It is a difficult decision to make for a restaurant owner. Your dream of successful business growth is being realized, while at the same time you recognize that you’ve got to give up a few key tasks and grant a large amount of trust to someone you don’t know very well yet to run your operation when you are not there.
To be honest, the best place to start is usually by tempting one who is working already in a good place. This is most often your best bet as one who is currently engaged, and content is an excellent candidate versus the ones who have been out of work for a bit.
Before we go too far, let’s get a few basics out of the way first.
Responsibilities of a Restaurant Manager
It is the restaurant managers responsibility to run the business, make time to care for the customers and remember to care for the staff. In addition to those core tasks:
Opening and Closing the Restaurant: This would be the most important operation to do daily. Managers will have the keys to the establishment, alarm code and access to the on-site safe. Managers will schedule staff accordingly as to who starts off and who ends the day. They would also need to know enough to balance the staff accordingly regarding workloads and tasks as well as follow-up on closing and opening duties.
Inventory oversight: Restaurant managers will oversee and perform inventory related functions. They will conduct inventory counts, speak with suppliers and keep records of F&B items sold.
The easiest way to monitor these tasks would be to use an automated restaurant inventory software application. The restaurant managers workload at that point would be significantly reduced while accuracy will increase substantially.
Financial transactions: The restaurant manager will monitor the cash registers, mobile terminals, shift closings and encashments. It’s the managers role most times to explain the functions of the equipment to be used as well as the mandatory procedures to staff. This includes refunds, separating checks, check breakdowns for cashless and cash settlements etc.
Marketing Strategies: Most times, depending on the restaurant, marketing may be outsourced. Whether outsourced or in-house, the manager is usually the one responsible to bring the ideas to reality. If it’s a small restaurant, the manager most likely will be the point person for everything related to marketing, brand promotion, and its concepts and ideas.
Monitor Payroll Staff Costs: A manager must always be concerned with the main costs of a restaurant. This means scheduling working hours properly. Hours worked must be reported to the owner and accountant.
Hard and Soft Skills to Look for In a Restaurant Manager
Almost equally challenging to finding a good chef is finding a good restaurant manager. To being with, a good manager should have:
Foresight: Always thinking a few steps ahead. That means knowing that a student will not be there in the long-run and the students’ hours and duties will need to be split in time. Or when unreasonable guests are complaining, not jumping to conclusions would be helpful to avoid punishing the staff for something out of their control. While the customer should always be right, that is never always the case.
Charisma: This is essential. Managers who are interesting to speak with will gain the attention of both clients and staff alike. The manager should be lively and motivational. They need to know how to attract and keep guests coming back.
Endurance: The manager must work irregular hours almost daily. With the contact workload and overtime put in they will need the strength to persevere.
Financial proficiency: While they aren’t expected to be an accountant, they will need to know as much as one. It’s their responsibility to manage the cash flow in the establishment. This include inventory write-offs, cash drawer management and receipt of goods. Additionally, they must sign-off on everything.
Be Attentive: They should be able to notice everything. Waiters taking shortcuts in servicing the guests, dishes not being returned to the dish pit, walking by a table with an empty tray and not taking away the dirty plate etc. Attention to detail is critical. Notice it first then decide whether to speak with the staff member immediately or at the end of the shift.
Empathy: Always a great trait to have. The manager will need to gain the trust of their restaurant team. They can do this by putting themselves in the shoes of each of the restaurant staff. Listen with care, show you care, handle conflict gently and with confidence.
Leadership: Without exception, this has to be met as a requirement. A good leader not only leads but knows when to follow. Working the bar if needed, washing dishes to help out, taking out orders when the wait staff are slammed. Managers need to be ready at a moment’s notice to take on another role in order to keep the pace of service flowing smoothly.
Tactful: Good managers will easily navigate between communicating with people from differing backgrounds, while at the same time tactfully delving into their problems and showing that their opinion or dilemma is important to the manager.
This is a demanding industry. Find a restaurant manager who leads from the front. A great manager will make your team feel valued and will go the extra mile to help out when called upon. The team want an inclusive manager, one who takes a genuine interest and is willing to protect them.