Restaurant teams are composed of knowledgeable staff members who perform specific tasks. However, there is one position that should be able to handle and understand every aspect of your restaurant’s operations and management, and that is a restaurant manager.
The job of a manager is to ensure that your entire restaurant is operating smoothly. It should be capable of overseeing and directing your entire team to operate and provide the best quality of service that they can deliver.
Your managers are responsible for leading your team towards the established goal for your restaurant. They ensure that all departments are working in harmony together and everyone is aware of their responsibilities.
They are accountable for the success of your business. They serve as your right hand in terms of managing both the operations and management of your restaurant, therefore, it’s natural to be particular when it comes to hiring one.
Here are some tips to help you identify the right candidate for this position. Follow along as we’ll also be discussing what are the skills and qualities you should look for when you’re trying to fill this position.
Managers for Restaurants- How To Find The Best One?
There are a lot of factors to consider in filling the position of manager in a restaurant. It’s considered as one job with many hats. While it’s only a single title, its responsibilities branch out up to the very end of your management chain.
To help you reach a deeper understanding of how this role plays in your business, we have enumerated below its primary responsibilities.
Key Responsibilities of Managers in Restaurants
Although the said duties may vary depending on the setting of your restaurant, or the structure of your organization, these are the main obligations of your managers. You must ensure that the one you’ll choose should be excellent on the following.
Supervising the overall progress of your team
One of the perks of owning a restaurant is that you’re not required to be present at all times. With the help of your competent managers and advanced solutions, you can now monitor everything away from your physical store, and even on your phone.
This is how integral this role is. Your managers serve as the battle commander of your restaurant’s warzone. They directly report to you everything that you need to know. Starting from staffing to kitchen concerns, they should be on top of everything about your restaurant.
They should be a good leader, someone who knows how to keep a team motivated. And while they are at it, they should be able to do performance reviews on your team. With their expertise, their evaluation can be trusted.
As a leader, they should be able to communicate well with your staff and inform them should there be an improvement that needs to be done. They must know how to facilitate effective cooperation among your staff to avoid conflict and frustrations.
Resolving internal and external operational conflicts
No matter how careful you are, or your team is, misunderstanding and conflict will always be present. Especially in a restaurant setting where things could easily heat up, it’s impossible to avoid conflicts.
Your staff is composed of different competent individuals. Each has its way of doing things and working principles. Sooner or later, they will encounter another individual that has a different method and imbibes principles that are contrary to theirs.
Whether that conflict is among your team or with a customer, one of the main tasks of managers is to handle conflicts and minimize negative impacts. You should hire a restaurant manager that knows how to apply damage control in every situation.
Optimizing your operations
A capable leader knows what are the methods and tools that can be utilized to optimize every operational procedure that your restaurant has. There’s indeed no shortcut to success, but with their experience and exposure, they’re equipped with ideas to simplify a process.
But, don’t get us wrong, by simplifying the process we didn’t mean to indicate that the results would be compromised. The new method or tool that they will provide should yield the best results without using complicated and technical processes.
Monitoring and evaluating customer satisfaction
Yes, your managers are not just focused on your staff but they also maintain and manage the customer dining experience that they offer. They make sure that every guest is given the utmost customer service and that they’re delighted with your menu items and services.
And the same goes for your online reputation. They are the ones responsible for upholding your credibility online. They are very thorough in monitoring every online review, feedback, and report that you receive from your website and other review sites such as Yelp and TripAdvisor.
Your managers provide the necessary response to this feedback and give your customers assurance that they’re being heard by the management. They help create unforgettable customer experiences that will resonate with the guests even after they leave your establishment.
Looking out for new hires
If there’s someone who knows your team well, it is your manager. They’re a vital element of your hiring process since they know the current composition of your team and what it needs to improve its productivity and effectiveness.
They also monitor the training process of the new hires. Since your managers are the most familiar with your employees, they know which one can particularly benefit from the training of your new employees.
Administration and management of inventories
Inventory management is a crucial process for a restaurant. You may have a point person on your back-of-the-house team to manage your inventory, but when it comes to purchasing, it should be endorsed to the managers, or they should be notified at most.
It’s not that you don’t trust your kitchen staff, but you can’t extract reports from different kitchen staff just to stay updated with your inventory. Your managers can generate a consolidated report that gives you a brief overview of the status of your inventory.
Budgeting and financial management
This is another role-specific task that can be done by your financial and accounting team. While the specifics of this department are being handled by them, your managers should be knowledgeable about this process as well.
They know your business upside down, thus, allowing them to take part in setting sales forecasts for your team. They know the potential of your staff, and they most likely have an idea of how much your current operations are capable of making.
Enforcing additional protocols
In light of the new health and safety protocols enforced by local and national health authorities, it will be up to your managers to ensure that these guidelines are being adhered to.
They are responsible for overseeing the implementation of these protocols. For instance, in the UK they set different guidelines for restaurants, pubs, bars, nightclubs, and other similar social food preparation businesses.
These protocols are introduced to promote a healthier dining environment, for both your staff and guests. And since they have the right authority, they can also take certain actions should a guest fail to follow the said protocols.
Skills to Consider When Hiring a Manager for Your Restaurant
Here’s the list of the skills that you need to look out for when hiring a good restaurant manager. Now, keep in mind that this is an open list. If you find a skill that you find helpful for your management, then feel free to include it
You’ll be entrusting almost your entire management with this person. It’s a must that they have adequate experience, knowledge, and training in this industry. Running a restaurant is not an easy task, your managers should be equipped with the expertise to move forward.
They should know how the process works for your daily operations. Maintains the highest standards of health and safety, and knows how to manage and improve the skills of your staff.
Effective Business Judgement
When you’re not around, your managers are the decision-makers for everything. If there’s a need for purchasing approval, they can facilitate the process. It’s one thing that they’re well-versed about your daily operations, but they should be business-minded as well.
Aside from management, they should also take care of your revenue and look for ways to minimize your costs. They should be able to make effective business decisions with or without your presence.
Exceptional communication skills
This role is built around relationships and communication. You can’t consider yourself a leader if you don’t know how to communicate with your team. Also, managers will be in regular contact with staff, guests, and operators.
You should hire someone who knows how to build a healthy working culture and environment for your staff. Someone who can deliver an excellent dining experience with your customers. And a person that your vendors and suppliers can trust.
Knowledgeable about technology
By now, you should already deploy different types of restaurant solutions and technologies into your operations and management. While you can’t expect everyone to be familiar with every software there is, it’s advantageous to have someone that can easily understand how things work.
Dedicated to customers
A restaurant manager’s job is to ensure that guests leave with a positive experience, and they should know how to do that. Taking care of your customers should always be their top priority.
Tips in Hiring a Manager for Your Restaurant
Here is a basic restaurant manager recruitment guide to help you find the right person for this position.
Start by looking from your current staff
This is one of the most missed opportunities for restaurant owners. They often are quick to look outside their organization to fill this role, when in reality, your current staff has most of the qualities and knowledge that they need to fit in this position.
The inside promotion offers a lot of benefits for you. You’ll be saving a lot of resources for training and exposure since they’re already familiarized with your management and operations. It’s also a good way to boost the morale of your team since you’re providing them opportunities for career growth.
Consider asking for referrals
If there’s still no running candidate from this position within your team, ask them for referrals. The industry is a small world, they might know someone that has the qualities, skills, and experience you’re looking for.
This is not limited to your staff as well. You can also ask other industry experts, those whom you trust of course. Since you’re in the same industry, they might know a staff or two which they can recommend as your new manager.
This makes the sourcing and hiring process easier since you already know that they have the skills and experience. It’ll just come down if they will be meeting your specific business needs.
Be innovative with your hiring process
Utilize different job posting platforms to make sure that you’re talking to the right pool of candidates. Be specific with your requirements, and ensure that your job posting is clear and understandable.
You may also want to consider using social media should these platforms be not sufficient for you. There are also industry-related forums and groups that you can check out to source out candidates. Just make sure that there’s still a hint of professionalism in your posting.
Hire based on their character, not just their skills
Skills can be taught and learned, but the character is not something you can control. No matter how skilled a candidate is, if they’re not blending well with your team, then it’s not going to work.
Make sure that you’ll carefully examine the character of each candidate for the managerial position. It’s an integral part of your restaurant that will help you to build a better team and business system. If that person is not someone that has the ideal characteristics, it might be a problem for you.
Make sure to ask context-specific questions
During the hiring process, it’ll be beneficial for you if you can evaluate how that candidate will perform should a certain situation arise. Keep in mind that the way they handle these situations will most likely reflect on their actual performance.
Through their answers, you can get a sense of whether they’re capable or not for the said role. You can gain better insights into their character, judgment, and qualities if you’ll be asking the right set of questions.
Check for cultural compatibility
It’s a must that a manager must fit right away to the management and the team. That even though they are new, they should click right away with the entire staff since they’ll be the ones leading and directing their performances.
Your restaurant would already have an existing working culture. Your manager should be a good match with it to ensure smooth operations. To help you determine if they are a culture fit with your management, make sure to give your restaurant a proper introduction.
Let them know about your vision and mission. Share with them about the core values of your team, about the working hours usually required from them, and the services expected from them.
If they seem to not mind working a bit longer than others, or if they can be flexible enough to meet the needs of your management and your team; then you can consider them a strong candidate.
Look beyond the surface
As others may say, learn to read between the lines. Expect that everyone will be putting their best foot forward when it comes to interviews and the hiring process. How will you identify if they are being truthful in what they’re saying? By being observant.
Don’t just listen to what they’re saying. Check out other cues such as their body language, these are the subtle hints that often give away more about the character of a candidate. You’ll be able to learn a bit more about them, through their eye contact to how firm their handshake is.
Check out their experience
It’s always easier for you to hire candidates with experience from the same type of restaurant as yours. If you can find someone who has great exposure and experience with the same working environment, then they must also possess the skills that you’re looking for.
Just make sure to ask them how they’re handling the situations from their past team. It’s also helpful to know the reason why they choose to leave their former team. Having ideas about their past experiences allows you to understand and know them better.
Perform a background check
If we have failed to emphasize, this role is an integral part of your restaurant management. You’ll be giving them authority that could make or break your business. Just imagine how horrifying it would be if you hired someone who lied about their employment history?
It’s not the most ideal situation and it’s possible to happen if you’re not being careful with your hiring process. If you’re eyeing a candidate, make sure to check with their past employers or references about their skills and verify important information such as training and certifications.
People can be desperate when looking for a job. Don’t fall into this kind of trap. Be assertive with your hiring process to ensure that you’ll be hiring the perfect candidate.
Hire with retention in mind
The hiring and training process costs more than you think. It takes a lot of your resources, time, energy, and money. This is just one of the many reasons why employee retention should be your goal for your hiring process. Not only for this particular position but as a whole.
You should look for candidates that can lead and manage your team and your restaurant for a long time. This promotes stability within your management and consistency in the quality of service that your team provides.