Most hospitality professionals are honored when presented with the opportunity to move into a career in restaurant management. It’s a huge opportunity that can really take someone’s career to the next level. However, the newfound success will come with more responsibility and greater challenges.
Here are the Top 5 Tips for restaurant workers new to management or those pursuing a leadership position:
1) Work on Leadership Skills
Leadership is about more than just being a “boss.” Bosses exercise power over staff due to their position. But, not all bosses are “leaders.” Leadership isn’t bestowed on someone like a title but is an honor that is earned. Bosses become leaders through actions.
Ultimately, staff will view a restaurant manager as a leader if he or she demonstrates best practices and strong work ethic.
2) Don’t Try to be a “Friend”
While great hospitality managers are friendly with the staff, they don’t prioritize being friends with their team members. A leader’s primary goal is to ensure the restaurant’s success. This objective sometimes conflicts with the nurturing of friendships, and so a choice must be made. Good managers will always choose operational imperatives over personal friendships with staff. While it’s important to be respectful to subordinates, make sure to demonstrate strong leadership by setting standards that improve their work performance.
3) Facilitate Harmony Between Front-of-House and Back-of-House
As a restaurant manager, you’re responsible for the business’s overall success and must serve as a liaison for the various teams. The main staffing distinction is usually between front-of-house and back-of-house. Sometimes it’s hard to achieve harmony between the two groups, as their duties and operational realities are very different.
Servers and bartenders are motivated by tips and focus heavily on customer service. Chefs and kitchen staff are often more concerned with speed and efficiency. A good restaurant manager will find ways to bridge the gaps and encourage cooperation.
4) Implement “Systems” that Empower Staff to Function Independently and Efficiently
Truly great hospitality leaders understand that they can’t do everything. There’s a reason restaurants have entire teams, with staff ranging from chefs to dishwashers. As a manager, it is your responsibility to implement “systems” that facilitate success.
These uniform protocols and expectations will empower your team to operate independently of micro-management. Your duties as a boss are then focused on training, general oversight, and enforcing procedural compliance.
5) Hire Quality People and Teach Them the Right Skills
As a restaurant manager, it’s easy to fall into the trap of only hiring experienced hospitality workers. Although this may seem wise, it often results in high turnover and an under-performing staff. Plenty of “experienced” people are bad employees.
Experience doesn’t compensate for poor attitude or unreliability. Most restaurant skills can be taught to newer workers with proper training. So, focus on hiring pleasant, reliable, and hard-working team members.
Ultimately, a career in restaurant management is very rewarding for most hospitality workers. It allows people to leverage years of hands-on experience to the benefit of a business’s success. New managers will maximize job satisfaction by focusing on strategy and systems that improve overall operations.
Hospitality workers seeking great manager opportunities should also consider the assistance of a specialized restaurant staffing agency!
For the latest postings in your area check out the Goodwin Recruiting Job Board.