Thursday, May 31, 2012

Fast Food Manager

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The job of a fast food restaurant store manager can be very challenging and also rewarding. It requires leadership skills and the ability to run a successful business. The manager will usually have to go through extensive training either on the job, away at a class provided by the restaurant chain or on their own through personal skills developed at previous jobs or through school.

The job mainly consists of watching over every aspect of the store by supervising each system and the people in charge of them. The restaurant manager will be held accountable for things like sales, profitability, cleanliness, quality of service, attractiveness, inventory control, training, scheduling, hiring and firing, waste control, and much more. Depending on how busy or how staffed the restaurant is; they are usually in charge of at least four shift managers and one assistant. Higher volume stores should employ around six shift managers and two assistants.

The skills required to be an effective fast food restaurant manager are extensive. They must be able to work long hours, at least forty-five to fifty per week, work at night and on weekends. They have to handle many issues at one time, and put many other peoples needs before their own. Many employees and managers have scheduling issues or personal issues that must be taken care of to avoid more problems. They have to be able to delegate effectively, solve problems, concentrate on details, plan and hold meetings, communicate effectively, handle many types of customers including the irate ones and be familiar with and effectively use the different types of leadership skills. They have to ensure food safety is being adhered to which includes the cleanliness of the establishment and making sure temperatures of all the products is within the allowable limits.

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Getting along with and communicating with their boss effectively is another skill required. They usually have to answer to a district manager, someone who oversees more than one restaurant at one time, or the owner of the establishment, someone who bought the restaurant from the company.

Many times, depending on the situation, a fast food restaurant manager will be required to transfer to a different restaurant within the chain. This can be stressful because a manager will have to go from one environment they are probably comfortable with to another store where they are not familiar with the employees within that restaurant. Getting to know everyone and gaining their respect can be very challenging for many people. Getting the restaurant running the way the new manager wants it to can take a lot of time and effort especially if the store was running poorly before they got there.

A typical day for a restaurant manager starts as soon as they pull onto the parking lot. They look for trash on the lot, overflowing trashcans, icicles on the building or anything else that should be taken care of. They also should make sure that the proper promotional material is being displayed correctly. For example, if it is in the middle of the summer, a restaurant might want to promote ice cream for people who are burning up and want to cool off. They could promote a “-cent menu” for the kids out of school who might not have very much money. When they walk into the building they should say hi to everyone personally, talk to the manager on the shift to find out what is going on and how the day has gone so far. They will continue on walking through and checking out the cleanliness of the restaurant, appearance of the employees, and should look at the stock levels in the walk-in cooler, freezer and stock room to make sure they won’t run out of anything before the next truck arrives. Since much of their time is spent on the floor serving customers during the busy periods or if service is not going as well as it should be, the rest of the day should consist of a list of things to do when and if they get the chance.

They monitor the employees and observe the customers to ensure health and safety rules are being followed. They spend a lot of their time in the office doing paperwork usually with the help of a computer. They oversee the other managers and may often rely heavily on their assistant managers to ensure all the systems are running properly and the managers in charge of each system is held accountable.

One of the main functions of the job of a store manager is to ensure the restaurant is making money. They are held accountable for the sales of the restaurant and all of the overhead costs the restaurant incurs. They must watch each line of the budget and make the money is spent where it needs to be in order to run the restaurant correctly and make a substantial profit at the same time. Some of the line items that have to be watched carefully so as not to spend more money than projected are things like labor, utilities, the cost of food purchased from the supplier, operating supplies and maintenance and repair of equipment.

The qualifications needed to get this position usually involve a few years of experience in the food service industry as a manager. Often a person starts as a teenager working as a regular employee. They can move up the ranks, sometimes being transferred multiple times to different locations, until they get the position of a store manager. A college degree in Business Management & Administrative Services is very helpful but not required. Many of the larger fast food chains like McDonalds and Wendys offer many classes of their own that a manager should attend along the way before being offered the position. Individuals who were once managers of that chain often teach these classes themselves. They just continued moving up the ranks until they landed a position in training. Although most classes are at first held locally, McDonalds owns a huge compound in Chicago where a building called Hamburger University is located. After a certain level of training has been reached, classes are held there.

The pay for a store manager varies depending on which franchise they might work for. The minimum a store manager in Ohio would make would be $0,70 per year. The maximum could be up to $61,540 per year. The average store manager in Ohio makes around ,60.

The types of businesses that would fit into the fast food market would be chains like Jack in the Box, Arby’s, Hardees, Chic-fo-let, Rally’s, A&W Root Beer Stand, or White Castle. The largest chain is McDonalds, which has over 0,000 restaurants worldwide, followed by Burger King and then Wendys. Many restaurants mentioned above and many not mentioned at all can be found in many places besides on the side of the road. They can be found in hospitals, airports, military bases, inside retail outlets like Wal-Mart, or on high school and college campuses.

Typically store managers are promoted from within the company. Many start as a regular employee. That is where they would learn the basics of each position and be responsible for cleaning, cooking, and customer service. Then they might get promoted to a trainer where they would learn all the little details of each position and try to teach the employees to follow the correct procedures. Then they would get promoted to a shift manager which would require them to run shifts, and maybe do some paperwork. After that, it gets more complicated. If they get promoted to an assistant manager then they must learn how to run all the systems in the restaurant. They will learn what it would take to be a store manager while working this position. An assistant is exactly as it sounds. They assist the store manager in ways the shift managers do not yet know how. If they are successful in this position then they will get their chance to run a restaurant on their own.

After store manager it may depend on the situation on weather or not they could go any further. If an individual owns the restaurant, there may be no place for the manager to go. In this case they may choose to hold that position for a very long time and probably receive annual raises depending on how well they do. If the owner of that restaurant has other restaurants, then there may be a chance the person could supervise a few or all of them, taking the load off of the owner. If it were a company owned restaurant then they would get promoted to a supervisor that would manager two to five restaurants at one time. After that they could go in many different directions. They could go into human resources, assist the owners with their restaurants by making sure they are following the company guidelines, or go into the local training department where they teach the classes mentioned earlier. They could also go into the purchasing department or real estate. If they do well in each position they hold, the opportunities may lead them to the home office where they would be an executive of some sort or maybe even into other countries to open up new restaurants.

The fast food store manager may dislike things like doing paperwork, the stress of peak dining hours, dealing with irate customers, the pressure of coordinating a wide range of activities, working long hours, or working evenings, weekends, and holidays.

Some things they may like might involve working with the public, free or low cost meals, the variety and challenge of their work, or good employment opportunities. Some managers may enjoy the peak dining hours if they don’t get stressed out easily.

I think the position is more challenging than most people think. There is a lot of work involved and it can be very stressful. I also think that if I did well as a store manager it could also be very rewarding. It would teach me a lot about running a business and the experience would help tremendously if I decided to do anything else in the business world, including opening my own business or restaurant. If my goal was to work my way up into a large corporation, then a fast food business is just as good as any. There is a lot of opportunities after store manager and each position held would teach me many things that college may not have or reinforce those things that college had.



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