Managing a Restaurant: The Functions of Management – Final Paper

Managing a Restaurant: The Functions of Management

Management of Organizations

MGT 330

The Functions of Management

Managing in any establishment is a skill requiring constant planning, development, and

review. A manager can be described as anyone with a formal authority over an organization or

an organizational unit aimed at optimal attainment of organizational goals or objectives through

and with other persons. As a manager, one gets the status leading him/her to undertake various

tasks, characteristically classified under planning, organizing, staffing, leading, and controlling.

These tasks are accompanied by numerous elements of interpersonal relations, and information

exchanges, which in turn enable a manager to formulate strategies, make important decisions,

and implement several actions based on priorities (Daft, 1983). Management is therefore

characterized by numerous strategies, a huge span of organizational control, elements of

autonomy and democracy, sandwiched into a form of leadership acumen required for the

attainment of organizational goals. Whereas the management practice cannot be narrowed to a

single operating guideline, or formulation for doing things, the essential management tasks have

been proved to guide all forms and levels of management (Leyla, 2014). This paper highlights

how the management practices of planning, leading, organizing, staffing, and controlling are

implemented within the restaurant and food vending industry. Discussions on the functions of

management within this paper are based on my experience as a Food Service Manager (FSM) at

one of the fastest growing food chains in the world, Subway. It is premised on the understanding

that the different functions of management must work in tandem for a more effective

management process.

Subway is an American fast-food restaurant franchise. The franchise primarily sells subs

(submarine sandwiches) and salads to a mixed clientele of different age groups. The organization

is owned and run by Doctor’s Associates, Inc. With rapidly growing franchises globally, Subway boasts of a global presence. As of September 13, 2014, it had more than 42,670 restaurants

spread across 108 countries and territories globally. As a Food Service Manager at the Subway

franchise in Clarksville, Tennessee, I had the privilege of leading six employees and handled in

excess of 500 customers of different extracts on a regular business day. My fundamental duties

included ensuring that the franchise runs efficiently, that the quality of food and service was

excellent, and that our customers were satisfied with our products and services.

The applicability of managerial tasks as categorized into planning, leading, organizing,

staffing, and controlling are self-evident in my job description as the Food Service Manager

(Breitfuss, 2015 April). Because the unit is part of a chain of franchises with set operational

standards and procedures, the operations are highly standardized. The reason for maintaining

high standards is to minimize operational costs based on tested service procedures, and to

maintain uniformity even as the units strive to provide fast, and efficient services (Ninemeier &

Hayes, 2006). My most demanding task therefore, was the management of people. This required

meticulous planning and preparation.

(Witzel 2003) defines planning as the process used by managers for the identification

and selection of goals and courses of action pertinent to the organization. Arguably, planning is

the fundamental function of many managers, because it involves determining well in advance,

what the organization should accomplish within specific future timeframes. Planning must also

be conscious of the current environment and based on the environment, a manager’s planning

role must be developed on premises that guarantee success. Only after the premises are

developed can a manager, in conjunction with the organization’s management team, initiate

activities necessary to transform the plan into an outcome. Essentially, what planning activities

one engages on as a manager depends on their management level within the organization as well as on the type and size of the organization. My planning tasks at Subway Clarksville were as

managerial as they were strategic and contingent (Burks, 2015). As a planner, I was therefore

responsible for a host of front-of-the-house management functions such as selecting and planning

menus, taking inventory, managing stock control and budgets as well as estimating the cost of

food and menu rates. I also helped in the establishment of personnel performance standards,

criteria for customer service, market surveys for better service delivery as well as publicity and

advertising functions. As an example of my planning task, I was responsible for developing

surveys to establish demand in the market for a new offer, an Italian sub, with the aim of

increasing the customer base.

Organizing is the next elemental function of management that I engaged in as the Food

Service Manager. In organizing, the manager is responsible for creating the structures for

employee relationship within the workplace. Organizing can only succeed if the work structure

coordinates, motivates and allows the employees to work together harmoniously towards

achieving organizational goals (Stroh et al., 2002). If the structures are flawed, they will often

lead to disorder, mistrust, and reduced productivity. As an outcome of organizing, the structure

thus, reflects the general health of an organization. At Subway, my organization roles included

dividing the responsibilities into tasks and employees into task groups that were then assigned to

deal with specific service areas. The areas included the food committee, the packaging

committee, and the decoration committee all of which were under my direct supervision.

Staffing is another equally essential component of organizational administration. As

(Balkin, 2008) observe, every organization needs people to manage people that must

have the right qualifications for productivity and organizational efficiency to be realized respectively. It is not surprising therefore, that managers who implement these in their organizations are likelier to be more successful. Moreover, as (Daft,1983) observes, better

staffing leads to happier employees. My staffing roles at Subway involved filling work positions

and keeping the positions active within the organization. Elements of staffing that I routinely

undertook include needs assessment, followed by recruitment of new employees, then selecting,

placements, promotions, and performance appraisals. I also constantly developed employees in

readiness to fill relevant positions as the organization grows.

Leading, just like organizing and staffing, involves working with employees of an

organization. (Balkin, 2008) define leading as the process of determining the direction of an

organization. This is possible through the development and sharing of organizational vision and

goals. Without these elemental components of management, an organization will lack a clear

pathway to achieving its mission. When organizational vision is stated clearly to employees, they

are most likely to identify with it and follow it. As a leader, the manager is also required to aid

employees in appreciating the roles that they play in the attainment of the organization’s

objectives. An organization without proper leadership is effectively dead. However, when

employees are properly directed, they become motivated and committed. At Subway, I was a

faithful adherent of its leadership culture; that of a healthy supervisor-worker relationship that I

sustained during my tenure as the Food Service Manager at Clarksville. I ensured that the

turnover ratio at the franchise surpassed that of the Mc Donald’s and KFC units within the city at

all times. I did this by enabling healthy working conditions, efficient bidirectional

communication, and motivation to employees through a variety of incentives.

Controlling as a function of management, prima facie, may seem quite undemocratic in

the 21st century. Interestingly, however, the manager’s role as a controller has several benefits to

the organization. In controlling, the modern manager not only evaluates how well the organizational goals are achieved, but also takes corrective measures if they are not. The aim of

this is to improve organizational performance, and to attain and maintain a competitive

advantage (Stroh, 2002). As an outcome of the controlling function, the manager must

develop accurate performance measurement instruments, and instruments for the regulation of

organizational efficiency and employees’ effectiveness. At Subway, I ensured that our outlet

offered the widest range of healthier, tasty sub choices. I also developed instruments for

customer service and sold the idea to all workers. The outcome was increased sales and

consistent demand for our products. Moreover, I ensured that our operations remained within

environmental safeguards, and that the resources were used efficiently thereby endearing our

outlet to customers, the community and the government. I also controlled budgetary allocations.

In sum, management involves planning actions, establishing structures for organizational

operations, determining the persons to accomplish the tasks, setting examples for them to

accomplish their duties, and controlling their operations while they are at it. Ordinarily,

therefore, whether management regards long-term projects or short time endeavors, priorities

must be set right based on available alternatives, because only through proper prioritizations can

a manager leads his/her organization to productivity and success of an organization. My position

as the Food Service Manager at Clarksville came with numerous obligations, chief of which

included the development and clarification of the unit’s objectives, policies, and standards,

establishment of formal and informal service structures of the unit, and reviewing it periodically

as a measure of delegation and responsibility sharing. My other task included setting priorities,

reviewing, and revising the unit’s objectives based on current market demands in conjunction

with other departmental managers. I was also responsible for maintaining effective channels of

communication for employees, the clients and the larger community, selection, training, motivation, and appraisal of staff, evaluation of accomplishments, securing of funding and

controlling of budgetary allocations. Essentially, the different management functions largely

overlap in an accountable administration of the unit at Clarksville.


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