Restaurant managers set the pace of their establishments, lead by example and organize a desirable workplace when they develop strong leadership and people skills. Managers often face fast-paced service issues, routine crises and ongoing personality conflicts and refereeing disputes among customers, kitchen staff and servers often seems like herding cats. However, proactive planning, decisive action and sympathetic listening can defuse many volatile situations and foster a pleasant working atmosphere.
Good Habits for Dealing with Fast Paced Service
Most restaurants operate at a frenetic pace while customers want to relax and dine at leisure. Managers must deal with all types of situations and keep customers happy by taking enough time to interact with them but switching into overdrive when service falls short. Managers can set the pace for their establishments, learn tricks to move customers along without being discourteous and encourage staff to accelerate their speed during rush hours. Tips for developing a positive attitude and efficient work ethic include:
- Staying upbeat and demonstrating enthusiasm.
- Multitasking and scanning the restaurant constantly to ensure good service, quality food and happy customers
- Arriving on time and being among the last to rest after a busy shift to set a good example.
- Learn what steps to take so avoid common bottlenecks
- Remaining authoritative but friendly and always acting consistently when enforcing employee behavior and restaurant duties
Mastering the Art of Multitasking
Never stick to one task very long unless it’s running the register during lunch or breakfast rushes. Use POS systems or software tools to organize each shift and day. Try to deal with staff issues and unexpected interruptions by scheduling a time in the office to handle these matters privately. While working, inspect front- and back-of-the-house stations, assist servers in delivering food and greet guests by doing an occasional walk-through of the dining room. Stay alert for problems like litter on the floor, poor food quality and overwhelmed servers or carryout stations.
Showing patience and listening attentively help managers comprehend customer complaints and staff problems quickly during busy service. Managers have many demands on their time, so quick and decisive resolution is essential. Maintaining a high level of energy and a can-do attitude while listening to both sides in a disagreement persuades people in conflict to accept resolutions with good grace.
Working in a restaurant for long hours develops a manager’s sixth sense about possible problems. A savvy manager anticipates when customers or staff become impatient, frustrated or confused. Stepping in quickly helps to defuse negative situations and minimizes complaints. Try to say “yes” to all customer requests no matter how difficult they may be. Most managers can find ways to make things work after they commit to a course of action.
Restaurant workers often gripe about employee policies, cleaning jobs and inventory work, but people secretly respect managers who stand firm and apply the rules equally among all employees. Workers don’t get upset unless they feel that their compatriots are receiving special treatment. Enforce the rules equally, and make sure that food and service quality remain the team’s primary focus.
Leading by Example
Even the most experienced and reliable workers will slack off occasionally when they aren’t supervised. Managers can’t be everywhere at once, and no amount of oversight or monitoring will guarantee that everyone follows the rules all the time. Managers can inspire staff to higher standards when they lead by example, demonstrate strong habits and maintain a cheerful disposition even when things get crazy. Developing desirable management habits can resonate throughout a restaurant and affect staff, vendors and customers in positive ways.