How to become an assistant restaurant manager: Larissa's story

Meet Larissa, 24, from Cornwall, and find out more about life as an assistant manager at Rick Stein's St Petroc's Bistro. Part of our Bitesize world of work series.

Larissa smiling.
"My job is about problem solving and being trusted by your team."

How would you describe your job?

As an assistant manager, I usually start my shift by catching up with the team and seeing who is working that day. My role involves creating the staff rota and checking everyone’s working hours, getting menus ready for service and dealing with stock queries.

It's really fun, but hard work! As an assistant manager, you’re there to support the team and to ensure that guests are looked after and have a really good experience.

What skills do you use in your job?

You need to be organised, self-motivated and also be able to inspire the team. This involves good leadership skills, communication skills and problem-solving skills.

It’s also important to have strong written communication and a good understanding of how to use a computer as these are skills that I use on a daily basis.

Through hard work you can easily pick up the knowledge required but you need to be a good leader and be willing to learn.

Larissa at work.
Larissa is responsible for helping prepare the menus with the kitchen staff.

How did you get where you are today?

I didn’t have a particular career in mind when I left school however my strengths were always in working with people.

Originally my career plan was to become a nurse and I worked at Stein’s Pâtisserie on a part-time basis. When I first started working as a waitress I was offered lots of training opportunities to develop my career and since then I’ve been promoted twice, from supervisor to assistant manager.

I decided to choose a good company in the hospitality industry and find the right opportunity. It was important to me to be close to where I lived.

Top tips

  • Find your passion and learn as much as you can about your chosen field (eg food and drink)
  • Make the most of opportunities available – work experience is a great opportunity to do this and you can show that you work hard!
  • Use your skills to look after customers and offer the best customer service
  • When you’re considering what to do for your career, think about the type of business you want to work for as well as the job itself.

What to expect if you want to be a restaurant manager

With Larissa’s experience as an assistant manager, she’ll be able to consider a future career as a restaurant manager.

  • Restaurant manager salary: £18,000 to £45,000 per year
  • Restaurant manager working hours: 42 to 44 hours per week
  • Typical entry requirements: There are a number of college courses available that will teach you some of the skills you need for a job as a restaurant manager. For example, Level 3 diploma in Hospitality Supervision and Leadership or Level 4 diploma in Hospitality Leadership. You’ll usually need four or five GCSEs (or equivalent) at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) for a Level 3 course and one or two A-levels (or equivalent), a level 3 diploma or relevant experience for a Level 4 or Level 5 course. You could take a hospitality manager higher apprenticeship if you've got supervisory experience in restaurant work. If you have not been a supervisor, you could do a hospitality supervisor advanced apprenticeship and continue with further training on the job.

This information is a guide (sources: LMI for All, National Careers Service)

For careers advice in all parts of the UK visit: England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales

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