7 habits of a great restaurant manager

25th October 2023

Posted in: News

In the dynamic world of hospitality, where culinary excellence meets impeccable customer service, one role stands at the helm; the restaurant manager. Overseeing not only the quality of food and drink, but also ensuring a seamless dining experience and keeping staff content and high-performing, the manager has to do it all. So how does a successful manager keep things in line? What are the secrets of an efficient and high-performing restaurant manager? Behind the scenes, restaurant managers possess a unique set of skills and habits that elevate them to greatness in their profession. In this article, we delve into the world of these multitalented individuals and uncover the habits that make them shine in their profession.

Consistency, habits and routine as a restaurant manager

New menus need to be printed, new staff trained, daily accounts handled, reviews replied to, complaints resolved, customer service quality maintained, phones answered and staff rotas created; the job of a restaurant manager is tough. And more than that, it requires a array of different skills. Whilst a manager must be excellent with customers, they must also have an eye for detail, a way with words and a whole lot of patience. So how do restaurant managers keep things flowing?

Ultimately, a successful restaurant manager adheres to strict routines and practises some key habits. Consistency is the key. From the quick daily meetings scheduled at the same time each day, to the well-organised calendar and the planned-out dinner service, it is uniformity and an ability to keep things routine that wins every time.

So what are the habits of a great restaurant manager?

The habits of a great restaurant manager

In this article, we explore seven habits that set great restaurant managers apart from the rest. Whether you’re an aspiring restaurant manager seeking to hone your craft or a seasoned professional looking to refine your expertise, this article is your key to unlocking the secrets of success in this ever-evolving industry.

Drawing upon the wisdom of industry veterans and the experiences of exceptional restaurant managers, we will explore the intricacies of each habit, providing actionable insights and practical tips to help you cultivate these qualities within yourself.

1. Being proactive

A proactive restaurant manager doesn’t wait for problems to arise. Instead, they will identify potential issues in advance and reduce the amount of immediate action required. So for example, when it comes to stock, this might involve regularly assessing inventory levels or equipment maintenance.
In terms of staff, it might involve planning rotas accordingly so that diminished service is reduced. What’s more, you could try your best to stay ahead of the curve by investing in ongoing training and development for your staff. Proactively identify areas where additional skills or knowledge could enhance their performance and provide opportunities for growth.
But it’s not just about staff and stock. There is also space for you to keep proactive for yourself. Keep a pulse on industry trends, customer preferences, and changes in the market. Because it’s absolutely true that proactive managers stay informed about new technologies, menu innovations, and emerging consumer trends. This allows them to adapt their strategies and offerings to meet evolving customer expectations and stay competitive.

2. Calm when providing resolutions

When it comes to handling customer complaints, successful restaurant managers have a secret superpower: staying calm in the face of the storm. It’s inevitable that at some point, a frustrated guest will storm up to the counter, ready to unleash their grievances. This is the time to practise the art of staying cool under pressure.

It all starts with the power of active listening. Lend an ear to their concerns, showing genuine empathy and understanding. No matter how outrageous the complaint may be, try to resist the urge to get defensive or take it personally. Address the issue head-on, offering practical solutions and going the extra mile to make things right. Your positive attitude will shine through in these moments and keep not only customers but staff calm. Just remember that every complaint is a golden opportunity for growth!

3. Staying up to date and always learning 

To thrive as a restaurant manager, it’s essential to stay ahead of the curve and keep up with the ever-evolving industry. There are a few ways in which you can do this.

Connect with like-minded professionals, whether through mentorship, online communities, or even joining industry-specific social media groups. Engage in lively discussions, share experiences, and learn from those who have conquered the culinary world. You can also embrace the digital age and let technology be your guiding light. Harness the power of social media, industry websites, and forums to discover the latest trends, emerging technologies, and customer preferences. It doesn’t stop there. You can also explore blogs and podcasts to delve into the minds of industry experts and gain invaluable insights.

Hoping to learn a little in the real world? Attend industry events, workshops, training programs and conferences where you can mingle with fellow food enthusiasts, learn from renowned speakers, and immerse yourself in the vibrant energy of the culinary community.

4. Building a great team

Creating a great team is the secret ingredient to a thriving restaurant. As a manager, your role is to foster a culture of collaboration, motivation, and camaraderie. Successful restaurant managers will always try to nurture a positive work environment. Encouraging open communication, where ideas and feedback flow freely is absolutely vital.

Lead by example, embodying the qualities you wish to see in your team. Show respect, integrity, and a strong work ethic. Be approachable, supportive, and receptive to your team’s needs. You can also try to promote teamwork through team-building activities and outings, fostering strong relationships and a sense of camaraderie.

Lastly, strive for a healthy work-life balance. Understand that your team members have lives beyond the restaurant. Be flexible and accommodating, promoting well-being and ensuring a happy and motivated team. Speaking to your staff on a personal level and respecting their lives outside of work is vital to creating a great team.

5. Communicating with staff effectively

One of the most important habits of successful restaurant managers is good communication. Keeping communication open, friendly, sincere and respectful is one of the best behaviours of a manager. Make sure that you are having regular check-ins with all staff members, making sure that they’re content in their roles and asking them for feedback. Provide scheduling clarity, embrace cultural differences, and take criticism constructively.
Those managers most successful in their roles will also work to strengthen relationships through team-building activities and encourage honest feedback. By setting transparent expectations and promoting open communication, you’ll create a harmonious team that works together seamlessly, delivering an exceptional dining experience for your guests. So, step into the role of a communication maestro and watch your team thrive!

6. Keeping a positive attitude 

When you’re a restaurant manager, you set the tone for the entire restaurant; for the bar staff, the wait staff, the kitchen and the customers. If you set a tone that puts everyone on edge, or makes them feel negative or uncomfortable, you’ll find that the entire service goes down hill.

So one of the best habits you can practice as a restaurant manager is positivity. Try your absolute best to start the day in a way which puts your mood in a great place, and you’ll pass on your positive attitude to everyone you interact with. Staff will be inspired by your attitude, customers will be pleased to talk with you and the kitchen staff will be able to approach you in a positive and constructive manner.

7. Being punctual 

As a restaurant manager, being punctual is more than just showing up on time; it sets the tone for the entire operation. Therefore, being a successful restaurant manager absolutely demands being on-time and prepared.
Punctuality demonstrates respect for your staff, customers, and the business itself. Arriving early allows you to prepare, organise, and address any potential issues before the day begins. Plus, it sets a positive example for your team, encouraging them to be punctual as well. You’ll find that if you’re punctual, the day will be smoother; everything will have prepared and clarified in good time. You’ll prevent delays and ultimately keep customers satisfied. Don’t believe us? Arrive earlier to work one day next week and watch the day unfold in a smoother manner!

Hotel and restaurant management with 1834 Hotels

1834 Hotels is an evolutionary one stop hotel, motel, resort and pub management solution. We take the essential and crucial tasks of hotel operations and adapt them to the tools and systems and automation of today.

Offering better management of accounts, support for your manager, systems management and group buying power, we help to grow your business, cut costs and keep thing efficient.

Ready to chat with us? Please contact us here.