Managing a restaurant is very similar to watching the gears of a complex machine. You have to handle the complexities of running the establishment, listen to employees’ and customers’ complaints, and deal with food service. It can be very overwhelming, especially if you are a new manager.
However, there are some specific things you must learn and do that become a successful manager. In this article, you’ll see a few tips that will help you become a successful manager.
What are the tips that can make me a successful restaurant manager?
1. Be consistent
No two workdays are the same. The restaurant business has a knack for having different kinds of crises popping up every day.
Many things can move very fast, and the worst thing to do in such a scenario is to panic and become inconsistent in making decisions. There are three areas in which you must never lose your consistency:
- Your mode of communication
- Your maintenance of the rules
- Your expectations
When there’s a problem at the door and a food crisis in the kitchen, you must show your employees that you can be consistent. Your consistency will teach them how to handle heavy pressure without losing their heads.
2. Be Proactive
Being in the restaurant business requires you to be proactive and take action quickly. Things can just come at you so fast that you will decide in a few seconds.
It’s very easy to become reactive instead of proactive. You can’t keep reacting to situations as they come, or you will burn yourself out. To be proactive and stay on top of the curve, you have to plan. You will have to make decisions for the future regarding the following:
- Menu changes and updates
- Staffing needs
- Marketing campaigns
- Updating technology
- Observing customer trends
If you’re not proactive, your restaurant will end up managing you instead of you managing it. Take decisions for the future and plan months ahead. It will also save you time and energy.
4. Do things yourself so you can learn the operation
As a manager, you must know how to do things yourself. It will help you to solve problems when they arise because you have prior experience.
Be the kind of manager that’s not afraid to get their hands dirty. Find out how things are done in the kitchen by doing a few things yourself. Know what goes on in every department in the kitchen, the cooks’ issues, and the servers’ problems.
Talk to your employees about how they go about their work, the methods they use, and why they use them. You’ll not only get knowledge, but you’ll also gain the respect of your employees as well. It will also give you sufficient information on how to make decisions that concern them.
5. Pay attention to customer satisfaction
It’s very difficult to manage customers’ expectations in any business, but it’s more difficult for restaurants. You have to deal with food preferences, dietary problems, unruly customers, traffic flow, last-minute reservations, and customers that come into the restaurant five minutes before closing time.
Making your customer satisfied is the goal of every decision you make when a customer issue crops up. How you achieve customer satisfaction depends on you, but the result is the same. It’s important to have a good knowledge of psychology and emotional intelligence when dealing with issues.
Note: You must achieve customer satisfaction without sacrificing the comfort or needs of your Staff. Your employees must be protected from the wrath and tempers of your customers. Keep in mind that you wouldn’t be any to lose your Staff.
5. Boost your customers’ experience
The restaurant business now rules almost half-hour of the food dollar in the United States. Imagine the number of people who prefer eating out instead of cooking at home.
People have practical reasons for making budgets for the grocery to making budgets for eating out. Most times, people want to have the convenience of eating food anytime they wish without stress. However, it’s not just about convenience.
According to the National Restaurant Association, 56% of people said they would rather spend money on an experience than simply going to a restaurant to buy food. You’re not just managing the preparation and the service of the food; you have to pay attention to the experience.
It’s easy to focus all your attention on the food delivery, taking orders, and processing payments. You can lose track of the experience your customers your having. When you don’t pay attention to this, you miss the big picture. According to POSquote, a POS System can help you with improving customer experience.
Overseeing customer experience includes cleanliness (especially the restrooms), ambiance, food delivery, friendly employees, and amazing food. If people pay more for their experiences, a 30-minute wait at the door or an angry, rude server will not impress them.
6. Listen to Word-of-mouth
People visit restaurants mostly because of the testimonies of their friends and family. Another popular reason why people choose to visit a restaurant is social media. People visit your establishment because of what others say about you.
Online reviews are very important. You must create a pleasant experience for your customers that they’ll want.
It would be best if you had a strong social media presence as long as you can manage it well. Always check what people say about your restaurant on social media. Never forget that Word-of-mouth can be positive or negative.
7. Take care of yourself
This is the part where many new managers ignore. You must pay attention to your health. Taking care of a restaurant is hard work and can be very stressful. Many people think that all a manager does is to sit at a desk all day, but you have to be on your feet at all times.
It’s a very tiring experience that can drain you of energy. If you don’t take the time to rest, it can lead to emotional and mental fatigue. Take good care of yourself and rest when you can; your restaurant and your Staff will be better for it.
8. Get a mentor
The best restaurant tips will come from someone who has been where you are and has passed that stage. Find someone who has a lot of experience in the foodservice industry and has built a very successful restaurant.
If finding one gets too difficult, go to websites like Quora or Reddit. You can also check for websites where managers are looking to connect with others and share their knowledge.
Always remember that the most important thing is customer experience. Everything you do must lead to that goal. Don’t spend time on things that are not important.
Is staff retention important?
A recent survey discovered that 46% of managers reported that the most difficult challenge was hiring, training, and retaining their Staff. It wasn’t sales or inventory but Staff.
Staff retention should be your top priority. Having to replace employees constantly is very stressful and takes a lot of time and money in an industry that’s already riddled with tight profit margins.
Customers come to your restaurant for the experience, among other things. Part of the experience is being comfortable with the Staff they expect to see whenever they come through the door.
Is good advertising important for growing my restaurant?
Your restaurant business can’t grow by word of mouth alone. You must invest in advertising. Invest in both physical and online ads. If your business is new, advertising is even more important.
The trick is to make a budget for advertising and stick to it. A smart budget will focus on gathering data that will suit your business needs. Your data should include:
- Customer demographics ( who eats at your restaurant and where do they live? Social media ads are very effective at targeting customers)
- Recent trends in the market
- Sales (include the times when you make a lot of profit.)
- Food trends in the industry.
This information will be useful when making any decision in your business. However, it’s also important that you take these data into account, so you don’t waste money advertising the wrong way.
Managing a restaurant for the first time can be overwhelming. There are so many responsibilities that you have to handle. However, with these few tips, good coaching from an experienced mentor, and constant practice, you’ll find it easier to do and grow your business.