Being a restaurant manager is kind of like being a parent. You are responsible for the variety of lives working under you. Being a good leader to your employees is strikingly similar to the leadership qualities needed in a good parent. Here are some tips to help you effectively manage your staff.
Just like consistency is important when raising a child, reliable, unfailing standards are necessary for staff members to follow. This benefits not only your customers, who receive the same quality dining experience for every visit, but also for the employees themselves since they know what is expected of them. This principle applies to the food you serve, the cleanliness of the establishment, the level of customer service, and even the attitude of the staff. Having a constantly consistent level of high quality food and service is the number one best way to gain the repeated business of patrons.
In addition to consistency you should “positively reinforce good behaviors.” Encouraging and publicly praising your staff when they perform in an exemplary manner is good for the morale of your employees and just like praising a child’s good behavior leads to more of the same, complimenting your staff encourages them to work harder and more proficiently. Now, just as a child must be corrected when they disobey or do something dangerous, your restaurant’s personnel should be corrected when they make a mistake. The basic idea is to have a positive outlook even on corrections. According to one restaurant manager, “the way you teach is by positive feedback, consistent training, and policy enforcement.”
Teaching your staff that “we serve people, not food” is an important step in training successful restaurant staff. According to one food service expert, “73% of the reason customers return to a restaurant is service.” This means honoring the customer by treating them as if they were the president or the pope. Since the attitude of your staff begins with the manager’s outlook, set the standard for your employees by happily and graciously serving your patrons. If a customer has a problem, treat it as a genuine concern. Sometimes you will have customers that use minor issues as excuses to cheat the establishment, but hopefully they are the rare exception rather than the rule. Your personnel should address the customer’s with a smile and the same respect they use for you, no matter how difficult or finicky the person may be. With consistent, reinforced, excellent service you will find your staff working as a team of adults, rather than a group of unruly children.