10 Tips for Being an Effective Restaurant Manager

  • 04 Jan 2018

Want to run a great restaurant with happy workers? Then you have to earn your employees’ respect.
Here are our 10 tips for being an effective restaurant manager.

There’s really no business like the restaurant business.

Whether you work at a local diner or a high-end establishment with a Michelin star, you never know the kind of customers that will come in. But, you do have to know how to work with people, multitask, and last through long, demanding hours.

Most of all, you have to make sure your team can do it all, too.

If you’re a restaurant manager, everyone is looking to you for direction in a fast-paced world.

Here are ten things you can do to be as effective as possible.

1. Show Respect

Respect is the foundation of a strong team.

It has significant value when building your staff as well as when interacting with customers. More so, it’s something to always keep in mind when handling conflicts.

As a restaurant manager, you know these will frequently happen.

A conflict can be an employee disagreement over how a table was sat or who picked up the wrong dish.

It can be between the business and an unhappy customer, which can unfold in a various amount of ways. Some customers will have a real reason to be upset while others will try to be a hassle to get a perk out of it.

Whatever the situation, always greet it with respect.

Teach your staff to do so as well and watch how it translates into everything you all accomplish.

2. Be a Good Communicator

It’s hard to establish a high standard of respect without communicating well.

Communication goes way beyond respect, though.

Try out an open-door policy with your team. Let them know you are a resource for them, and that you value each person as a resource to you. This will facilitate better communication throughout the restaurant.

The results will be as simple as better reservation management and as powerful as less money lost to small mistakes.

3. Set Clear Goals and Objectives

A key piece of communication as a restaurant manager is goal-setting.

Everyone on your team should know what their role is in accomplishing a job well done.

Talk to the front of the house on nights you expect high traffic to come through the door. Remind them to keep their professionalism up during slow days, too.

Set a standard for your wait staff and kitchen team as well

4. Solve Problems

You can only prepare your staff so much as a restaurant manager.

At some point, problems will happen and you will need to step in. Do this with a positive attitude and follow-up with your team on the situation at hand.

This sends two valuable messages.

The first is you are the go-to person when something happens. Being ready to solve problems reinforces the fact that you are there to support your staff.

But, following up empowers your team to do better in the future. This can cut down on the number of mistakes and issues that arise

5. Request Feedback and Suggestions

A follow-up after a busy night or sticky situation is a great time for mutual feedback.

Once you’ve given your team member(s) the talk they needed, be prepared to listen. Ask them how you can better assist their success in the future. You may be surprised at the quality of suggestions you get.

This creates a sense of teamwork. It sets up the restaurant as a whole for better, more effective successes in the future.

6. Focus on the Culture

Part of being successful in any business falls back on culture.

At the end of the day, this is the bottom line of your job as a restaurant manager. Beyond the profit numbers and inventory checks, you’re here to give people an experience.

For customers, this starts with the staff. For your staff, it starts with you.

Keep culture in mind while you’re goal-setting, problem-solving, and everything in between. Reinforce your values in how you speak and act, and your team will be more likely to follow suit

7. Share Business Awareness

Another way to be an effective restaurant manager is to make sure everyone understands each part of the restaurant.

People tend to do their job better when they understand the role they play in the team.

At a restaurant, everything is interlinked. As such, it pays to share the big picture with the staff.

Communicate with your hostesses if the kitchen is backed up. Show busboys how to pick up the slack when waiters need them to jump in. Train the bartenders in waiting tables in case they need to lend a hand as well.

8. Stress Customer Service

All the pieces of effective restaurant management come down to the customer experience.

As such, you should stress the value of customer service with your team. Talk to them about the level of professionalism they should aim to maintain. Prepare them for conflict resolutions as well as how to be proactive about keeping problems to a minimum.

Even little things like showing appreciation and verifying orders can go a long way. Make sure your staff is aware.

9. Be Consistent

To truly uphold a standard of customer service – and all other restaurant objectives – lead by example.

Your team is watching everything you do, which means you need to be consistent. Otherwise, how can you expect them to do the same?

Show up on time and treat everyone who comes through the door with the same level of respect. Be transparent about your mistakes and fair when handling those of others.

Don’t be afraid to roll up your sleeves and jump in to help clear tables or wash a few dishes, either. Such a commitment from you will encourage a similar level of hard work from others.

10. Stay One Step Ahead

Due to the nature of restaurants, no two nights are ever the same.

This means you need to be consistent with the things you can control, and prepared to handle everything you can’t. Try to be as attentive and aware of everything in the restaurant as possible.

Know who your regulars are and their favourite staff members. Offer extra support to new hires as they get used to how your establishment does things, too.

These may seem like minor behaviours, but they make a big difference in how seamless a shift can be.

The Missing Piece of Being the Best Restaurant Manager Possible

You may be the best restaurant manager in the world, but you can’t keep your eye on everything at once. There’s just too many moving parts!

You need to trust in your team and invest in the right resources to support everyone’s efforts. One of the most important resources is the kind of restaurant software you use.

You can get more information about Kitchen CUT by emailing support@kitchencut.com or calling +44 (0) 330 113 0050

You can register for a free trial here


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