As a restaurant owner, you depend on your manager to keep your restaurant running efficiently and to handle any problems that come up with guests or staff. Especially if you prefer to be more of a hands-off owner, having a restaurant manager you trust is crucial. Besides their experience in the business, there are also certain qualities you should look for if you are hiring a new restaurant manager.
Because it is a high-paced job that requires long hours and lots of human interaction, this isn’t a position for everybody. Even if you have the education and the skills, you might not have the right personality to thrive in this type of hectic environment.
Here are 11 traits restaurant owners should look for in a restaurant manager:
When you are hitting the twelfth hour of your work shift and you still have a million things that still need to be crossed off your to-do list, it is your passion for your job that keeps you going. The best restaurant managers are those who love what they do and will always give a 110% because of that. Another plus is that their positive attitude will be contagious and help lift up all the employees.
The restaurant manager is the one who is the first one in and the last one out of the restaurant and will usually have to pitch in either in the kitchen or out on the dining room floor when there is not enough staff to cover the crowd of diners so physical stamina is healthy. He or she needs to be able to be on their feet for long hours and to be able to lift heavy objects.
In the restaurant business, the key to survival is the ability to think quickly on your feet. Day to day, you never know what problems might crop up and you need to be able to deal with them quickly and efficiently without getting overwhelmed and stressed. During the interview process, ask for examples of how they handled problems at their previous jobs.
Consistently good food and quality service is what every customer is looking for. You need a restaurant manager who can provide that every day no matter what issues may pop up or if they are having a bad day. And by remaining stable and consistent even in stressful situations, your restaurant manager will inspire similar behavior in their staff.
A People Person
This is definitely not a job for a shy, introverted person who’d rather hide out in the office instead of interacting with staff and customers. Whether it is a troublesome employee or a dissatisfied customer, you want a leader who knows how to diffuse the situation so it does not have a negative impact on the restaurant’s image.
Being a people person also means knowing how to encourage and inspire your staff to always do their best. When they have a leader, they feel truly cares about them, they will be more likely to work harder for that person. You want a restaurant manager who knows how to make each person feel valued and important.
While they always need to be handle the unexpected, it is still important that a restaurant manager takes a proactive approach and not a reactive approach to the business. You want a restaurant manager who will have the foresight to plan ahead for possible problems that might pop up in the day so that the money and staff are in place to handle whatever happens. A reactive manager no matter how skilled at handling crises will eventually come face to face with a problem that the restaurant did not prepare for and that can hurt the bottom line.
The ability to think outside the box and find creative solutions is also an important skill for your restaurant manager to have. They should be well-read on industry trends and not afraid to implement new technology or approaches to improve business. A confident manager is not afraid of change.
With so many responsibilities, it is easy to get overwhelmed. That is why a restaurant manager should be naturally organized. You want someone who will keep all important bills and paperwork in order so that no important deadlines are missed. A messy workspace will only add to the daily chaos of restaurant life. When employees don’t get paid because the manager didn’t put the payroll in on time, this causes a lot of problems for a lot of people.
Good with numbers
From payroll to paying the electrical bill to balancing the budget, a good restaurant manager should be skilled at bookkeeping. Too many mistakes could really financially ruin a business. Your restaurant manager should also always have the bottom line in mind when making any decision related to the restaurant. All decisions should be geared to improving the bottom line.
A Good Delegator
A strong and confident leader knows that they can’t do everything themselves and do it well. It is all about team work. For a restaurant to be successful, the manager needs to be able to delegate duties and inspire hard work and loyalty in the staff. If a manager likes to take all the credit for him or himself that is usually a red flag.
This probably goes without saying, but a food restaurant manager has to love food. In order to get staff and customers excited about what you are serving, you need to be passionate about it as well. It also helps to have a restaurant manager who loves to stay up-to-date on all current trends in the restaurant industry including new dishes.
Even if you already have a restaurant manager, it is a good idea to be able to identify what makes them successful at their job so you can cultivate those skills in him or her. As the restaurant owner, you are ultimately responsible for the talent and skill of your staff and your manager is besides the chef the most integral position in the restaurant.