For restaurant managers looking for a career change, the good news is there are plenty of alternative jobs that utilize your existing skills and experience. Whether you’re interested in a role that keeps you in the hospitality industry or you’re ready to switch to something entirely new, you have options.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: Some top alternative jobs for restaurant managers include hotel manager, catering director, food service director, event planner, retail store manager, office manager, and sales manager.

Jobs That Keep You in Hospitality

If you’re a restaurant manager looking for a change but still want to stay in the exciting world of hospitality, there are several alternative job options available to you. These jobs allow you to utilize your skills and experience in a different setting, while still capitalizing on your knowledge of the industry.

Here are three top alternative jobs for restaurant managers that will keep you in the hospitality field:

Hotel Manager

Transitioning from a restaurant manager to a hotel manager can be a natural progression in the hospitality industry. As a hotel manager, you will oversee the operations of an entire hotel, including managing staff, ensuring guest satisfaction, and maintaining the financial health of the establishment.

Your experience in managing a restaurant will be valuable in this role, as you will have a strong understanding of customer service, staffing, and inventory management. Websites like provide opportunities for hotel management positions in various locations.

Catering Director

If you enjoy the excitement of event planning and catering, becoming a catering director may be the perfect alternative job for you. In this role, you will be responsible for overseeing all aspects of catering operations, from menu planning to execution.

Your experience as a restaurant manager will be invaluable in this position, as you will have a strong understanding of food preparation, customer service, and event logistics. Catering companies like Cvent often have job postings for catering director positions.

Food Service Director

Another alternative job for restaurant managers is to become a food service director. In this role, you will be responsible for managing the food service operations in a variety of settings, such as hospitals, schools, or corporate dining facilities.

Your experience in managing a restaurant will be highly transferable to this position, as you will have a solid foundation in food safety regulations, menu planning, and managing a team. Websites like Sodexo often have job listings for food service director positions.

Transitioning from a restaurant manager to one of these alternative jobs will allow you to continue working in the hospitality industry while exploring new challenges and opportunities. These positions offer a chance to expand your skill set and grow professionally while still capitalizing on your expertise in the field.

So, if you’re ready for a change but don’t want to leave the world of hospitality behind, consider these alternative job options!

Jobs in Event Planning and Coordination

If you’re a restaurant manager looking for a change of pace, consider exploring the world of event planning and coordination. This field offers exciting opportunities to utilize your organizational and leadership skills in a different setting.

Below are some alternative job options within the event planning and coordination industry.

Event Planner

As an event planner, you’ll be responsible for organizing and executing various types of events, such as corporate conferences, trade shows, fundraisers, and social gatherings. You’ll work closely with clients to understand their needs and preferences, and then coordinate all the necessary logistics to ensure a successful event.

This role requires excellent communication skills, attention to detail, and the ability to handle multiple tasks simultaneously. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for event planners was $50,600 in May 2019.

Meeting and Convention Planner

If you enjoy working on a larger scale, consider becoming a meeting and convention planner. In this role, you’ll be responsible for coordinating conferences, conventions, and large-scale meetings. You’ll work with clients to determine their objectives and then handle the logistics of securing venues, arranging accommodations, coordinating transportation, and managing event schedules.

According to EventMB, the average salary for meeting and convention planners is around $60,000 per year.

Wedding Planner

If you have a passion for romance and love the idea of helping couples create their dream wedding, becoming a wedding planner could be the perfect fit for you. As a wedding planner, you’ll work closely with couples to plan and execute every aspect of their special day, from venue selection to floral arrangements to coordinating with vendors.

This role requires exceptional organizational skills, creativity, and the ability to work under pressure. The Knot reports that the average salary for wedding planners is around $45,000 per year.

By transitioning into event planning and coordination, restaurant managers can utilize their existing skills and experience to excel in these alternative careers. Whether it’s organizing corporate conferences, planning large-scale meetings, or creating dream weddings, the world of event planning offers a diverse range of opportunities to showcase your talents.

Jobs in Retail Management

For restaurant managers looking to explore alternative career paths, retail management can be a great option. With their strong leadership skills, customer service expertise, and ability to handle fast-paced environments, restaurant managers are well-suited for roles in the retail industry.

Here are two popular job options:

Retail Store Manager

A retail store manager is responsible for overseeing the daily operations of a retail store. They manage a team of employees, handle inventory management, ensure excellent customer service, and drive sales.

With their experience in managing a restaurant, restaurant managers can easily transition into this role. They already have a strong understanding of customer satisfaction, team management, and operational efficiency.

According to a study conducted by Retail Dive, the demand for retail store managers is on the rise. This can be attributed to the growth of e-commerce and the need for physical stores to provide exceptional customer experiences.

The average salary for a retail store manager in the United States is around $45,000 to $70,000 per year, depending on the size and location of the store.

Grocery Store Manager

Another alternative job for restaurant managers in the retail industry is becoming a grocery store manager. Similar to a retail store manager, a grocery store manager oversees the day-to-day operations of a grocery store, manages a team, ensures the store is well-stocked, and provides excellent customer service.

Restaurant managers can leverage their experience in managing food and beverage operations to excel in this role.

Grocery store managers play a crucial role in ensuring that the store runs smoothly and efficiently. They handle inventory management, ensure compliance with health and safety regulations, and work closely with suppliers.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for food service managers, which includes grocery store managers, is $55,320 as of May 2020.

Office and Administrative Jobs

Office Manager

One alternative job option for restaurant managers is to pursue a career as an office manager. Office managers play a crucial role in ensuring the smooth operation of an office environment. They are responsible for overseeing administrative tasks, managing office supplies, coordinating schedules, and handling customer inquiries.

With their strong organizational skills and attention to detail, restaurant managers can easily transition into this role. They can leverage their experience in managing staff and handling customer concerns to excel in office management.

Additionally, office managers often have opportunities for career growth and advancement within an organization.

Executive Assistant

Another alternative job for restaurant managers is to become an executive assistant. Executive assistants provide high-level administrative support to executives or senior management. They are responsible for managing calendars, scheduling meetings, handling correspondence, and coordinating travel arrangements.

Restaurant managers can utilize their excellent multitasking abilities, problem-solving skills, and ability to work under pressure to excel in this role. They can bring their strong leadership skills and customer service experience to provide exceptional support to executives.

Furthermore, executive assistants often have the opportunity to work closely with top-level executives, gaining valuable insights and networking opportunities.

Sales and Marketing Jobs

For restaurant managers looking to transition into alternative careers, sales and marketing jobs can offer exciting opportunities. These roles require strong communication and interpersonal skills, as well as a keen understanding of consumer behavior and market trends. Here are three viable options:

Sales Manager

A sales manager is responsible for leading a team of sales representatives and driving revenue growth for a company. With their experience in managing a restaurant, restaurant managers can easily adapt their skills to this role.

They can leverage their knowledge of customer service and their ability to upsell to effectively motivate and guide their sales team. Sales managers often work closely with marketing departments to develop strategies that attract new customers and retain existing ones.

They play a crucial role in achieving sales targets and meeting organizational goals.

Marketing Manager

A marketing manager is responsible for developing and implementing marketing campaigns to promote a company’s products or services. Restaurant managers have a natural understanding of branding, advertising, and customer engagement.

They know how to create a unique selling proposition and build a strong customer base. As a marketing manager, they can leverage these skills to develop creative and impactful marketing strategies. They will oversee advertising campaigns, manage social media platforms, and analyze market trends to identify opportunities for growth.

A successful marketing manager can drive brand awareness and generate leads to increase sales.

Account Manager

An account manager is responsible for building and maintaining relationships with clients. They act as a liaison between the company and its customers, ensuring their satisfaction and addressing any concerns.

Restaurant managers excel in customer service and have experience in handling customer feedback and complaints. As an account manager, they can use their strong relationship-building skills to engage with clients and provide personalized solutions.

They will be responsible for upselling and cross-selling products or services to existing clients, as well as identifying and pursuing new business opportunities.

When considering these alternative jobs, restaurant managers may need to acquire additional skills or certifications in sales and marketing. However, their solid foundation in customer service, leadership, and problem-solving will give them a competitive edge in these roles.

By pursuing these alternative careers, restaurant managers can leverage their existing skills and knowledge to excel in sales and marketing positions.


As a restaurant manager, you have a diverse set of skills in leadership, customer service, logistics, budgeting, and staff management that can transfer well to many other industries. With some targeted networking and resume updating to highlight your most relevant abilities, you can successfully transition into a fulfilling new career that builds on your existing strengths and experience in the restaurant business.

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