The National Restaurant Association (NRS) states that many new managers are often so eager to be endorsed and make others happy that they make common mistakes. They may institute changes too quickly, hold friends to different standards and think that relationships will remain the same. The following tips will help newly hired and promoted managers avoid common mistakes and achieve success.

Soft Skills

Research by Gallup reveals that companies that hire supervisors and managers based on their people skills and core talents will experience better employee engagement. The research shows that these companies may see a 17 percent increase in productivity, a 30 percent increase in employee engagement and 48 percent increase in overall profitability. Employee turnover rates may decrease up to 19 percent. All of these successful statistics depend on the restaurant manager’s strong interpersonal skills. Good leaders must be flexible and spontaneous to deal with random operational and personnel problems.  An authoritative demeanor and calm voice will help maintain stability in stressed kitchens. Being patient and organized will help maintain quality and efficiency.

Understand Motivation

Many restaurant supervisors may have strong professional skills, but they may lack human resources training or business administration experience. Managers must be able to analyze, understand and motivate their staff. The pressure is intense and the turnover rates are high, so understand individual motivations and collective goals will help restaurant managers maintain employee satisfaction. There are many well-known motivational theories, such as Sirota’s Three Factor Theory that states that employees’ basic needs should be met and that company and employee goals should be aligned. McClelland’s Human Motivation Theory states that employees are motivated by power, affiliation, and achievement. Regardless of the theory, restaurant managers should be able to understand motivation to cultivate respect and top performances.

Real-World Experience

The above-mentioned theories provide insights into the conceptual motivation of employee’s actions. Seasoned restaurant managers know that while employees will have different motivations, they will all follow Maslow’s basic two motivations of safety and survival. That is, employees most value their salaries and job stability. Restaurant manager should know how to create mutually beneficial and long-term relationships between the restaurant and employees. For example, performance reviews that randomly criticize issues without future goals and commitments are not as effective as continual communication and reinforcement.  Performance goals and expectations should be connected to salary increases and job opportunities.

In Defense of Delegation

One of the most important skills a restaurant manager must master is the science of delegation. Even a superstar cannot accomplish everything on their own each day. The best way to help both new supervisors and employees grow is through appropriate delegation. This starts with establishing individual roles and responsibilities. Restaurant managers should learn how to organize themselves so they can direct tasks, follow-up with staff and minimize poor performance. Organized delegation will free them up to focus on more important managerial tasks such as budgeting, marketing, and quality control. Restaurant managers who carefully match the right people with the right tasks and tools will enjoy better results.

Professional Feedback

Reality TV shows with vulgar celebrity chefs often glamorize and exaggerate the conflict and hostility in professional kitchens. While it is true that the restaurant industry runs on extremely tight budgets, schedules and performance standards, the best restaurant managers use their business acumen, HR knowledge, and respectful attitudes to provide feedback, identify problems and discipline staff. Giving real-time feedback in a loud and busy kitchen environment is difficult because many people are either too sensitive or indifferent. Employees need factual feedback to improve their productivity and performance. Constructive criticism that focuses on objective issues will improve issues and mitigate risks.

These tips will help new restaurant managers increase their professional competency and decrease their occupational frustration. Restaurant managers should consider avoiding these nine bad habits. It’s helpful to continually hone skills and seek knowledge through legitimate resources. A good way to find a restaurant management job is to use a job search site that allows you to follow companies, save jobs for later and apply with one click.

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