The Ultimate Guide To Managing A Restaurant

The Ultimate Guide To Managing A Restaurant

Many things make up the ideal restaurant. They include a good location, great ambiance, a customized menu, and professional chefs. But all these wouldn't work together without an equally professional restaurant manager. 

The responsibilities of a restaurant manager go beyond supervising the staff and making sure the business runs smoothly. Their job also includes how to offer the best services that make customers happy without compromising on profits. So if you're a restaurant owner looking for the best ways to manage your business, you need to ensure the person you put in charge has excellent management skills that exceed the ordinary. 

Restaurant work is very demanding and requires expertise, creativity, and patience to nurture it from infancy to maturity. Otherwise, you might find yourself closing your doors within the first year in business. 

The best way to avoid potential upheavals that may kill your restaurant business is to hire a qualified restaurant manager. This article will guide you on hiring the right candidate for the job. 

Why Hire A Qualified Restaurant Management? 

A good restaurant manager is like the cornerstone of an establishment. A successful restaurant manager requires a good combination of physical stamina, intellectual prowess, and emotional intelligence to do the job successfully. As a restaurant owner, you might double up as the manager when the business is just starting. 

However, as the business grows, you'll need to enlist the services of a dedicated restaurant manager. A restaurant manager is responsible for handling employee relations, customer problems, and quality control. 

This means they will be on the floor at all times. But that's just a fraction of what the job entails. It further requires a wide range of competencies, which means you must follow an effective hiring process when onboarding the candidate. 

How To Hire A Resourceful Restaurant Manager

Several skill sets are required for this job, and you need to be well versed in them. Remember that running a restaurant is a demanding job that requires long hours, people management skills, and physical strength.  

The ideal candidate should have the ability to meet these and more. In addition, there are other technical responsibilities required and an understanding of the food and beverage industry. Therefore, the candidate must have considerable experience in the hospitality industry and a proven record of working as a restaurant manager. 

Such a level of experience means the candidate understands the critical elements and the landscape of the teamwork required to operate successfully. The manager must have the ability to work under pressure in a fast-paced environment. 

It’s therefore advisable to go for a veteran hotelier who rose through the ranks to become a  restaurant manager instead of someone skilled in other industries. Knowing that the hospitality industry is different from other industries like retail and manufacturing or even 9-5 jobs is vital to picking the qualified candidate, not just anyone with management skills. 

Creating A Restaurant Staff From Scratch

Once you've onboarded the best restaurant manager for the job, the next step is staffing. If the restaurant is newly established, the manager will be responsible for hiring and putting together a team. 

This team typically includes servers, bussers, hosts, sous chefs, and cleaners. Like the restaurant manager, the staff should have a special skill set to qualify for the job. These skills and qualities are outlined below:

  • Optimistic warmth: Restaurant work requires long working hours. These hours are often spent in close quarters. Optimistic warmth is a quality whereby the worker is decidedly not a naysayer and can bring positivity and light to any situation, even during challenging days
  • Intelligence: Intelligence doesn't necessarily mean someone who is book smart. Instead, it embodies someone who is naturally curious with a passion for learning through experience daily. 
  • Work ethics: This quality is self-explanatory. It portrays someone as passionate about their job and always looking for the best ways to contribute maximally. 
  • Empathy and self-awareness: This team member naturally cares about the feelings of others. They are sensitive to how their actions affect others, be it fellow staff or customers. Empathy is an essential quality in the hospitality industry, as it helps an individual to anticipate the needs of others constantly. 
  • Integrity: Integrity is a crucial competency in any relationship. You need to be sure the people you employ to run your business will always do the right thing, even when no one is watching.

How to Manage A Restaurant Staff 

You may be compelled to hire a new restaurant manager to replace a not-so-competent one. As a result, the new manager may retain an uninspired, unfocused, and drained team. Motivating such a team is a tough job in itself. 

Therefore, the new manager should demonstrate exemplary leadership by addressing key staff challenges. Such leadership will go a long way in building rapport with the team, fostering trustful relationships, and increasing collaboration. Here are some tips to achieve this:

  1. Get to know all team members by name, skills, family life, strength and weakness, and just about anything that will help you forge a friendship with every member of the team.
  2. Lead by example. If you want a motivated and dedicated team, you'll have to lead by example. No lazy boss can lead a resourceful and competent team.
  3. Take responsibility whenever necessary. Not every day is the same. Some days will yield profits, and others will yield failures. Acknowledge the contribution made by the staff and reward exemplary performance, even if it's just providing a nice staff lunch. Refrain from blame games and finger-pointing on bad days, and instead constructively address the problems. 

Managing Restaurant Finances

You inevitably incur some finances within the overhead costs. These finances include rent, payroll utilities, and supplies. Thankfully, your restaurant manager can use the many available software solutions to manage these costs and simplify the processes. However, the following are additional ways you can control overspending.

Utilize staff retention best practices: During staff orientation, instill restaurant service best practices to avoid wastage and losses. When you achieve this, you'll retain your staff for a long time. 

Evaluate food costs regularly: Managing food costs is critical to the restaurant's success. Calculate the average food costs to cut down on unnecessary spending.

Manage restaurant food waste: Ensure the staff keep track of any wastage experienced throughout the day, whether burnt food or a rejected order. This will help you determine how to reduce wastage.


Managing a restaurant is a tough job, as we have seen. Excellent restaurant management requires the boss to wear many hats. Not everyone can be up to it. Most challenges with this job can be solved by creating and maintaining organized operations. 

We hope this guide can help you hire the right candidate for the job, considering the qualifications and interpersonal skills requirements. In the end, you'll be able to create positive and uplifting outcomes for your staff and customers. After all, business, like life, is all about how you make people feel. It’s as simple as it is hard.

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