Cafe/Restaurant Manager Kaiwhakahaere Toa Kawhe/Wharekai

Cafe/restaurant managers are in charge of running cafes, restaurants and fast food outlets. They may also run catering businesses.

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Cafe/restaurant managers may do some or all of the following:

  • hire, train and supervise staff
  • ensure customer service is maintained at a high level
  • ensure health, safety and liquor licensing regulations are followed
  • take customer bookings and help serve food and drinks
  • ensure food is prepared and cooked to set company specifications
  • organise supply purchases, and keep stock records
  • plan budgets and rosters
  • plan menus with cooks or chefs
  • marketing and promotion
  • organise food and beverage events, promotions and advertising.

Physical Requirements

Restaurant managers need to be reasonably fit and healthy, and have a good level of stamina as they spend long periods on their feet.

Useful Experience

Useful experience for cafe/restaurant managers includes:

  • any work at a cafe, fast food outlet or restaurant such as bartending or waitering
  • retail or sales management
  • administrative work for large events
  • staff management experience.

Personal Qualities

Cafe/restaurant managers need to be:

  • good at managing and leading people
  • good at customer service
  • good at communicating
  • able to work well under pressure
  • friendly, patient and helpful
  • motivated and organised.


Cafe/restaurant managers need to have:

  • people management skills
  • business management knowledge, including budgeting, accounting, sales and marketing skills
  • knowledge of health, safety and food hygiene regulations and procedures 
  • good understanding of current licensing and employment laws
  • knowledge of food and drink preparation and presentation
  • the ability to plan menus and organise catering for functions such as weddings or conferences
  • awareness of competitors' prices and services, and market trends.


Cafe/restaurant managers:

  • often work long hours, including evenings and weekends, and may also do shift work
  • work in bars, cafes, catering kitchens, cafeterias, fast food and restaurant kitchens, and offices
  • work in conditions that may be hot, noisy and stressful
  • may travel locally to visit suppliers and other restaurants.

Subject Recommendations

No specific secondary education is required for this job, but accounting, economics and home economics (food and nutrition) to at least Level 2 are useful.

Cafe/Restaurant Managers can earn around $23-$24 per hour.

Pay for cafe/restaurant managers varies depending on experience, responsibilities and where they work.

  • Duty managers and assistant cafe managers usually earn between minimum wage and $24 an hour.
  • Cafe managers usually earn between $23 and $24 an hour.
  • Restaurant managers can earn between $23 and $34 an hour.

Sources: Restaurant Association of New Zealand, '2017 Remuneration Survey Results', October 2018; and Frontline Hospitality, 'Frontline Hospitality 2018/2019 Salary Guide', October 2018.

Cafe/restaurant managers may progress to own and operate their own cafe/restaurant business.

Cafe/restaurant managers may specialise in areas such as:

Caterers manage and co-ordinate the preparation of food for functions or events.
Fast Food Manager
Fast food managers supervise staff and the running of fast food outlets.
Food and Beverage Manager
Food and beverage managers are responsible for the operation of all food and beverage outlets and services in a hotel or conference centre.

Years Of Training

There are no specific requirements to become a cafe/restaurant manager. However, you usually need to have experience working in hospitality, and business management skills or experience.

A New Zealand Diploma in Hospitality Management (Level 5) may also be useful. The industry training organisation Service IQ oversees hospitality qualifications.

If the establishment you work at sells alcohol, you also need to:

  • be at least 20 years old
  • hold a Manager's Certificate and a Licence Controller Qualification (LCQ).
Cafe/Restaurant Manager