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What does a Dining Room Manager do?

B. Miller
B. Miller

A dining room manager works in a restaurant or another area where food service takes place, like a large corporate cafeteria, a resort, or a hospital. He or she is responsible for managing all aspects of the dining room, such as making sure the servers and bussers are working as they are supposed to, maintaining the appearance of the dining room, and dealing with any customer problems. The manager typically does not supervise people in the kitchen, where the chef or chefs are generally in charge.

Typically, a dining room manager will be someone who has a extensive experience in the food service industry. It can be a very stressful, challenging, and fast paced job, particularly in larger restaurant environments. Many managers will first begin as servers and then work their way up into a supervisory or managerial role. The responsibilities of the job may vary depending on the size of the establishment and the number of other employees that work there.

A manager maintains the appearance of the dining room.
A manager maintains the appearance of the dining room.

As with most managerial positions, someone in this position will often be in charge of planning the work schedule for the other employees, making sure that all shifts are sufficiently covered, and attempting to accommodate requests for days off. He or she may interview potential new employees, and make hiring decisions as well as determine whether or not someone can continue working. Once new employees are hired, the manager might be responsible for training them and enforcing any company standards regarding dress code or work behavior, for example.

A dining room manager may oversee a cafeteria.
A dining room manager may oversee a cafeteria.

In addition to working with other employees, the manager of a dining room will typically need to maintain an inventory of any necessary linens or other products, and do the ordering as needed. He or she may also be responsible for bookkeeping or maintaining accounts. Customer service is also a large part of this job, and it is vital for this individual to be able to resolve any issues with customers quickly and quietly, while maintaining a courteous and respectful demeanor.

Many managers begin their careers as servers.
Many managers begin their careers as servers.

A dining room manager will typically not work regular hours. Often, weekend or evening shifts are required, sometimes more than full time. For people who want to work in the food service industry, however, it can be an excellent career path that offers benefits and other perks, and it allows a lot of interaction with other people. It also provides professional insight into the industry for anyone considering opening a restaurant of their own.

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Discussion Comments


How many levels of management are there in most restaurants? Like, who does the dining room manager answer to and who answers to the dining room manager?

I am just wondering because I have been to some restaurant that are so huge and high volume you would think they would have like 6 or 7 managers trying to keep track of everything just in the dining room.


I was a dinning room manager for a few years at a large hotel. We did banquets and conferences and other kinds of catered events.

The job paid well but it was a lot of work. I was responsible for a staff that sometimes approached a hundred people and the logistical concerns were huge. Trying to get hundreds of plates of food to look and taste right and then to come out in an efficient and organized way is no small feat. I went to work in another area of the hotel and I do not often miss working in that dining room.


I have worked in many different restaurants over the years and in almost all circumstances there will be a front of the house manager and a back of the house manager. The front of house manager is basically the dining room manager. He or she is responsible for anything that happens once the food leaves the kitchen.

I will not say that it is harder than being the back of the house manager, but it comes with some unique challenges. You have to be the face of the restaurant. You have to interact with the public directly, even when they are really angry with you. There can be a lot of abuse. You have to have a smile plastered on your face the whole night to be good at it.

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    • A manager maintains the appearance of the dining room.
      By: kiptutku
      A manager maintains the appearance of the dining room.
    • A dining room manager may oversee a cafeteria.
      By: Igor Mojzes
      A dining room manager may oversee a cafeteria.
    • Many managers begin their careers as servers.
      By: Nejron Photo
      Many managers begin their careers as servers.