The restaurant manager sets the tone for the entire operation.
Restaurant managers have high-pressured, demanding jobs that incorporate a multitude of tasks.
From time management to employee care and customer service, restaurant managers must have special skills to do their job well.
In this article, we look at eight things highly effective restaurant managers do so you can make your restaurant as successful as possible.
#1: They Respect Their Staff
One of the best ways to motivate your staff to provide the best customer service to guests is to show them you respect them.
This is a trait of highly effective restaurant managers – they respect their team.
The best managers treat their staff like individuals. They respect their ideas and their concerns. They learn about their team on a personal level.
When staff feels respected by the manager, they perform better and are more loyal.
In addition, you don’t want to play favorites. This is a quick way to ruin all of your hard work building a rapport with staff.
#2: They Communicate
Highly effective restaurant managers communicate in a positive manner with their employees. They know how to use constructive criticism to improve the work of their team.
Effective communication is an absolute must for restaurant managers. Without it, your restaurant staff will have a hard time coming together as a team, and morale will be low.
Great communicators are skilled at problem solving, negotiating conflict and making their staff feel empowered.
Here are a few things restaurant managers can do to improve their communication skills:
- Have an open-door policy. This means the manager leaves the door “open” to encourage transparency and a theme of openness. Questions, comments, concerns and suggestions are welcome at any time, and with an open-door policy, employees feel like they have a voice. Staff feel free to stop by the manager’s office at any time.
- Hold consistent, regular staff meetings. The best plan is to do this before each shift. Make sure each employee knows what’s expected of them during the shift. Give a brief pep talk and encourage staff.
- Use praise, a lot. Encourage communication by giving your team feedback and letting them know anytime you see them doing something good.
Employees who feel valued by a manager with good communication skills are better at their jobs.
#3: They Are Consistent
One of the best things about the restaurant industry is that each day is different. You meet and serve different people, and oftentimes you offer different food in the form of the day’s special.
While this can be energizing, it can also cause stress among the staff.
Effective restaurant managers are pillars of consistency. They are reliable, and the staff can count on them no matter what the day throws at them.
The manager’s consistency trickles down to the staff and helps everyone work together in a more cohesive fashion.
#4: They Set the Culture
The number one reason people quit their jobs is their manager. Once you understand this, you can work towards setting the right culture for your staff.
Highly effective restaurant managers know what they want their team culture to look like, and then they make a plan to encourage it. (tweet this)
For example, if you want to encourage a culture of customer service, do your best to first provide that to your employees. Praise your staff on a regular basis, reward them for going above and beyond and offer thanks regularly.
Consider some of these words when deciding what kind of culture you want to create at your restaurant:
- Leadership and autonomy
Happy employees make happy customers.
#5: They Are Planners
Effective restaurant managers begin each day with a plan.
This is the best way to manage a restaurant because things often come up, and restaurant managers are pulled in many directions.
To stay on track, begin with a plan. For starters, you need a list.
You can do this on paper, or you can use an electronic system. Just make sure that whichever method you choose, you keep it in front of you so you can work your plan.
Here’s a checklist to get you started:
- Know who is coming in to work. Plan their shift assignments. Don’t do this on the fly because staff notices when managers aren’t prepared.
- Do an inventory of food and supplies. Know what you’re starting your day with so you can cross check it at the end of the day. You also want to be aware of what ingredients you are low on so you don’t get caught empty-handed.
- Make a list of any tasks, other than preparing and serving the food, that you need your team to take care of when it’s slow.
#6: They Problem Solve
Often, a manager’s task involves putting out fires. Some managers may even find themselves doing this all-day long.
Highly effective restaurant managers leave time in their schedule for problem solving and conflict resolution.
Whether it’s contentious staff, angry customers, an inventory shortage, late delivery or something else entirely, restaurants often encounter issues that require quick thinking and problem-solving skills.
If you need some training in this area, look for a class that can help you learn how to better problem solve.
#7: They Multi-Task
As the manager, someone usually wants you for something during a busy shift.
The best restaurant managers are highly capable multi-taskers.
But, there is a balance. While you need to be skilled at multi-tasking, you also need to know when to delegate.
The goal of effective managers is to be able to float through the restaurant taking care of several things at once.
Perhaps you need to greet customers. This is an important task because it makes customers feel valued. Yet, you have a problem in the kitchen. Great managers can handle both of these scenarios at the same time.
The best managers don’t get flustered and work their way from one task to the other with ease. They are calm and patient.
#8: They Set an Example
Highly effective restaurant managers are the first to arrive and the last to leave. They set the tone for the rest of the staff.
If you want your staff to be the best they can be, you have to lead by example. Here are some tips:
- Be on time. You can’t expect staff to arrive a few minutes early if you’re always late.
- Leave last. Stay until all the work is completed.
- Be thoroughly versed in every job in the restaurant. Make sure if needed that you could take over seamlessly.
- Solve problems immediately and don’t let them fester.
Highly effective restaurant managers are superhuman. They wear a number of hats each day they work.
If you want to create a dynamite team and have a smooth-running restaurant, you want to be a highly effective restaurant manager.
Hone your communication skills, work on your customer service, plan and be positive. You’ll soon have your team following suit.