a location.



11. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)



What Are The Areas of Specialisation For Restaurant Managers?


Experienced Restaurant Managers who want to gain specialist skills and take on advanced roles can consider completing an Advanced Diploma of Hospitality Management (Commercial Cookery) or an Advanced Diploma of Hospitality Management (Food and Beverage) to pursue the below-specialised roles:


  • Bistro Manager

  • Caterer

  • Canteen Manager

  • Internet Cafe Manager



What Is the Career Path For A Restaurant Manager?


Restaurant Manager usually starts their career as a waiter or kitchen assistant and progress gradually through the ranks, such as head chef/head waiter, and then to managerial roles like assistant restaurant manager and restaurant manager.


Each management milestone includes a rise in pay and benefits. However, with higher income comes more working hours and responsibilities.


  • Waiter or kitchen assistant

  • Head chef/Head waiter/Kitchen manager

  • The shift manager directs a small team and configures scheduling, opening, or closing.

  • Floor Manager or Front-of-house Manager/ Back-of-the-house manager

  • Assistant Restaurant Manager

  • Restaurant General managers undertake high-level business tasks, such as financials, purchasing decisions, marketing campaigns, etc.



What Is The Highest Salary For A Restaurant Manager?


According to Pay Scale, restaurant managers in their late career (20+ years of experience) earn the highest annual salary of AU$80,763 on average.



How Many Hours Do Restaurant Managers Work?


Full-time restaurant managers work an average of 48 hours per week which is 4 hours more than the average of all jobs, 44 hours per week.



Where Is A Restaurant Manager Required?


Restaurant managers usually work in a wide range of restaurants and catering businesses, such as 


  • Small family-run eateries 

  • Luxury and fine-dining restaurants

  • Fast food outlets

  • Hotel and resort restaurants

  • International restaurant chains

  • Schools

  • Hospitals

  • Company canteens and cafeterias

  • Catering firms



Is A Restaurant Manager A Good Career?


There are many reasons why it is worth pursuing a career as a Restaurant Manager.


  • The job has substantial responsibilities. The restaurant's success depends on the manager's skill and strategic decisions.

  • To be part of people's happiest and life-changing moments/events is an emotionally satisfying experience.

  • It is a diverse role involving various tasks, including budgeting, purchasing, marketing, personnel management, and customer interaction.

  • If you like working in a dynamic and fast-paced environment, this role is for you. 

  • The profession gives you the flexibility to run your restaurant business. Though it can be challenging, it has the potential to bring considerable professional rewards.

  • The transferable skills, such as leadership, administration, and organisation skills you develop while working, are highly valued in various other hospitality professions. 

  • As a restaurant manager, you can put your leadership and creative skills into action.

  • If you enjoy working with people, you will certainly like this role. You meet many people during the day.

  • Besides these, you also relish generous salary packages and the possibility of working in exciting international locations.



How Hard Is It To Be A Manager of a Restaurant?


There is no doubt that a restaurant manager's job is challenging and demanding. If you are looking for a 40-hour week, a 9-to-5 job with holidays and weekends off, then Restaurant management is probably not your future profession.


On any given day, you must take on a multitude of tasks:


  • Supervising food preparation and quality

  • Upholding health and food safety regulation standards

  • Supervising the work of staff

  • Responding to customer complaints

  • Guiding employees

  • Ensuring the restaurant is stocked with food and other items, 

  • Carrying out bookkeeping and much more. 


Such a long list of daily activities may make the job incredibly hectic. However, it is an exciting, varied, and creative career at the same time.



How To Become A Restaurant Manager With No Experience?


It is uncommon for someone to get into a restaurant manager position without real and applicable experience. However, many Restaurant Managers start in entry-level positions without and gain on-the-job training and practical experience while working in a restaurant.


There are several management qualifications and certification programs that offer on-the-job training to students. Undergoing this training, they gather valuable knowledge in the food service industry and exposure to pursuing managerial roles. 


Below are some VET and degree courses that you can consider to get qualified, refine your qualities, and develop the much-needed hard skills for making a start in this exciting profession.


  • Certificate IV in Catering Operations

  • Certificate or diploma in hospitality management

  • Bachelor's or Diploma in hospitality management


In addition to the above, studying catering courses, undertaking health and safety, equipment, first aid training, restaurant financing, and food hygiene courses may also be advantageous. 



How Many Years Does It Take To Become A Restaurant Manager?


You can become a Restaurant Manager by completing a business hospitality associate degree or relevant certifications. Additionally, you need a few years of on-the-job experience before earning a promotion to become a manager.


Aspiring restaurant managers usually spend 2-4 years getting qualified, including some additional years gaining work experience before working in this role.



Can A Restaurant Manager Get PR in Australia? 


If you are an overseas restaurant manager and want to work in Australia, you must pass a Skills Assessment with an excellent score to apply for the PR visa. The Vocational Education and Training Assess authority conducts the skill assessment. 


The positive skills assessment outcome depends on positive qualifications and employment assessment. The relevant study areas for a Restaurant Manager role include Food and Beverage Services and Hospitability Management.


The following are good restaurant categories for work experience:


  • Family-style restaurants

  • Casual dining restaurants 

  • Fine dining restaurants


They don't accept fast food restaurant experience for a restaurant manager position.



Eligibility Criteria For A Positive Skills Assessment


  • The qualification assessed must be an AQF Level Diploma with at least 1-year of highly relevant employment at a suitable skill level in an appropriate study field in the past five years post-qualification.

  • The qualification assessed must be an AQF Level Diploma with at least one year of relevant employment at a suitable skill level or an extra qualification such as a Certificate IV in a highly relevant field in the past five years post-qualification.

  • The qualification assessed must be an AQF Level Diploma without a relevant study field. However, for this path, you must have at least two years of work experience in a highly relevant employment role at a suitable skill level in the past five years post-qualification.

  • The highly relevant employment must be paid and is equivalent to 20 hours or more in a week to get considered by VETASSESS.


Pre-qualification experience may be considered in a skills assessment if your employment experience fulfils the following requirements:


  • Three years of relevant employment that you gain within the last ten years

  • One year of highly relevant employment experience at the required skill level gained in the past five years.



12. Conclusion


Though restaurant management is quite demanding, it is a dream job for many as it offers personal and financial rewards. The profession combines creativity with culinary and commercial challenges, offering a chance to supervise a fast-paced and exciting business.


If you are willing to handle work pressure and offer excellent service, don't wait and take the first step towards your professional journey.


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