5 Tips on How to Be an Effective Restaurant Manager
A restaurant manager is the jack-of-all-trades for a restaurant and has a variety of jobs. As a manager, your task is to keep the kitchen and the front of the house running smoothly. Keeping the owner, customers, and staff happy isn’t easy, but it’s a necessary task for any manager. If you watch any episode of a kitchen reality show, you’ll quickly learn that when the restaurant suffers from poor management, everyone in the restaurant is affected. Here are 5 tips on how to be an effective restaurant manager.
Make Employee Duties Clear
If your employees don’t know what they’re expected to do, then things can get confusing really quickly. You should make sure that everyone knows their duties and responsibilities. Every 3 to 6 months, check in with your staff to make sure they have sufficient equipment, training, and time to complete these tasks. You can use the following methods to communicate these duties to your employees:
- Job boards listing tasks by position
- Employee handbooks stored in a place in an easily-accessed place
By ensuring that you’ve communicated these tasks to your staff, you won’t have to micromanage every little detail, which lets you see the “big picture” of the restaurant. You can also have weekly or monthly meetings where any concerns are brought up for discussion and resolution. It goes without saying that all employees brought into the restaurant should be trained well for their role.
Talk to Customers
As a restaurant manager, you don’t just work with your staff, you also work to keep customers happy. You should be aware of most if not all customer service issues. Try to visit each customer’s tables a few times during your shift, and check-in with their experience. If you encounter the same responses repeatedly, then it’s an issue you’ll need to dress immediately. Ask your customers what they think of any menu changes, if they’ve tried your latest specials, or if they’re aware of your loyalty program. Even just the smallest conversation communicates to your customers that you care!
Don’t Be Militant, But Don’t Be too Lax
No one likes a restaurant drill sergeant, but a too lax restaurant manager can spell bad news for customers and the business’ bottom line. You should try to find a medium level that works for you and your staff when it comes to your management style. Remember that everyone makes mistakes and that everyone has an “off day.” If you let too many things go by though, you’ll pay the price in the hand. Be gentle but firm about completing tasks, calling in, and punctuality.
Work a Day in Staff’s Shoes
You should work a day or two a month in each staff member’s shoes, if possible, so you can see how their job functions. Doing this will let you recognize any shortcomings in their daily tasks. You can see if they have sufficient time to finish their tasks, or if they may need a little extra help or time. You should be able to perform every single task, within reason, that you may assign someone.
Be a Role Model for Your Staff
Your staff wants to care about their job, but if they observe that you don’t care, they won’t either. You should be a role model for your staff. Try to be the first one in the restaurant and the last one around at night. Your staff won’t think punctuality is important if you are late all the time, nor will they feel like working when you sit around all day. Show that even if you’re the manager, you work just as hard as they do.
As a restaurant manager, you may be spinning a lot of plates - sometimes literally! By keeping up to date on the current atmosphere and productivity of the restaurant, you’ll have happy customers and staff.