Management for restaurant operations takes a lot of focus, energy, and customer service skills. A restaurant manager deals with a scope of work much larger than that of waiters, servers, or a barback. Their job can also include aspects of all those titles, as management for restaurant work covers a variety of skills. It even requires knowledge of a restaurant profit and loss statement, as well as restaurant lingo, like 86 meaning and more specific terms.
For anyone in a management position, including the manager (see bar manager salary), the owner, or a lead server, there’s a lot to learn about managing a restaurant. There can be even more for some of the top 25 Michelin Star restaurants. We’ll review the core aspects of management for restaurant work in this blog post to prepare you for everything you’ll be doing in your restaurant management position.
Restaurant management, and restaurant management styles, can fluctuate a bit depending on the restaurant, the work culture, and the customer base for that restaurant. In general, however, there are tips and strategies that apply to every restaurant in terms of management.
Of course, part of management for restaurant work is related directly to the manager in question. We’ll be looking through plenty of ideas around management style today. You’ll be well prepared as a manager if you implement these methods. However, it’s also important for you to find something special you can bring to the table. The best managers go above and beyond the basic ideas. Those managers can make a restaurant exceptional to work and eat at.
Best Management Style for Restaurant
Styles in management for restaurant work are dictated by the restaurant, the manager, the customers, the employees, and the general location and culture. The best management style for a restaurant will depend on considering each of these factors simultaneously. That said, there are features of management for restaurant settings that apply to any restaurant.
These 10 facets of restaurant management style can be applied right away to a restaurant as it currently stands. They can also be tweaked to suit the specific needs of a restaurant.
You may find that these serve as inspiration for other ideas, or that you’re already on the right track with what you’re doing. Wherever you’re at in your restaurant management journey, these 10 ideas will boost your efficiency and professionalism.
10. Transparency In Planning
When you’re transparent with your plans for the team and the restaurant, you’ll achieve two excellent outcomes. One, you’ll show your team that you value them as equal team members. Two, you’ll also be able to ask for ideas on your planning, and you never know where a good idea will come from. Some of your best restaurant marketing ideas could come from your employees, as they see what works on a daily basis.
9. Learn From Your Location
By learning from your location, we’re talking about picking up on the culture of the city or state your restaurant is in. If you’re in a cozy downtown area, or a rural spot, you can work the community’s needs into your management style. For a downtown spot, you can make something unique, but suited to the mood of the area. For a rural spot, you can create a space where people feel comfortable relaxing after a long day of work, without the pomp and circumstance of a trendy space.
8. Proactivity Over Reactivity
Being proactive beats being reactive every time. The more you can plan ahead and anticipate outcomes and potential problems, the better off you will be. One way to plan ahead is through inventory forecasting, which helps you stay ahead of supply chain issues. Proactivity also comes in handy when planning for promotions and sales like happy hour, as it gives you the chance to plan for upcoming holidays–like National Cocktail Day–months in advance.
7. Staff Appreciation
Showing your team that you appreciate them is one of the best things you can do to keep your team content at work. Fostering an environment where your staff feels appreciated for all they do will lead to a greater work space for you. It will also create a better experience for your customers. Staff appreciation can be as simple as giving staff a few free meals per shift. It can also be as precise and planned as working in bi-yearly bonuses.
6. Commitment to Teamwork
As much as you need to show appreciation for your team, you also need to show commitment to your team. As the manager, you’re just as much a part of the team as everyone else. Your commitment to the team can be in the form of doing your general work. However, it also includes stepping in and helping out whenever your team needs a hand. If you notice your bartender is overwhelmed, hop behind the bar. If your wait staff needs an extra hand with running dishes, put an apron on and lend a hand. Managing and working together go hand in hand.
5. Seek Innovation
While these practices and ideas are always a good place to start, part of being a great manager is always looking for innovation opportunities. Operations can always be improved, and it’s your job to keep an eye out for areas for improvement. Using new technology in restaurants, including restaurant management technology, can help you stay quick on the draw. Using that tech support will also help you keep a high-level view of buyer and customer trends, to stay ahead of the game.
4. Customer Service Reviews
One way you can seek innovation is by listening to your customers. You can get customer reviews from online sources like Yelp and Google, but you can also listen directly to your customers. You’ll find areas you can improve on, and you may even discover ideas for new things to try. If you really want to connect with customers for direct feedback, social media marketing for restaurants is the way to go. Your social media ROI will be high in terms of connecting with customers and receiving feedback.
3. Delegation and Recognition
Delegation and recognition are similar to staff appreciation in some ways, but these intertwined ideas take it a step further. Delegating new roles can help build up your team and your restaurant. When a restaurant is running at full capacity you’ll find yourself in need of extra help. If you’re managing a quick service restaurant you’ll especially need to learn how to delegate. If there’s an emergency in the kitchen, you can delegate tasks to wait staff to keep the kitchen moving. If your tech encounters an error, you can lean on senior staff to keep things running while you get things up and running.
2. Technological Investments
Investing in key technological support will help you support your team and move your restaurant forward. From inventory tech to restaurant POS systems that work with your setup, the right tech can make running a restaurant much easier. The right restaurant equipment will get you started on the right foot. While a fast food or fast casual restaurant will find quick service tech useful, a fine dining establishment can rely more on inventory technology and less on tech that churns out orders.
1. Consistency Is Key
With all the ideas you implement and all the management practices you find for your restaurant, the most important factor is consistency. Whatever you settle on for your management style, be consistent with what works, and you’ll find continual improvements as you go along. In terms of what consistency can do for your restaurant, consider the fact that Michelin star chefs are judged on consistency. If you’re seeking an answer to “how does a restaurant get a Michelin star?” consistency is the place to start.
Frequently Asked Questions About Management for Restaurant
Managing a restaurant takes as much work as opening a restaurant, creating a restaurant business plan, and handling the overhead expenses of a restaurant. Management for restaurant business is an ongoing process, and there’s always more to learn. Our answers to these frequently asked questions will provide you with a deeper understanding of the process of restaurant management style and work.
How Do You Manage a Restaurant?
The best way to manage a restaurant is to get familiar with everyday processes right off the bat. From there, you should spend time finding ways to improve the functionality and culture of your restaurant. A manager’s role is two-fold. It involves keeping the restaurant business itself running smoothly. It also includes working closely with the wait staff and everyone else to make sure everyone is happy and has what they need to do their jobs well. If you can do both those things, you’ll be successful at managing a restaurant.
What Is a Restaurant Management System?
A restaurant management system is, essentially, the set of systems and functions in place to keep a restaurant running strong. A restaurant manager and their job is one component of a restaurant management system. Another part is the technological support that goes into a restaurant business. From a perpetual inventory system, to beverage inventory software, to order management, there’s a lot of work behind the scenes of a restaurant management system.
What Makes a Good Manager?
A good manager needs a few inherent skills to start: patience, focus, and care for the business’s success. Every other managerial skill can be learned. A good manager will seek out training to constantly improve at managing the staff and running the restaurant on a day-to-day basis. Overall, anyone who cares about their work and has the general know-how to manage a restaurant business can be a good manager.
Management for Restaurant: Well Managed, Well Maintained
A quality practice of management for restaurant businesses is the intersection between a great manager and a well-organized restaurant system. There is restaurant tech support and systems that any restaurant can implement for better management practices. However, it takes a great manager to make that management system work as well as possible.
Come back to the BinWise blog for a refresher on running a restaurant whenever you’re looking for more information. As you manage the different aspects of a restaurant you’ll find your strengths, and you’ll discover the areas you need to improve in. Learning more and working with the flow of your restaurant will help you grow.