What It's Like to be a restaurant manager in new york city
Name: Danielle
Career: Restaurant Manager
Company Field: Food & Beverage
Located In: New York City, New York
Grew Up In: Branchburg, New Jersey
Graduated From:
Majored In: Baking & Pastry Arts/ Hospitality Management
Graduated In: 2007, 2010
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After College Lifestyles

Danielle is a Front of House Restaurant Manager in the Flatiron district of New York City. Danielle gives an in-depth look into what managing a restaurant is all about (managing a restaurant is so much more than overseeing a restaurant's operations). And get a tour of Danielle's New York City apartment.

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Name: Danielle
Career: Restaurant Manager
Company Field: Food & Beverage
Located In: New York City, New York
Grew Up In: Branchburg, New Jersey
Graduated From:
Majored In: Baking & Pastry Arts/ Hospitality Management
Graduated In: 2007, 2010

Quick Stats on Restaurant Management

Work Hours/Week: 60 hours
Work Hour Flexibility: Medium
Quality of Lifestyle Outside of Work: High
Work Stress Level: Medium
Level of Routine Work: Medium
Interaction with Co-Workers: High
Pay Level (out of 5): $$$

Life of a College Grad Restaurant Manager


I'm a FOH manager at an 8-month-old restaurant in the Flatiron district of NYC. I run lunch service, plan all private events and handle much of the administrative tasks in the office. I'm one of 3 managers, so although we share overseeing dining room responsibilities, we each have specific responsibilities to focus on: events, wine program, whiskey program, social media, etc. I open the restaurant, get set up for and direct lunch/brunch service. The second half of my day focuses on events and other office jobs when there is another manager present to cover the floor.

Restaurant Managers Daily Routine:

6:45 AM Wake Up

7:00 AM Run to the gym: workout, shower, get ready for work

9:00 AM Walk to work, arrive at the restaurant. Eat breakfast while checking e-mails, get the staff and the restaurant ready for service, lead AM pre-shift

11:00 AM Lunch service; managing on the floor

3:00 PM Lunch service ends, (swing manager is there for the service hand-off) to the office to focus on events and admin

4:30 PM Eat family meal

5:00 PM Attend PM pre-shift

5:30 PM Dinner service, help on the floor, finish up in the office

8:00 PM Gymnastics practice or shuck oysters at private event (second job/part time)

10:30 PM Home, shower, social media (I don't own a TV)

12:00 AM Sleep

What It's Like to manage a restaurant
How To Get Into The Field
I'm a pastry girl at heart. Growing up, my father did all of the cooking and he is the one that got me into the kitchen. I always loved to bake. My parents noticed this and introduced me to the idea of making a career out of it. In middle school, I decided that I wanted to be a pastry chef. I went to stay away pastry camp over the summers leading into high school. The only college I applied to was the Culinary Institute of America which I attended in December after hs graduation. Going to Cornell was certainly an afterthought, but the CIA & Hotel School at Cornell have a fantastic alliance program that allows you to earn an AOS in pastry (or culinary arts) and a BS in Hotel Admin together. Both programs are extremely focused, but at the same time, it's easy to figure out if you belong in the field or not. You have to be truly passionate about food and hospitality, otherwise you won't survive the demanding hours and conditions. Heading into a career in restaurants, I don't think I could have been better prepared for my current job having attended both the CIA and Hotel School at Cornell.

What Do You Really Do?
I wear a lot of hats. Seriously. I work for a small company: three separate restaurants/businesses. We don't have corporate departments to handle HR, PR, maintenance, payroll, etc. When things go wrong, we figure it out and make it happen. You never really know what the day is going to throw your way, especially in NYC. You have to be willing and able to jump in and take charge of literally anything. One minute I'm on the phone with a guest who is interested in buying out the restaurant for her daughter's rehearsal dinner, next I'm climbing in the ceiling to reset the HVAC unit, then I'm attempting to explain new hire paperwork to our Spanish-only speaking porter, and suddenly I hear "all hands, pick-up!" and I'm straight to the kitchen to help run food. There's days when everything that can go wrong will, and then there's the services when it's auto pilot and magic happens. Like a well-oiled machine, the kitchen it slamming, the dining room is humming and guests are smiling and laughing. When you create the perfect experience for your guest, you feel it too. Those are the moments we live for.
Pros/Cons of Your Job
Pros: I'm in love with my restaurant. I believe in our product: the food, the drink, the service, the atmosphere. I enjoy the challenge of every day being different and unpredictable. I appreciate the amount of responsibility I have and that the trust the owner has in our staff at every level. I <3 NY. (I need to live in a food city.)
Cons: I work holidays. The hours are long (you get used to it) It can be difficult to manage a staff that all have dreams of other careers. I chose the food & beverage industry. I have yet to meet anyone who has said they want to be a server for the rest of their life. Turnover is high compared to other industries. The pay is not fantastic. Benefits are minimal with independent restaurants.

Tour My New York City Apartment

Quick Stats on New York City

Job Opportunities: High
Competition for Housing: Low
Housing Cost: High
Population of Young People: High
Nightlife: High
Safety: Medium
Biggest Industries: Finance, Hospitality, Fashion, Film, everything. It's NYC!

The Life of a College Grad In New York City


College Grad's New York City Apartment

What's it Like to Live Here?
NYC is an intense city. It's certainly not for everyone, but for me, right now, I couldn't imagine living any other place. I love the convenience of having everything right at my fingertips, but I also pay for it. The cost of living is high, but so is my quality of life. This city truly never sleeps; there is ALWAYS something to do. It's almost too easy to get friends to come visit (the hard part is finding space for them to stay!) Everything you've heard about life in NYC is probably true. It's beautifully loud, dirty, bright, impatient, & crowded. It's bursting with culture, love, excitement & ...tourists... It's one crazy city. I'm never leaving. ...Ok, not for a while at least.

How Did I End Up Here?
I grew up in the suburbs of central New Jersey. NYC has always been "the city" to me. I've always loved food and restaurants and knew I would end up living in NYC after college. Given the industry I'm in, it was a no brainer. I live in (arguably) the greatest food city in the world.
My Set-Up
Right out of college, I lived in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, but now I rent a studio apartment in Kips Bay, NYC. I don't have any roommates and I love it. I'm hardly ever home, but it's nice to have a place of my own I can come home to when I'm constantly surrounded by so much in the city. I can walk to work, and really like being close to Union Square, and lower Manhattan/Brooklyn.

Closing Advice


Know yourself and know what kind of environment you excel in. Find that atmosphere in your employer and you'll soar. But don't you dare let yourself get comfortable. Push yourself to grow, especially when you don't want to.

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