How to Negotiate a Restaurant Manager Position
The restaurant business is labor-intensive and customer-centric. Hospitality training, talent, and experience are fundamental to excellent customer service. For a rewarding career as a restaurant manager, it’s crucial to start on the right foot. You can negotiate a restaurant manager position with a sufficient salary and an attractive compensation package using these six negotiation tips.
Quantify Your Worth
If you don’t know your worth, then you’re entering negotiations from a weak position. The problem for many restaurant managers is quoting what they think they’re worth rather than what the market says a restaurant manager is worth. Negative self-assessment often ends up in undervaluing a restaurant manager’s worth.
Sales and negotiation training can teach management trainees the skills to research market salary rates. Start by checking online for generic information about salary ranges. Payscale and Glassdoor offer some reliable insights into restaurant manager salaries across the world.
Your next point of salary research is the recruitment advert or job posting. Do the ads and postings mention a salary range? If the job posting doesn’t indicate a salary range, ask yourself the following questions:
- What’s your minimum acceptable salary?
- How much are your living expenses within the restaurant’s area?
- How much are you aiming to earn in that role?
- What’s your compromise position?
Sell on Value
During the interview process, the interviewers want to know what value you’ll bring to the restaurant. The interviewer also wants to know what makes you an appropriate fit for the role.
A sales negotiation class can prepare you to express your skills that align with the restaurant’s objectives. What value can the restaurant expect for the salary you’re requesting? Have a clear rationale to describe why you’re the perfect candidate.
Without mentioning salary expectations, mention your past training and achievements. If you have to reveal a previous salary lower than your current salary request, have a logical explanation. Some explanations for a significant increase in your worth may include:
- The past lower salary came with high performance-based bonuses and cash incentives.
- The past job offered immense learning opportunities.
- The last job was under the mentorship of a highly successful or influential personality.
Explain why these opportunities led to your becoming a better restaurant manager able to deliver better value and deserving of a salary increase.
Focus on the Complete Package
The base salary is often the main focus in negotiations for a new restaurant manager. However, a keen manager with expert training in negotiations realizes that the base pay is only part of the compensation package.
Apart from the base salary, the restaurant manager can also consider work-life balance and professional learning and development opportunities. Some additional benefits that the restaurant manager can negotiate on include:
- Paid holidays
- Learning opportunities
- Sales-based commissions
- Restaurant and Hospitality industry exposure
- Medical and dental insurance cover
Negotiate on Managerial Roles and Authority
There are internal factors that may affect your performance as a restaurant manager. Even if you’re one of the best managers, your efforts could be in vain if you have a weak team.
During the interview and salary negotiations, ask what your duties and responsibilities entail. A few specifics to ask are:
- Will you have a say in picking and hiring kitchen and wait staff?
- Do you have the final say in budget allocation?
- Are you required to reprimand or fire non-performers?
- Do you have any input into marketing and outreach programs?
- Can you offer training to develop staff skills?
- Are you allowed to take executive action to appease customers, like offering complimentary meals and on-the-spot discounts?
If you have the restaurant managerial authority to make impactful decisions, your chances of influencing the restaurant’s performance will grow.
Negotiate on Lifestyle Limitations
As mentioned earlier, the restaurant business is labor-intensive, and restaurant employee burnout is not uncommon. If the restaurant manager position requires you to make lifestyle sacrifices, you should ask for compensation.
Some lifestyle restrictions that affect some restaurant managers include:
- Being on-call 24/7.
- Having to work late, early, or long hours.
- Working away from family (working at a remote tourism spot and only occasionally traveling to your family).
- Travel restrictions (you may have to give notice and seek approval before going abroad).
- Restrictions on seeking second jobs.
If the restaurant you’re interviewing with has lifestyle restrictions, they probably are willing to pay over and above standard rates.
Negotiate on Additional Skills
A restaurant manager is skilled and has expert knowledge on how to:
- Run a commercial kitchen.
- Provide top-notch customer service.
- Boost sales through upselling and cross-selling.
- Train and onboard new restaurant employees.
- Work with vendors and suppliers.
- Work with regulators and inspectors.
- Understand financial statements.
- Run restaurant marketing campaigns.
If you’re a manager with expert-level skills in any one of these extra duties, you can negotiate for higher or additional compensation. For instance, if your IT skills are so good that the restaurant ends up saving on IT-related expenses, then you have leverage for a higher payment.
If your marketing expertise brings in more clients, you can negotiate extra perks or higher commissions. Any additional skills over and above the standard requirements that bring additional value and savings to the restaurant are opportunities for increased compensation for you.
Negotiate a Restaurant Manager Position — Concluded
Interview advice centers often on having “set” answers to hypothetical questions an employer may ask. It’s good to have some ideas, “holstered.” Moreover, the key is “selling yourself.” An employer wants to feel that they’re bringing someone qualified on board. With experience and an ability to position your most valuable qualities, you can negotiate a restaurant manager position and bring value to any organization you join.
Looking for more insights into how to get into restaurant management? Read our article “How to Become A Restaurant Manager: Skills and Strategies” and learn the basics to get started.
About the Author
Milena Gallo is a talented marketing advisor with a specialization in digital marketing. Milena delights in the opportunity to create and carry out strategic marketing plans and is skilled in tailoring messaging to effectively reach target audiences. She has a business degree and experience working on portfolios for several major companies. When she’s not at the office, Milena loves to do yoga, pick veggies from her garden, and visit local museums.