Good restaurant managers are constantly under pressure trying to keep many dishes turning at the same time.
Being a good restaurant manager requires the ability to work reactively and proactively. General managers need to be quick on their feet, while at the same time planning ahead and communicating with the owner to never lose sight of the big picture.
On top of that, restaurant managers must inspire and motivate their staff. With employee turnover rates of up to 70%, the loss of experienced staff is one of the biggest challenges for any hospitality business.
The obligations of a restaurant manager
There is no right or wrong way to run a restaurant. Each restaurant manager approaches it differently, bringing their own personal style to work. Few restaurant managers are successful from day one. It’s about getting better by taking time; sometimes through trial and error, and a dedication to professional development. Before we get into the nuances of how to be a good restaurant manager, first things first: what exactly do restaurant managers do?
- Manage and supervise the entire restaurant operation.
- Guarantee customer satisfaction.
- Plan and develop customer loyalty programs.
- Plan new menus and update existing ones.
- Plan and develop the general marketing strategy of the restaurant.
- Respond efficiently to customer questions and complaints.
- Manage and direct staff.
- Hire and train new employees.
- Manage restaurant supplies.
- Cost control and waste minimization.
- Foster a positive work environment.
Characteristics of a good restaurant manager
Appreciate your restaurant staff
The manager must display a friendly but firm attitude to keep the kitchen under control and the staff must think positively to better serve your customers. The secret is a confident but polite voice and the ability to listen well in difficult situations.
Many restaurant managers often spend time in the room to meet customers and monitor the dining experience, which involves an innovative approach and a focus on customer service.
Good communication is a must for restaurant managers. Otherwise, the restaurant staff will have a hard time meeting as a team and morale will be poor.
These guidelines will be of great help:
Questions, comments, complaints and ideas should be accepted at any time, and workers feel they have a voice with an open door policy.
Maintain frequent and daily meetings of the workers. The best strategy is to do it before any move. Make sure each employee knows what is expected of them.
You should always support your staff. Build contact by providing information to your team and let them know when you see them doing something positive.
Establish team culture in a restaurant
Understanding the culture of your restaurant, knowing the weaknesses of its concept and trusting its strengths, is the first step towards business growth and credibility.
When you run a restaurant, you are responsible for sharing the company’s mission statement with your staff. Get in the habit of upholding the core values of your business. When deciding what type of environment you want to create in your restaurant, you may want to consider some of these concepts:
- A fun workplace
- A feeling of community
- Honesty and transparency
Troubleshooting and multitasking
Restaurant managers must excel at making spontaneous decisions, as they are a regular part of the job. Make sure that when you have to choose, you know that it is the right thing to do and strongly support your decision. Yes, you can make a mistake from time to time, but showing some courage and thinking fast will turn into great potential.
Know when to help, when to take your foot off the gas and respond calmly, listen carefully and make positive decisions, this will make you a great manager and an outstanding leader.
Support the professional growth of your staff
Professional development is a relatively overlooked sector of the restaurant industry. Few restaurants spend time and resources helping workers find specific directions, or even recommend steps they should take to advance to the next step in their hospitality careers.
The restaurant industry has an extremely high annual turnover rate for its workers. That means many restaurant workers don’t see the importance of sticking around for the long haul. Unless we give them a reason to see a future in the business (through career development opportunities) and a goal to aspire to (promotion).
At the same time, do not forget about your own professional growth. Read restaurant management books, take courses, and stay up-to-date on the latest trends in the restaurant industry.
Prepare your staff to delegate tasks
Because it takes time and resources to get things done the right way, delegating tasks is the best option to make sure your restaurant runs smoothly. It can be difficult to trust staff. As the restaurant manager, you are responsible for the result. Therefore, prepare your workers to perform the tasks to your satisfaction.