Restaurant managers serve as the support for the whole restaurant. They’re the ones that every staff, customers, and owners look for whether there’s a problem or if there’s something great that happened in the restaurant.
Almost everything that happens in the restaurant should go through the restaurant manager, that’s why it is important for them to stay focused and effective on the job. And with the daily complexities of a restaurant operation, it seems impossible to take on this position.
WHAT IS A RESTAURANT MANAGER
Restaurant manager supervises the operations and functions of the restaurant. From staff to finance management, they’re the ones responsible to coordinate every operation to keep things in order. They are exposed to a demanding and fast-paced environment that helps them to develop expertise for the role.
Exceptional management skills are needed for restaurant managers as they handle both front-of-the-house and back-end operations. Their responsibilities may vary depending on the size of the organization. Small restaurants may require their managers to be more hands on with both their staff and customers, while larger corporations would prefer their manager to leave the manual work to their staff and have them work with more administrative tasks.
There may be some differences, but a great restaurant manager has distinct qualities in order to stay efficient and effective. Find out what are these qualities and if you got what it takes to be a restaurant manager.
RESPONSIBILITIES OF A RESTAURANT MANAGER
There are many functions involved in order to run a restaurant, and to do it daily, it must be messy but restaurant managers find their role as the heart of the restaurant that keeps everybody going and thriving. Here are the basic roles a restaurant manager must oversee daily:
- Observe and administer company rules and policy.
- Set and meet the goals for the team and the restaurant management.
- Create safe working conditions.
- Hire, train, and supervise staff.
- Coordinate the front-of-the-house and back-of-the-house operations.
- Ensuring all administrative requirements are being met. (licenses, permits)
- Inventory management.
- Evaluating and enhancing the profitability of the restaurant.
- Handling customer and staff complaints.
- Corresponding with staff, customers, suppliers, sales representatives, and authorities.
WHAT ARE THE TRAITS OF AN EFFECTIVE RESTAURANT MANAGER MUST HAVE?
This trait is non-negotiable for restaurant managers. In order to play their role well, restaurant managers should be able to communicate well with their staff. They must give proper and constructive criticism if needed, and deliver it in a positive manner.
Here are some tips on how to become a good communicator:
- Hold daily, weekly, and monthly meetings. This is not necessarily just to talk about work, check on your staff and ask them if they have suggestions for today’s improvement of the system. Discuss to them what’s expected from them this shift, and keep them encouraged.
- Provide feedback to your staff, how well they did today or if there are things they can improve on. Give them tips and tricks on how to do their job well without feeling pressured.
- Make them feel that they can come and talk to you without reservations. Keep an open door policy to encourage transparency between the management and the staff. With this, your staff feels that they are being represented well by the management.
ABLE TO ESTABLISH A HEALTHY WORKING CULTURE
Maintaining a good working culture in a very demanding environment is a very tough position to fill. The culture sets the tone on how the whole system would work, and if not done right, the whole workflow of the restaurant might fail.
In order to prevent that, restaurant managers have to constantly find ways on how to keep the culture encouraging enough to keep the staff motivated and productive on their job. They have to establish a working culture that’s aligned with the principles and mission of the whole restaurant.
TREATS THEIR STAFF WITH RESPECT
In paper restaurant managers are the leaders of the pack, but technically, they are just part of the herd as well. They’re also employees who serve the same restaurant as everyone else. That’s why it is important for them to respect their subordinates.
An effective leader knows how to take care of their staff, and know that respecting them is one way to earn their trust and full cooperation. Another way a restaurant manager can express their respect is to make sure that their staff have enough training and knowledge for their position.
LEADS BY SETTING AN EXAMPLE
A restaurant manager sets the standard for the staff. From dress codes, punctuality, and food management, it is important that the staff can see how they should act and what they should do.
Manuals and handbooks may help but there’s no better way to show how things should be done than a restaurant manager showing the waiters how to wait tables in an exemplary way. Keep showing them examples and eventually they’ll be able to adopt the way on how you do things – exceptional.
STABLE AND CONSISTENT
Restaurant managers should display stability and consistency on how they operate and manage the whole restaurant. It will serve as the foundation of the restaurant and will earn the trust of not just the staff, but the customers as well. They will be able to distinguish how the system works within the restaurant, and might be able to identify the restaurant because of the service that it provides.
In an industry where the habits and demands of the customers are changing constantly, it is important that they see restaurant managers to have strong pillars that keep the whole restaurant grounded amidst all the changes happening.
It is impossible to see the future, but it is possible to foresee the future and plan ahead for it. A restaurant manager takes care of the whole team by planning ahead and doing all the preparations needed.
It helps the whole team stay afloat should there be unexpected events that may affect the operations of the restaurant. This doesn’t mean that restaurant managers are waiting and asking for the worst to happen, but they just always prepare for it so that the restaurant could still continue to operate while they’re trying to pivot the whole system into success.
Juggling one work with another is one of the main roles for a restaurant manager. They can’t be locked in a specific task because the whole restaurant operation might be put on hold until that task is done.
But this doesn’t mean that restaurant managers should be doing everything by themselves, they should know how to balance the work they need to do and the work that they need to delegate with their staff. This is also one way to train your staff and see how well they could do the job.
Restaurant managers should display a positive attitude knowing that working in a restaurant can be very tiring. It is important for them to take care of the whole team’s morale and to encourage their staff to do better is one way on how to maintain a positive outlook for the team.
Celebrating success is also one way to keep the spirits high for the team. Restaurant managers should know how to have fun and keep the stress from work minimal. This is one way to keep your staff productive as they don’t feel stressed, and this could also lead to them being more efficient and effective.
Knowing how to work on the business is one trait of an effective restaurant manager. Restaurant managers are always overworked and this should not be the case. If they are doing their roles properly, they have long-term plans and not just how to survive the day-to-day operations.
Restaurant managers know how to sustain the restaurant and they don’t just deal with problems, they make way on how to prevent possible concerns that may occur.
There’s always room for improvement, restaurant managers should keep that on their mind. They’re never complacent and continuously looking for ways on how to improve the takeaway ordering system they’re currently running.
The market behavior is always changing and that’s why it is important for restaurant managers to have an open and creative mind and still keep their roots in check.
It is not easy being a leader, the pressure will soon take its toll on you and being a restaurant manager is not a task that should be taken lightly. You have to be physically and mentally healthy in order to keep up with the demands of this position.
Restaurant managers aren’t born ready for this position. They worked hard for their success and they make sure that they’re still learning new skills even if they already have the role. And as long as you have the right mindset and expertise, you can also fill this position and start taking in charge.