6 Common Mistakes Restaurant Managers Should Avoid

Famed TV writer, Philip Rosenthal, once said, “A good restaurant is like a vacation, it transports you, it becomes a lot more than just about the food.”

Management Tips for Restaurants Owners

Great marketing and a mouthwatering menu are what will first attract customers to your establishment. But how do you turn those first-timers into lifelong customers? Well, it’s great customer service that creates loyal customers who become regulars.

Give your guests a memorable dining experience and they’ll keep them coming back for more.

The staff is the face of your restaurant and if you need all hands on deck to keep it running. In the same way that a ship has a dedicated crew, your restaurant has dedicated staff that need to work together. But the manager is what keeps the ship running smoothly, much like a captain.

Leading your team is the most critical job of a manager. After all, their managerial style will reflect on your employees, and it’s your customers that will be on the receiving end. They can help your staff navigate a shift smoothly or make an unforgettable, negative experience for your customers.

In this article, we will talk about some of the mistakes to avoid as a restaurant manager.


6 Tips for Being an Effective Restaurant Manager

To have a top-class restaurant, you can’t just offer a menu of gastronomic delights. You also need to provide excellent service to all your guests (you never know who is a food critic after all).

Whether you’re the manager yourself or you are hiring one, the manager needs to create a welcoming work atmosphere. If your staff isn’t trained well by the manager, it’s not just the server that suffers—it’s your customers as well.

Therefore, you need to be respectful and courteous to all your employees—and set them up for success from the start.

Here are some of the tips for being a successful restaurant manager.


#1 – Don’t Train Staff Poorly

There’s nothing worse than starting a new job and being thrown off the deep end. Poor training is a huge reason for staff to quit and seek work elsewhere. And in today’s restaurant industry, quality workers are harder to come by.

And there are a host of downsides you’ll experience if you fail to adequately train staff, such as:

  • Hiring and training new staff costs more money
  • High staff turnover means unhappy team members
  • When staff members are unhappy they’re less productive

When you train your team well, they’ll perform well. It’s that simple. According to one source, just a 10% increase in education for staff can get you an 8.6% gain in productivity. While that wasn’t in a restaurant-specific industry, the same idea still applies.

Treat your staff well and train them thoroughly to make everyone’s lives easier—and save you money.


#2 – Avoid Excessive Micromanaging

It’s incredibly hard—if not nearly impossible—to run a restaurant by yourself. You need to rely on your staff to do their jobs. This is where training and mentoring come in.

When you hire new staff, you’ll want them to shadow their counterpart at the start, but eventually, they need to work on their own. If you’re constantly watching them, you’ll run yourself into exhaustion and create a more stressful environment for both of you. Worse, your staff may become too reliant on you to function without your guidance.

You should trust your employees to do their jobs properly. If you’ve trained them well, you won’t need to be a part of every transaction that every employee conducts.


#3 – Don’t Be an Absent Manager


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The opposite of a micromanager is one who is always absent. You shouldn’t be there to manage the littlest detail—but you also shouldn’t leave everything to your staff. If your employees never see your face, you create a divide between yourselves.

And when problems come up without a manager present, your restaurant won’t seem well-organized. You need to be there to help issue refunds when necessary or waive someone’s bill if the server makes a mistake (or worse the customer has a beer spilled on them… we’ve seen it happen).

Additionally, interacting with customers is a good way to drive up sales. Patrons who talk to a friendly manager are more likely to leave good reviews and spread word-of-mouth.

All in all, a hardworking and friendly manager is likely to drive up both employee and customer satisfaction.

#4 – Don’t Lose Your Temper

It’s important to keep in mind that everyone is human. No one is perfect. Your employees will make mistakes. Plates will be dropped, food will be spilled, and the wrong dishes will be served—mistakes are inevitable.

Learn to let small mistakes go. Your employees will appreciate a forgiving boss. Not to say that you should be overly lenient. You should still implement penalties for bigger incidents, but let go of minor errors.

Publicly shaming your staff will only serve to alienate both your employees and your customers.


#5 – Don’t Neglect the Restaurant’s Online Presence

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These days, social media is an essential factor to consider for all restaurants. Just take a page from Wendy’s in the U.S. Because of their sassy Twitter posts that roast people going viral, they’ve received accolades for their genius marketing strategy. In fact, it landed them the #1 position on Fast Company’s 2019’s most innovative company ranking.

As a restaurant manager, you need to consider how important social media is to brand awareness. Case in point, according to a 2019 survey, 66% of respondents answered that they are more likely to visit establishments with an active social media account.

Sometimes this falls on the manager’s plate and is part of their job role. However, if they don’t have time to do it, you might consider creating a position for a social media manager to handle your restaurant’s online presence.

#6 – Implement Clear Policies & SOPs

As a manager, it’s their job to ensure everything is organized and clearly conveyed to the correct team members. For example, your kitchen staff needs inventory sheets to track when they’re low on certain ingredients. Your servers need an opening and closing list to ensure everything is cleaned between shifts, and so on.

Another facet of this is your communication and how instructions are conveyed between tasks. For example, if your bartender runs out of a specific beer on tap—your servers need to know immediately and your menu may also need to be updated. Otherwise, you’ll end up with disappointed customers who wait for a drink that never comes.

As the restaurant manager, it’s your job to create an efficient system that facilitates communication between floor staff and kitchen staff.


Hire the Best Management for Your Restaurant

As the restaurant manager, they are key in steering the direction of your establishment. If your restaurant has a manager that treats their employees and customers horribly—the restaurant is going to suffer in the long run.

Avoid all of the mistakes we’ve discussed on this list, then you can become a better manager or you can easily hire one who fits the bill once you know what to look for.

Your staff will be happier, and your customers will go away satisfied. Keep improving your management style, and never settle for mediocrity. If you learn from the mistakes of others, you don’t have to worry about closing anytime soon.

Contact Mosiac Solutions today! Together we can help your restaurant boost sales, track profits, and thrive with our Cloud-based POS and analytics.