We know first hand, having created and operated many restaurants over the last twenty-five years. Well into my tenure as a waiter, I realized that most of what I know about waiting tables I did not learn during formal training.  Because of this, I started writing down ideas about improving restaurant training, particularly for front of the house service. Selecting restaurant trainers is a tricky task.  A trainer is an ambassador within the organization. Most of what I learned about waiting tables took place after training was over.  Even with great training, this will likely be the same for most trainees. Adequate sales, experience, and capital can help, but without solid financial and operational controls in place, long-term success is not assured.
There are top performers and effective employees who do not represent a picture perfect example of the textbook way to do things. Ideally, your trainers set a good example, teach and mentor, and have the respect of the entire team.  Should you select approachable people who are perceived leaders within your ranks, you increase the chances of success with your training and development efforts. With the holiday rush over, take advantage of your “extra” time by putting some serious thought into new or updated dishes you’ve been itching to try.
In this article though I’ll use the restaurant and hospitality industry as an example, as it is one in which the lessons are particularly pertinent.Your value to your brand as a leader in the restaurant and hospitality industry is derived from your ability to manage various metrics that contribute to excellence in service and profitability of the venue.
These metrics include but are not limited to costs for food and labour, and table turnover. Staff engagement and training, and production efficiency also form part of your commercial brief.  All of these are areas you are expected to manage and monitor, and improve!Note above that I have not said you are responsible for managing the staff, but you are responsible for staff engagement and training. BE STEADFASTLY COURAGOUS – A leader’s courage is based upon their knowledge of their subject matter, confidence in their abilities, and understanding of their functional role within the venue. You will find that the venue personnel will not tolerate being told what to do by a manager who does not possess self-confidence and courage. Employees are intelligent and will cease to follow such a leader, even work against a weak leader, quite rapidly.2.
Good self-control sets a shining example for your personnel and you will find that they will start to emulate you. If they do not have a sense that their treatment, indeed the treatment of the staff generally, is measured, fair, and just they will not pay you the respect you need to be able to lead through either difficult or good times. The policy handbook provides you with a reference guide that is known to the employees what they may expect when an infraction occurs.The policy handbook will be helpful in maintaining consistency in respect of the consequences of unacceptable behaviours, and consistency is the key.


At the same time, you will forge relationships that could lead to the perception of favouritism. If the need arises to redress an infraction with someone where the perception of favouritism is likely, be on your guard to also not over react in a kind of affirmative action in an attempt to set an example that you are not playing favourites. CLEAR AND DECISIVE DECISION MAKING – The restaurant manager who is unable to take decisions and wavers when a decision is required broadcasts to the staff that he or she is not sure of themself. You may not always make the correct decision, but you will be respected for your strength of character in taking the decision without hesitation and following through. Staff who smell weakness will quickly lose respect and an indecisive approach will lose you respect very quickly.
If your motto is ‘I used to be indecisive but now I’m not so sure’ then be a follower and don’t aspire to leading.5. EFFECTIVE PLANNING – You’ve probably heard the famous quote “The failure to plan is planning to fail. Although this is attributed to a great many people it is originally from Joe Paterno, a famous American football coach born in 1926.
Any leader wishing to succeed in his role of restaurant manager must plan his work, and then work his plan. A restaurant manager who works reactively and predominantly by guesswork (most of the time delusional and calling it instinctively) without practical and definite plans, is comparable to a plane without landing gear. People don’t care as much about what you say as they care about what you do and how you go about doing it. As a restaurant manager you must you be able to manage staff training on top of being able to step into and perform any of the functions in the restaurant, at least to an adequate level. This is different to some industries where the leader can remain above the operational aspects of the business but in a restaurant or hotel the leader must be able to lead by example and assist when necessary.7. PLEASANT DEMEANOUR – Being rude and overbearing is not a quality or trait anyone should have at the best of times. As a restaurant manager this type of behaviour will contribute to your failing quite rapidly.
Staff will not respect a leader who does conduct himself in a socially acceptable manner and exhibiting a pleasant personality.8.
BE FIRM BUT BE EMPATHETIC AND UNDERSTANDING – If you wish to be successful as a restaurant manager you must have empathy for your staff.


ATTENTION TO DETAIL – The successful leader of a restaurant must pay attention to detail and more to the point have a keen eye for it.
In the restaurant and hotel industry, perhaps more than any other, it is important for you (and your staff for that matter) to see the restaurant through the eyes of the guests.
Do not try to move responsibility or you will very rapidly be deposed as leader either actually or effectively as you will lose the respect of the people working for you.
This is of course referring to genuine mistakes and not wilful acts with malicious intent.11.
A successful restaurant leader understands the principle of cooperation and applies this consistently.
He uses cooperation as part of his standard operating procedure and through his example causes his followers do the same willingly.Do not confuse cooperation with weak command and control. On the contrary, a leader who is a strong commander and in control of his people will have the cooperation of his people without force. A weak leader will only ever gain cooperation begrudgingly.In ConclusionAs a restaurant manager you should continue to invest in yourself and attend leadership training and leadership development courses.
There are many great courses to take including from Dale Carnegie Institute and Franklin Covey as well as a large number of more boutique training programmes offered by exceptional individuals. These course and continued education will prove invaluable to your effectiveness as a leader. If you do not have the ability to lead, you will rapidly discover that there is no one following you. Cancel reply Paul's Take On How The World WorksEnter Name & Email For Free Business Tips & Advice Email Address First Name Last Name Paul hates spam as much as you and will never abuse your trustDo you want to build a more effective team? Could your employees communicate better?All in one easy to use, simple to embed system that is fun for your people and effective for your business?Take the guess work out of under performing business and learn how to build a game changing performance system in your business today!



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