Instead of just being in charge of one restaurant, a restaurant district manager job has many additional responsibilities. Whether the manager is in charge of fast food outlets, family style restaurants or expensive high-end eateries, the job duties are multiple and demanding.
Restaurant District Manager Job Description
The job requires simultaneously managing the operations of multiple restaurants in a prescribed region or district. The geographic area of management may be small enough for the manager to cover the territory by car or so large that air travel is required. Regardless of the size of the district, the responsibilities involve marketing, promotion, personnel administration, site management and oversight of budgets and expenditures.
Marketing and Promotion
Since the success of a restaurant depends on sales resulting from customer traffic, the district manager must generate interest in each location. Since the demographics within a district generally vary, for each restaurant the manager has to consider:
- The ages and income levels of the target patrons
- The success and menus of competitors
- Whether to concentrate advertising efforts online, in newspapers, on broadcast media or through direct mail advertising
- Local tie-ins like sports teams, community events and fundraisers.
Those who have previously been restaurant managers for the same company fill most restaurant district manager jobs. The expectation is for them to apply the knowledge gained in those positions to manage and supervise individual restaurant managers throughout the district. These tasks typically include:
- Providing motivational support to managers who are struggling with operational, quality control or wait staff or chef performance issues
- Administering employee training or refresher courses to increase the efficiency and profitability of individual locations
- Developing incentive programs to encourage the staff to cross-sell products during the course of food service
Keeping each location physically attractive and operating according to health and safety standards are key roles for those with restaurant district manager jobs. Each time a manager visits a location in the district, the site requires inspection for:
- Aesthetic appeal of the interior and exterior including upkeep of landscaping, parking areas, restrooms, fixtures, lighting, furniture and décor
- Compliance with guidelines and regulations related to safe food handling, storage and preparation
- Maintenance of fire extinguishers, smoke alarms and other equipment related to the safety of employees and patrons
Budgets and Expenditures
A successful restaurant district manager has to keep abreast of each location's adherence to budget guidelines and control of expenditures. This requires:
- Reviewing records of payments to vendors, suppliers and service contractors
- Examining employee wage, salary and benefit payments to ensure compliance with local, state and federal regulations
- Assessing food costs and menu prices to guarantee adequate profit margins are maintained
Qualification and Experience Requirements
People who become district managers for food service companies typically have a successful track record working as a restaurant general manager. If a restaurant district manager is promoted up through the ranks, the experience and qualifications that elevated the person to the position are easily verifiable. However, if an applicant acquires experience elsewhere, there are certain criteria that weigh heavily in hiring consideration by new company. Statistics that support an increase in a location's revenue through implementing new strategies impress prospective employers, as does a positive attitude coupled with an inclination of motivation through challenging and diverse situations.
Restaurant district managers frequently receive promotions to senior management positions within the organization. These opportunities typically include jobs in national food and beverage management operations, corporate sales, franchise administration or corporate training.