How Much Does a General Manager at a Restaurant Make?

2023-12-10 12:41:22

Category - Restaurant

Content -

In the highly competitive restaurant industry, the role of a general manager is crucial in driving success and profitability. This article aims to provide an informative and data-driven analysis of how much a general manager at a restaurant can expect to make. By exploring factors such as industry benchmarks, years of experience, and additional compensation and benefits, readers will gain valuable insights into the average salary range and potential for negotiation in this demanding and rewarding position.


Key Takeaways

  • The average salary range for restaurant general managers can vary greatly, with entry-level salaries at around $35,000 and experienced professionals in high-end restaurants earning over $100,000.

  • Factors affecting general manager salaries include industry trends, the rise of fast-casual dining establishments, the focus on sustainable and locally sourced ingredients, and the restaurant's location.

  • More years of experience and higher education can result in higher salaries for general managers, as they bring additional knowledge and skills to the role.

  • General managers may receive additional compensation and benefits such as performance bonuses tied to key performance indicators, health insurance coverage, and other perks like paid time off or retirement savings plans.

Factors Affecting General Manager Salaries

Factors Affecting General Manager Salaries can be influenced by various aspects within the restaurant industry. One significant factor is industry trends. As the restaurant industry evolves and adapts to changing consumer preferences and market conditions, the demand for skilled and experienced general managers may fluctuate. For example, the rise of fast-casual dining establishments and the increased focus on sustainable and locally sourced ingredients have created new opportunities for public managers with expertise in these areas. Another factor that can impact available manager salaries is the restaurant's location. Salaries can vary significantly based on factors such as the cost of living, competition, and local market conditions. For instance, general managers in metropolitan areas with a high cost of living and intense competition may command higher salaries than those in smaller towns or rural areas. Understanding these industry trends and location impacts is crucial for general managers seeking to negotiate competitive salaries and advance their careers in the restaurant industry.

Average Salary Range for Restaurant General Managers

The average salary range for restaurant general managers varies depending on their experience, location, and the size of the establishment. According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for food service managers, which includes restaurant general managers, was $55,320 in May 2020. However, it is essential to note that salaries can range widely in this field. Entry-level general managers may start with salaries closer to $35,000, while experienced professionals in high-end restaurants can earn well over $100,000 per year. The location also significantly determines salaries, as restaurants in major metropolitan areas tend to offer higher wages.

Additionally, the size and success of the establishment can impact compensation. The job outlook for restaurant general managers is expected to grow 1 per cent from 2019 to 2029, which is slower than the average for all occupations. However, job opportunities are still expected to be abundant due to the high turnover rate in the industry and the constant need for skilled managers.

How Experience Influences General Manager Compensation

Experience significantly impacts the compensation of general managers at restaurants. The more years of experience a general manager has, the higher their salary. According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for general managers in the restaurant industry is $54,240. However, this figure can vary depending on education and location.

Firstly, education plays a role in determining general manager compensation. General managers with a higher level of education, such as a bachelor's or master's degree in hospitality management or a related field, may command higher salaries. Higher education is often seen as a valuable asset that brings additional knowledge and skills to the role.

Secondly, the impact of location on general manager salaries must be addressed. Salaries can vary significantly based on living costs in a particular area. For example, general managers in large metropolitan cities with high living costs may earn more than those in smaller towns or rural areas.

Additional Compensation and Benefits for General Managers

When considering the total compensation package for restaurant general managers, it is essential to consider the additional benefits and perks they may receive. These other compensations can significantly enhance the overall remuneration for general managers. Here are three expected benefits that general managers often receive:

  1. Performance bonuses: Many restaurants offer performance-based bonuses to their general managers. These bonuses are typically tied to key performance indicators such as revenue growth, profit margins, or customer satisfaction scores. A general manager who exceeds these targets can expect a bonus for their exceptional performance.

  2. Health insurance: General managers often receive health insurance as part of their benefits package. This can include coverage for medical, dental, and vision expenses. Access to comprehensive health insurance provides general managers with the peace of mind of knowing that they are protected in any medical emergencies or health issues.

  3. Other perks: In addition to performance bonuses and health insurance, general managers may also enjoy other perks such as paid time off, retirement savings plans, or discounts on meals at the restaurant. These additional benefits can contribute to a more satisfying work-life balance and overall job satisfaction for general managers.

Tips for Negotiating a Higher General Manager Salary

One effective strategy for increasing a general manager's salary is to showcase their accomplishments and leadership skills during salary negotiations. Negotiating a higher salary requires careful preparation and a strategic approach. One key strategy is to conduct salary benchmarking to determine the average salary range for general managers in the industry. Armed with this data, the general manager can confidently negotiate a salary that aligns with their skills, experience, and market value. Additionally, highlighting specific achievements and successful projects can demonstrate the value the general manager brings to the organisation. It is essential to approach the negotiation process confidently and professionally, clearly articulating why a higher salary is justified. By employing these negotiation strategies, general managers can increase their chances of securing higher compensation that reflects their worth and contributions.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are the Educational Requirements for Becoming a General Manager at a Restaurant?

Educational requirements for becoming a general manager at a restaurant typically include a bachelor's degree in business administration or a related field. Additionally, relevant experience in the food service industry is crucial to demonstrate the necessary skills and knowledge for the role.

How Does the Restaurant's Size and Location Impact the General Manager's Salary?

The size and location of a restaurant directly impact the salary of a general manager. Larger establishments with higher competition tend to offer higher wages due to the increased responsibility and experience required for managing larger teams and handling higher customer volumes.

Are There Any Certifications or Additional Training That Can Increase a General Manager's Salary?

Certifications and additional training can significantly impact a general manager's salary in the restaurant industry. General managers can demonstrate their expertise and value by acquiring industry-specific certifications and completing advanced training programs, leading to higher earning potential.

What Role Does the Type of Cuisine Served at the Restaurant Play in Determining a General Manager's Compensation?

The type of cuisine served at a restaurant plays a significant role in determining a general manager's compensation. Factors such as the role of customer demographics and the impact of restaurant ambience are considered when determining salary levels.

Can a General Manager's Salary Be Influenced by the Restaurant's Profitability or Performance?

A general manager's salary at a restaurant can be influenced by various factors, including the restaurant's profitability and performance. Higher profits and better performance may lead to increased compensation for the general manager.


In conclusion, the salary of a general manager at a restaurant can vary based on several factors, such as the location, size, and type of establishment. On average, restaurant general managers earn between $40,000 and $80,000 annually. Experience also plays a significant role in determining compensation, with more experienced managers making higher salaries. Additionally, general managers often receive additional compensation and benefits such as bonuses, health insurance, and retirement plans.

Read our article on what happens if you can't pay at a restaurant.