How do you decide if you really need a kitchen manager? Or if one or three people are required in the service? Here we’ve put together a small but super-important list of the most important roles you’ll need when starting a new restaurant – no matter the size.

When starting a restaurant, there are a number of roles that are mandatory – whether you plan to serve 10 or hundreds of lunches every day. Some things are obvious; if you’re running a burger kiosk, you’ll probably never have to think about hiring a sommelier, for example. But there are some key people that every start-up restaurant needs:

  • Cook. A matter of course. No cook – no food! Usually there are two cooks, but in some cases only one. The cook does most of the work in the kitchen, but may need some assistance.
  • Serve. One (or more) waiters or waitresses are also a necessity – they run the restaurant part and keep the dining room spinning.
  • Owner. An automatic role in the restaurant – the owner should know everything and (in principle) be able to manage everything.

Smaller restaurant = broader responsibilities

A small restaurant can often manage with the three roles above, as one person often manages several different areas. However, if you run a larger restaurant, there may be a need for dedicated managerial roles – head chef, head waiter and restaurant manager, for example.

Waitressing is a central part of your business, often covering everything from the counter to roles such as barista or cold server. That’s why it’s important to have ongoing training sessions with staff, so that everyone who needs to knows how the espresso machine or dishwasher works, for example, knows the menu and can recommend the right wine to go with the food.

Great read: how much you earn in the restaurant industry – the latest statistics!

Think about the capacity – and focus on the goal!

But how do you decide if the restaurant is big or small? One tip is to ask yourself the question “What does it take to make the restaurant work?”. Between a thumb and an index finger, if it takes less than 6 people, you have a small business. On the other hand, to make a large restaurant work optimally, you may need between 8-10 people, each doing their own thing – someone is in charge of the dining room while the rest work in the service, the counter and the kitchen.

Also think about how much you were planning to turn over. How many lunches do you want to make a day? How many seats do you have? How many waiters and waitresses do you need to handle all the guests and carry out the food? What is the capacity of the kitchen – both in terms of equipment and staff? How is the food ordered and served – directly to the table or via express checkouts? All this is relevant to evaluate the capacity of your restaurant – and, not least, to achieve your goal with your new restaurant!

Good luck!