Is a restaurant manager a stressful job?

Being a restaurant manager is a difficult job. It's fast and stressful, and requires a special combination of skills and personality traits (most importantly, staying calm under pressure). Restaurant managers work extremely long hours, sometimes 12 to 15 hours a day, up to seven days a week, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. During the course of a given day, managers can deal with annoying customers, replace staff, train staff members, and place orders for food and other supplies.

Managers play an important role in ensuring that a restaurant is profitable. Long hours combined with multiple responsibilities often cause stress and exhaustion among restaurant managers. Stress is part of the territory as a restaurant manager. Long hours, endless tasks and physical demands are expected, but they can also be managed.

However, if stress begins to spread to personal life, which takes a mental and emotional toll that makes the person feel that they can no longer function, it may be considered exhaustion. Long days turn into long nights and it feels like you're constantly trying to catch up. Your average day running a restaurant will cause you to work shifts of more than 10 hours. And those hours will extend much further on weekends.

Employees can express the symptoms of their stress in a variety of ways, such as cynicism towards their work (and towards the employer), exhaustion, anger, depression and health problems, among other problems. In addition, restaurant managers face a lot of stress and may not make changes to the operation themselves. April is stress awareness month and as good a time as any for people to take a step back and assess the stressors that most affect them and (hopefully) find healthier ways to deal with them. The restaurant business offers ample opportunities for creative people, people who love to serve, passionate cooks, budding entrepreneurs, food and wine lovers and friendly hosts, but the restaurant forum for these activities should be treated like any other business if those dreams and aspirations are to be supported.

Varca, in 1999, there was a negative relationship between the provision of customer service and work stress. Restaurant managers have a variety of tasks every day, ample opportunities for promotion, and a job that is rarely boring. Because restaurant jobs are so closely related to the customer (FOH, BOH, management, company, and all the others), restaurant management can't afford to have stressed employees on their hands (nor can they afford to feel that stress). The physical and emotional stress of work exhaustion not only causes increased manager turnover, but it can also lead to serious medical conditions, such as fatigue, depression, sleep disorders, cognitive decline, and more.

It's important for managers to take a step back and remember why they chose the restaurant profession. If a restaurant operator says “no” because they honestly don't have more time to donate, people will understand. If taking a break isn't an option, consider whether there are certain work tasks that can be done outside the restaurant. If a restaurant manager works for an independent restaurant, the only way to increase salary after a certain point is to move to another restaurant.

Ernest Dargatz
Ernest Dargatz

Freelance food geek. Bacon expert. Certified internet buff. Typical coffee nerd. Avid coffee evangelist.