If food is your passion, you might have a future in restaurant management. But it’s not all glitz and glamour. Here, get the real deal on what it means to manage a restaurant.
- You’ll Spend a Lot of Time Hiring Staff
Turnover in the restaurant industry is higher than any other: turnover rates can be as high as 70%, which means that you’ll spend a significant amount of time posting job ads, interviewing, and hiring employees.
While there’s not a lot you can do to eliminate turnover (most younger employees look at this as a temporary job), you can do some things to ensure that your staff feels valued and respected. As a manager, it’s your job to get to know each employee and help them succeed. Listen to their complaints and struggles, and work to find solutions so that they’ll stay rather than go somewhere else.
- Smart Managers Use Smart Software
Many restaurants go by the “if it ain’t broke” adage, using spreadsheets for inventory and paper for scheduling. But you’re savvy, aren’t you? You know there are better tools to get the job done.
Inventory can be a headache, but with inventory management software, you can automate much of your inventory (when a dish is ordered, the ingredients are automatically subtracted from your inventory numbers) and set automatic reordering for supplies before they run out.
And there’s scheduling software that helps you juggle everyone’s day-off requests and preferred shifts. Not only that: you can also email or text your staff their schedules so you don’t waste time calling them to let them know when they work.
- You Need to Have Your Hands in Everything
From the bar to your wait staff to what’s going on in the kitchen, a good restaurant manager is on top of what’s happening throughout the restaurant. You’ll need to understand recipe costing, employee training, shrinkage, supplier negotiating…every aspect of managing a business.
You may not need to stand over your chef’s shoulder to make sure she’s doing a good job, but you do need to understand her role so that, should the day come when you need to find a replacement chef, you know the ins and outs of her responsibilities.
- You’re Tasked with Growing the Restaurant
Not only does your role as restaurant manager involve the day-to-day aspects, but it also requires you seeing the bigger picture. How can you grow profits? In what ways can you grow the restaurant?
This requires strategic thinking, which may be new for you. Stay on top of industry news. Network with other restaurant managers to get ideas from them. You might even find a mentor in the industry to guide you along your path.
If the restaurant industry speaks to you — especially if you have experience working in the trenches in either front or back of house — then managing a restaurant could be a great career move.
Contribution of Matthew Hardoon, Director of Sales, MarketMan
Matt Hardoon is the Director of Sales at MarketMan, a cloud-based restaurant inventory management and purchasing solution. With 15 years’ experience, Matt is passionate about helping restaurants, franchises and hospitality companies grow by gaining a better understanding of their businesses and improving efficiency in how they interact with their supply and vendors.