Best traits of a restaurant manager
Updated: Sep 7, 2020
Responsibilities run the gamut. From schedule creation, food quality, and kitchen maintenance checks, to menu creation, pricing decisions, and supplies. Of course, an effective manager is capable of crushing these tasks. But we’re not talking about those today.
What we wanted to know instead, where the intangible characteristics an effective restaurant manager exhibits.
Remind yourself of your roles
Whether you are the owner or the supervisor in charge, your job is being a managing director, not a “Jack of all trades”. The manager is the only person who can and must manage the business. Sometimes the new owners act like one of the waiters, and although this may be a good money-saving method, you will not have the required overview of the business. It is useful to help your staff during the busiest times as well as to show them you’re the first to roll up your sleeves, but in general, if you are involved in restaurant operations most of the time you will not be able to take the appropriate strategic decisions. If you work as a full-time waiter, who will manage the outlet?
Don’t be led by your personal tastes
Focusing only on what you like will lead the restaurant straight towards bankruptcy. Instead, finding out what your customers want and love is the key ingredient in the recipe for success. No matter what you like on a personal level, it is the customer who decides and pays the bill. More and more frequently do I see many new openings close down because the owners choose menus, products, and services led by their personal tastes and passions, ultimately failing to pay attention to what the market wants.
Forget about becoming a restaurateur if you don’t or build the trait of patience. Unfortunately, you won’t deal only with good-hearted customers, but also with those that will try your patience. You must know how to face the different kinds of guests you may find on the table, and doing so requires a high level of tolerance. You must be able to handle the stress efficiently as not only will customers make things difficult, but also your staff or your boss if you’re not the owner.
Don’t lose your passion
In the Food and Beverage field, if you are not in love with what you do, a painful failure is just around the corner. It is not a mechanical work; you must always be on the case. What makes one outlet different from another is the passion and the commitment that the manager puts into its everyday operations. If you intend to open a restaurant just to make money, be aware that you won’t go anywhere.
You must be creative.
The market and habits change, and you have to be able to adapt your business to the transformations. A good manager always brings fresh ideas in step with the new trends. Every product or company passes through four stages: introduction, growth, maturity, and decline. In economics, this sequence is known as the “Product Life Cycle.” In the last step, if you leave everything unchanged, and you are not ready to bring a wave of freshness, your dining room will soon be empty.
Don’t be a boss, be a leader
Do you know what the difference between a boss and a leader is? I’ll tell you. The first one develops and trains the team with fear and intimidation; a leader builds respectful and trustful relations with the team members. “I” is the favorite word of a boss, “we” is the one of a leader. The real leader is not a bully who likes to control other people. Such behavior, in fact, undermines morale and performance, frustrating the personal initiative and skills of team members. You can have the most wonderfully located outlet in the world, but if you act like a commander-in-chief your staff won’t sacrifice themselves for the sake of the restaurant. Listen to your people, be cooperative and be able to delegate effectively.
You must have excellent social skills
One of the best traits of a successful restaurant manager is their ability to speak and listen to their customers smoothly. Communicating, interacting, and entertaining all kinds of clients is your duty. Besides, a good socializer is particularly useful to calm down angry customers as well as stimulate their loyalty.
You must be a good body reader
In addition to verbal communication, people communicate with non-verbal signs, namely gestures and postures. To better understand your guests, you must observe and interpret their body’s messages. When a customer walks into your restaurant, are you sure you know what they want? When you pass by the tables and ask if everything is ok, what should they answer if not with a curt “Yes”? To find out if there are any problems with food or services you need to observe people. You must involve all your senses when you try to understand your customers.
You must be a high-tech manager
In the era of social networks, smartphones and tablets, not exploiting the endless potential of new technologies is a great pity. There are many apps that will support you in restaurant management, it is the primary tool to market your business on the net. You can snap pictures and record videos for your social network followers, answer in real-time the questions coming from your guests by WhatsApp or email, get new reservations from online services like TripAdvisor and so on. Sometimes being a tech-savvy help.
You must have a clean and fresh look
It may seem obvious, but in my career, I’ve seen many restaurateurs that neglect their personal appearance. Long beards, bad smell, dirty fingernails, and crumpled clothes are just some of the things that make customers flee. A good clean look is critical in any job in which you have to deal with guests.
Today, your restaurant needs good people, more than they need a job in your restaurant. No restaurant owners jeopardize by being or having anyone on your management staff that your employees could refer to as anything but a “good boss.”
So be that good boss.
At ekaart, we designed Dini– the voice-based Restaurant Operating System. Dini apps help automate restaurant operations and capture data in real-time. This results in improved quality and operational excellence for the restaurant. Restaurants also benefit indirectly from better customer experiences and reduced marketing spends.
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