If you run a restaurant, you’re going to need staff. Whether you operate a family restaurant, a fast-casual spot, or a fine dining establishment, you will need people to serve guests, cook the food, and ensure that everything is clean. You will also need someone to manage the restaurant and its operations.
Restaurant jobs are typically broken down into two categories: front-of-house and back-of-house. Understanding the various jobs in a restaurant – and what each person does – is critical to your restaurant running like a well-oiled machine. Our list of restaurant job titles and descriptions can help you get started.
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Restaurant Management Job Titles & Descriptions
Managerial employees help to ensure that a restaurant runs smoothly. Depending on the size of your operations, you may have one or more managers – or you may even take over management yourself. A good manager will handle many aspects of restaurant operations, often in conjunction with other specialists like accountants or marketing managers.
General managers are responsible for overseeing all aspects of a restaurant’s operations. Their role is to ensure high-quality standards, excellent customer service, and continued profitability. They lead a team of employees, including both front-of-house and back-of-house staff. A general manager must also manage the financial aspects of the business and implement operational strategies.
In addition, general managers set the tone for the restaurant as a whole. Their focus should be on creating a positive, inclusive work environment. A good general manager will have strong leadership skills, business acumen, and industry knowledge.
The assistant manager is the second in command to the general manager. They take over when the general manager is out of the restaurant. An assistant manager helps with scheduling, training, and overseeing employees. They require many of the same skills as a general manager but usually have less experience. This position is often viewed as a stepping stone to becoming an assistant manager in the future.
In larger restaurants, a kitchen manager may be hired to oversee the back-of-house employees, buy supplies and ingredients, and ensure the quality of the products that are being made. They typically work under the general manager and are responsible for everything that happens in the kitchen. A kitchen manager must have good leadership skills, knowledge of the culinary industry, and the ability to stay calm under pressure.
Food and Beverage Manager
Taking care of inventory can be a full-time job in some restaurants. A food and beverage manager takes over this duty, as well as other jobs like ensuring compliance with health codes, analyzing food cost percentages, and even creating special drink menus or pairings for menu items. They should be highly organized and have the ability to manage people effectively.
Front-of-House Job Titles & Descriptions
The front of the house – or FOH – is the part of a restaurant that customers will see during their visit to a restaurant. It includes the lobby, dining area, and any other place that guests will be, such as a waiting area. The employees who work in customer-facing positions are often referred to as front-of-house staff.
A host or hostess is the first person that many guests see when they enter a restaurant. Their role is to greet patrons in a friendly manner, and then take them to their tables. They are also responsible for answering phone calls, scheduling reservations, and handling wait lists.
A maître d’ is typically only seen in fine dining restaurants. They handle the same duties as a host or hostess but often have other duties when it comes to the front-of-house. This includes scheduling wait staff and managing the floor.
Servers or wait staff are responsible for making sure that guests have an outstanding dining experience. They interact directly with guests, offering recommendations, delivering their food and beverages, and handling any issues or complaints. They also handle payment for guests in many restaurants.
A server should have a friendly demeanor, great attention to detail, and the ability to multitask. They should also be excellent communicators so that they can work well with the back-of-house staff.
In restaurants that serve alcohol, bartenders prepare and serve drinks, either directly to customers or to servers. This role is critical, as alcohol has a high profit margin – and many people really enjoy a drink with their dinner. A formal bartending education may be required for some bartenders or simply on-the-job experience.
At coffee shops, baristas are responsible for preparing specialty coffee, tea, and other drinks (such as smoothies). They must have excellent memories, the ability to make complicated drink orders, and good people skills. They should also be efficient in getting caffeinated drinks to customers quickly.
A busser’s job is to bus (clear) the tables, and then to clean them to prepare for the next customer. Bussers may also help with simple tasks, like filling water glasses. Bussers should be able to work efficiently and quickly.
In some restaurants, runners work to deliver food from the kitchen to guests. This position ensures that servers can focus on customer service and communicating with guests. A good runner is calm under pressure and can work quickly.
Cashiers and Drive-Through Operators
For fast food and fast casual restaurants, having someone to take orders and handle payment is important. These staff members must have great listening skills, attention to detail, and the ability to work efficiently. They must also be able to work well with other members of the team to get the orders out quickly to customers.
In fine dining establishments, a sommelier is responsible for recommending wines and pairings to both servers and guests. They also create wine menus and are often responsible for suggesting which wines should be purchased. A formal education is usually required to become a sommelier.
Back-of-House Job Titles & Descriptions
The back of the house – or BOH – is essentially the “behind the scenes” area of the restaurant. It includes every area that customers usually don’t see, including the kitchen, office, supply rooms, and employee areas. The back of the house is where cooking and administrative duties tend to occur.
The job of a prep cook is to prepare the ingredients that the other cooks and chefs will need for a service. Prep cooks work in both casual and fine dining restaurants, doing tasks like chopping vegetables and shredding cheese so that ingredients are ready to go for the chef. It is often considered an entry-level position and a way to gain experience to move onto higher-level cooking holes.
Short Order Cooks
In diners and fast-casual restaurants, a short order cook prepares quick recipes such as burgers, eggs, and salads. A short order cook must have good culinary skills, and the ability to work quickly. In addition, they must be able to multitask, as they are often responsible for preparing several meals at once.
A line cook plays a vital role in any restaurant kitchen. Depending on the restaurant, a line cook may be responsible for multiple areas of the kitchen or for one particular station (such as the grill). Line cooks must have some level of culinary experience, the ability to work well under pressure and prioritize tasks, and great attention to detail.
Chef Garde Manager
A chef garde manager is responsible for all cold food items that are prepared in a higher-end restaurant. They may prepare everything from salads to charcuterie to cold desserts. This position usually requires formal education and is often an entry-level position.
A sous chef works directly under the executive chef. If the executive chef is off duty, then they take over running the kitchen. A sous chef usually must have a degree in the culinary arts and/or years of experience to achieve this position.
In fine dining restaurants, an executive chef is responsible for all of the food that is prepared. They often create a menu, manage kitchen staff, and make sure that all food meets their standards. Executive chefs are the highest-level cooks in a restaurant.
In restaurants that make their own desserts, a pastry chef plays a key role. They typically must have formal pastry education and/or experience. They are responsible for creating all of the sweets that the restaurant has on its menu, and often for creating a dessert menu.
Expediters work to coordinate between the back and front-of-house teams. They ensure that orders are accurately prepared, plated, and delivered efficiently. A good expediter should have strong communication skills, the ability to multitask, and good attention to detail.
Dishwashers are key members of the back-of-house team. Without clean dishes, utensils, and cookware, a restaurant would be unable to function. A dishwasher’s role is to maintain cleanliness in a kitchen by swiftly and properly washing and restocking dishes, cookware, utensils, and other kitchen equipment.
Contact Budget Branders to Learn More
Staffing your restaurant can be incredibly difficult, particularly when it seems harder than ever to find good help. Having a good idea of what role each staff member can fill is a good first step.
Budget Branders is dedicated to helping small to medium-sized restaurants, coffee shops, food trucks, and other businesses get the products that they need at good prices. We offer high-quality, custom-printed disposable products in smaller quantities. We can print a full range of take-out products from custom paper bags to custom coffee cups, custom coffee sleeves, custom plastic stadium cups, custom ripple cups, custom soup bowls, custom ice cream bowls, and more.
If you’re considering using promotional items in your restaurant, we can help. To learn more or to request a quote, contact us today by pressing the live chat button, or sending us a message online.