There are several benefits to good management in a restaurant. Effective management can help reduce employee turnover (saving the company a great deal), improve the customer experience, and increase productivity. Contrarily, ineffective management can lead to poor morale, inefficiency, and unhappy diners.
If you manage a restaurant, chances are you have probably asked yourself at one point or another, how can I be better? Showing concern for your performance as a leader is a great first step, but you need to follow it through with actionable steps.
This article provides four tips for managing a winning restaurant staff.
Learn How to Communicate Effectively – Even in High-Stress Situations
Restaurants can be notoriously fast-paced and frantic. For better or worse, how you compose yourself in those high-stress situations defines you as a manager. You can be the most patient and receptive leader during slow periods, but if you lose your cool during rushes, that’s what employees will remember.
Work on effective communication tactics you can carry throughout rush periods. Practice active listening, concise delegation, diplomatic conflict resolution, and positive reinforcement.
Set Your Staff up with the Tools and Resources They Need to Thrive
As a manager, you need to ensure that your staff – front of house or back of house – have the tools and resources they need to thrive, even in your absence.
For instance, if you manage a business serving alcohol, ensure that all your servers and bartenders have their RBS certification (or equivalent state-required certification). RBS training is essential not just from a compliance standpoint, but also to ensure your team understands topics like prevention-of-service best practices, laws and regulations, and the social and physical impacts of alcohol. Think of it as an investment in better service, safer clientele. (Note that, as of July 1st, you, as a manager also need RBS certification).
Don’t Cut Corners on Onboarding
It is tempting, amid the commotion of a dinner rush, to throw the new hire an apron and let them sink or swim. At best, this sets their training back an evening. At worst, it starts employees off on a shaky basis, creating a negative impression of your leadership skills and potentially causing turnover.
Instead, plan ahead for onboarding. Invite new hires to the restaurant at a reliably slow service period, and offer them detailed instructions for how your business operates. If you wish, you can delegate this task to a senior team member. In any case, consider codifying your onboarding process into a written document for new hires and team leaders to follow.
Cultivate a Goal-Oriented, Appreciative and Communally Supportive Environment
At its core, management is about extracting the highest potential from each of your employees. To do that, start by clearly defining your goals. Some of these may change day-to-day (i.e., “push the taco special”), while others are evergreen (“always ensure the customer leaves happy”).
And to ensure that your team shares those goals, show your appreciation. Dispense compliments and – in some cases – rewards when employees meet their goals. Finally, schedule regular team-wide meetings and events to help cultivate a communally supportive culture.
Managing a restaurant can be incredibly rewarding, even if it occasionally feels like a spinning-plates act. To get the most from your restaurant staff, offer them the resources, communication, training and inspiration they require to be superstars.
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