Whether you’re just now considering hospitality management as a career, or if you’ve worked in restaurant management for years, it’s always a good idea to brush up on your managerial and sales techniques. That’s because although hospitality management is very much part of the culinary arts, it is first and foremost a business. In order to succeed as a restaurant manager or restaurant owner, it is necessary to not only know food, but to know customers, your employees, and how to ensure that they interact well together.
Be a Good Leader: Being a good leader doesn’t mean simply giving orders or micromanaging the kitchen so that everything runs the way you want it to. As a manager in a restaurant, you are responsible for the waitstaff, the cooks, the bartenders, the front of the house staff, the inventory, and ultimately, the customer experience. There is no way one person can assure that all those components come together unless he or she knows how to lead a team of diverse people—and all their opinions. In some cases, this means delegating authority; in others it means providing the right level of motivation and training.
Be a Good Team Member: The best restaurant managers aren’t the ones who sit in their offices, going over paperwork and organizing inventory. While these tasks can and do need to be done, it’s also important that managers participate on the floor during the busy hours. Ideally, this means staying in the front of the house and making sure each customer walks away happy, but there are times when you might need to jump on the line in the kitchen or bring out time-sensitive dishes. Helping your team means putting away any ideas you might have about working only where you “belong.”
Train and Educate: Just as you can develop your own restaurant management skills by attending a hospitality management program, your employees will be better served if they have the right background and training to do their jobs well. And as manager, it is often your job to do that training. Being an educator and developing core restaurant policies and procedures can go a long way in making you an excellent restaurant manager.
Even if your restaurant has the best food in the city or the kind of word-of-mouth that most chefs only dream of, the quality of service and the overall dining experience remain at the center of all that you do. By developing the right culinary skills, attending an accredited restaurant management program, and putting the focus on customer service, you can become successful in the field and enjoy a long and fruitful hospitality career.