Restaurant managers are one of the least happy careers in the United States.

At CareerExplorer, we conduct an ongoing survey with millions of people and ask them how satisfied they are with their careers. As it turns out, restaurant managers rate their career happiness 2.7 out of 5 stars which puts them in the bottom 12% of careers.

To put this into perspective, we compared how happy restaurant managers are to similar careers in the industry. Take a look at the results below:

Salaries and satisfaction ratings in similar careers

Career Satisfaction Avg Salary
Fundraising manager
2.8
$115k
Sales manager
2.8
$127k
Mail superintendent
2.7
$80k
Compensation and benefits manager
2.7
$128k
Restaurant manager
2.7
$59k
Account manager
2.7
$47k
Retail manager
2.6
$39k
Restaurant cook
2.5
$30k
Host and hostess
2.5
$25k

So what does it mean to be happy in your career? Let’s break it down into different dimensions:

  • Salary: Are restaurant managers happy with their salary?
  • Meaning: Do restaurant managers find their jobs meaningful?
  • Personality fit: How well suited are people’s personalities to their everyday tasks as restaurant managers?
  • Work environment: How enjoyable are restaurant manager’s work environments?
  • Skills utilization: Are restaurant managers making the best use of their abilities?

Are restaurant managers happy with their salary?

Restaurant managers rated their satisfaction with their salaries 2.6/5. Restaurant managers tend to be quite unhappy with their salary, with very few reporting satisfaction with their pay.

We asked restaurant managers how fairly compensated they are for their work.
Their response was:

2.6 out of 5 stars

4155 restaurant managers

5 Star
7%

7% of restaurant managers rated their compensation 5 stars

4 Star
17%

17% of restaurant managers rated their compensation 4 stars

3 Star
26%

26% of restaurant managers rated their compensation 3 stars

2 Star
28%

28% of restaurant managers rated their compensation 2 stars

1 Star
23%

23% of restaurant managers rated their compensation 1 stars

Do restaurant managers find their jobs meaningful?

On average, restaurant managers rate the meaningfulness of their work a 2.3/5. The majority of restaurant managers struggle to find any sort of meaning in their work, likely resulting in less satisfaction with the career overall.

We asked restaurant managers how meaningful they found their work.
Their response was:

2.3 out of 5 stars

4156 restaurant managers

5 Star
6%

6% of restaurant managers rated how meaningful they found their career 5 stars

4 Star
10%

10% of restaurant managers rated how meaningful they found their career 4 stars

3 Star
22%

22% of restaurant managers rated how meaningful they found their career 3 stars

2 Star
29%

29% of restaurant managers rated how meaningful they found their career 2 stars

1 Star
32%

32% of restaurant managers rated how meaningful they found their career 1 stars

How well are people’s personalities suited to everyday tasks as restaurant managers?

Restaurant managers rated their personality fit with their work an average of 4.0/5. The majority of restaurant managers find their personalities quite well suited to their work, with relatively few having complaints about their fit.

We asked restaurant managers how well their personalities fit into their careers.
Their response was:

4.0 out of 5 stars

4457 restaurant managers

5 Star
37%

37% of restaurant managers rated their career fit 5 stars

4 Star
37%

37% of restaurant managers rated their career fit 4 stars

3 Star
17%

17% of restaurant managers rated their career fit 3 stars

2 Star
6%

6% of restaurant managers rated their career fit 2 stars

1 Star
4%

4% of restaurant managers rated their career fit 1 stars

How enjoyable is a restaurant manager’s work environment?

As a whole, restaurant managers rated their enjoyment of their work environment 3.3/5. Most of them tend to enjoy, or at least not be actively bothered by, their work environment.

We asked restaurant managers how much they enjoyed their work environment.
Their response was:

3.3 out of 5 stars

4444 restaurant managers

5 Star
18%

18% of restaurant managers rated their work environment 5 stars

4 Star
29%

29% of restaurant managers rated their work environment 4 stars

3 Star
27%

27% of restaurant managers rated their work environment 3 stars

2 Star
18%

18% of restaurant managers rated their work environment 2 stars

1 Star
9%

9% of restaurant managers rated their work environment 1 stars

Are restaurant managers making the best use of their abilities?

Former restaurant managers on CareerExplorer have rated their skills utilization 2.8/5. Restaurant managers tend to feel that they don’t manage to use their abilities to their fullest, when compared to other careers.

We asked restaurant managers how well their abilities were used in their careers.
Their response was:

2.8 out of 5 stars

4463 restaurant managers

5 Star
11%

11% of restaurant managers rated their how well their skills were utilized in their career 5 stars

4 Star
18%

18% of restaurant managers rated their how well their skills were utilized in their career 4 stars

3 Star
26%

26% of restaurant managers rated their how well their skills were utilized in their career 3 stars

2 Star
27%

27% of restaurant managers rated their how well their skills were utilized in their career 2 stars

1 Star
18%

18% of restaurant managers rated their how well their skills were utilized in their career 1 stars