Business Category Business: career motivation and tips to move ahead

The Job Description for a Restaurant Supervisor

Restaurant supervisors manage staff at all positions in a restaurant. Supervisors ensure that food preparation and customer service meet the standards of local regulatory agencies, the owners and management of the restaurant and the restaurant's patrons. Supervisors may also assist with other management tasks, such as scheduling and ordering supplies. Restaurant supervisors possess excellent people skills, strong organizational and leadership abilities and can work and troubleshoot in multiple areas of the restaurant.

Guest Service

Guest service is top priority in a restaurant. Supervisors assure that guests are being properly served and also resolve problems when they arise. Because the manner in which a problem is solved often determines whether a guest will return, good people skills and the ability to problem-solve are a priority for supervisors. They also create a welcoming atmosphere for restaurant patrons, greeting and saying goodbye to guests and stopping by tables to assure that all needs are being met.


Supervisors often act as a bridge between hourly staff and management. Supervisors communicate the roles, responsibilities and expectations of a job to employees and also pass along suggestions from staff about how to improve efficiency and guest service. As such, working as a restaurant supervisor requires strong communication skills.


Supervisors assist management in training new employees as well as reviewing and reinforcing correct procedures and work habits for existing employees. For example, supervisors may hold staff meetings to inform servers of a new special or promotion. They may work with employees to improve their sales and guest service skills.

Compliance with Regulations

Many regulatory agencies govern restaurant operations, such as local health departments and the Department of Labor. Supervisors monitor and ensure compliance with applicable regulations. For example, restaurant supervisors confirm that staff members practice correct food-handling procedures, ensure that employees receive allotted breaks and enforce compliance with alcohol service laws.

Human Resources

Supervisors often act as the first point of contact when an employee has a problem. Supervisors relay concerns as needed to management and discipline or retrain employees who may not be performing to expectation. Supervisors may also conduct periodic performance reviews of staff and make recommendations for hiring, scheduling and promotion.

Sales and Reporting

Supervisors oversee sales, revenue and cash handling on their shift. They balance cash registers against reported sales and report any overages or shortages in money or inventory to management. Supervisors also complete reports on sales, labour and other costs on a daily basis, making organizational and computer skills assets of a skilled supervisor.

Other Duties

Supervisors should act as role models to hourly employees by helping as needed in the restaurant. Supervisors may work in all areas, from guest service to food preparation, and should possess a good working knowledge of cooking and handling food, as well as the ability to work efficiently in different positions and troubleshoot problems.