6 Traits of Highly Effective Restaurant Managers

Managing a restaurant is a big job. Not only does it require the know-how for making and serving delicious food, but it requires food safety expertise, business sense, and a flair for managing people as well.  An effective manager can make all the difference in a food service establishment. The following is our short list of six essential traits that managers need to be effective.

1. Organized
A restaurant can be a chaotic place, but good organization will help things run much more smoothly. One way to keep yourself organized is to make a list every morning of essential things you want to accomplish each day. Keep track of inventory so you know when items are running low and need to be ordered. Post shift schedules at least a week in advance to let staff know when they’re needed. Be sure to take an organized approach to food safety. Establishing cleaning programs and SOPs, for instance, will go a long way toward helping your establishment run efficiently.

2. Trains Staff
Continue training your staff and sharpening their skills. Training is an excellent way to make sure you have a great staff who can maintain top-notch food safety in your establishment. Training sessions can be formal meetings, short pre-shift reminders, or even informal moments during a shift when you give a food worker one-on-one correction. Give direct, kind correction when needed, and look for opportunities to praise food workers who do their job well and make food safety a priority.

3. Consistent
Effective managers practice what they preach, especially when it comes to food safety. If employees see a manager cutting corners, most take that as permission to do the same. Be consistent in your policies and in the way you treat your employees. Don’t play favorites. Being consistent will build trust and earn you respect.

4. Up-Beat
Your attitude at work will affect your entire establishment. Managers who bring an attitude of negativity or stress to the workplace rub off on their staff and can make things difficult for employee morale. Instead, come to the restaurant ready to work with a positive attitude and encourage staff to do the same. Remember that mistakes will happen. Instead of pointing fingers when they do, be ready to use mistakes as teaching opportunities. Correct errors, encourage food workers to keep learning, and move on.

5. Balanced
Some days it feels like the restaurant manager is needed everywhere at once, and that might not be far from the truth. As a manager, your expertise and abilities make you a key part of the establishment. That being said, don’t stretch yourself too thin. Delegate tasks where possible, and find a balance between your administrative duties and pitching in with the regular work of food service.

6. Proactive
Effective managers don’t just respond to problems, they prevent problems before they happen. Use Active Managerial Control to establish SOPs and implement safety policies in your establishment. Use your example to help staff feel a sense of urgency to work quickly and safely. Encourage employees to use their time well, even when the workflow is slow. One way to do this is by making a list of down-time projects staff members can work on during slower times of the day. When someone tells you about a customer complaint, address that complaint right away. Employee concerns deserve your time and attention too. A proactive, “can-do” approach to resolving complaints makes the situation easier to handle.

Based on an article by FoodServiceWarehouse.

Suzanna Sandridge

Updated: June 7, 2019 — 2:34 pm
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