Have you always wanted to be Ronald McDonald’s right-hand man? Do you understand that careers in the fast food arena are about so much more than flipping burgers and dishing out Happy Meals? Do you have a passion for food and hospitality? Do you want a serious amount of responsibility in your job? If you answered ‘yes’ to these questions then you’re definitely in the right place.
Fast food restaurant managers work in a variety of establishments catering for hungry diners who are looking for a quick and tasty fix, including traditional fast food outlets, such as McDonald’s and Burger King, sandwich shops, such as Subway, healthy eating establishments, such as Leon, and places serving international cuisine, such as Wasabi and Itsu.
The scope of your responsibilities will depend on the type, size and location of the fast food restaurant. The majority of fast food restaurants are franchise operations, e.g. McDonald’s or Pizza Hut; others may operate as standalone or specialty food outlets, limited to a single location or geographical area.
Fast food restaurants can be found across all types of locations, including shopping centres, service stations, airports, tourist spots and so forth. The managers of these enterprises are usually employees of the organisation which holds and operates the franchise, as opposed to being direct employees of the main franchising company. However, there are many exceptions to this trend.
As a fast food restaurant manager, you’ll be responsible for the overall operations and profitability of the outlet. You’ll be managing the day-to-day running of the establishment and making sure that high standards of customer service, cleanliness and hygiene, quality assurance, staff morale, training and performance are maintained.
You’ll be managing junior employees directly, leading training exercises, recruiting new staff members and taking control of all financial management activities, including budget control and the distribution of staff wages. Some fast food restaurant managers may even get involved with marketing activities to attract more and more punters to their eating establishment.
Salary & benefits
Annual salaries for restaurant managers in training range between £18,000 and £22,000. However, fully-trained managers with more experience can earn between £20,000 and £30,000 per annum.
The next step on the career ladder is moving from the management of a single outlet to overseeing the operations of various establishments over a defined area. At this level, you can begin to earn between £30,000 and £60,000 a year.
Fast food restaurant managers may need to work in shifts, organised around a seven-day week, so that a managerial presence is maintained at all times, even during weekends and national holidays.
Recognition and reward schemes are common in the restaurant business, mainly used as tools to motivate and retain staff in an industry well-known for its high employee turnover.
As the restaurant manager, it’ll be your job to control attrition and meet revenue targets, with substantial bonuses and incentives available for successful managers.
A relevant degree in hospitality services or catering management is required if you wish to enrol in a structured graduate programme. However, the majority of fast food restaurant managers grow into the role, without formal qualifications, working their way up from junior positions.
Evidence of relevant work experience, through summer jobs or internships, is preferred by most employers. After all, experience is generally more important than academic qualifications.
Training & progression
Initial training is provided through structured rotations across various departments, including service, quality assurance, marketing and catering.
While employers do offer classroom-based training schemes, hands-on experience and work shadowing forms a substantial portion of the overall programme.
Career progression depends on individual performance and achievements against targeted objectives, organisational structure and professional experience. Future career options include area or regional management roles, self-employment as a franchisee or positions in other areas of the hospitality and leisure industry.