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The manager is the single most important position in your restaurant. Managers influence the attitude and behavior of all restaurant employees. In order to ensure a successful operation, it is imperative to select a manager that possesses 15 Key attributes.

Key #1 Be a role model: What you do speaks louder than what you say. The manager must demonstrate to the staff the components of excellent service.

Key # 2 

Hire Competent Staff: The manager must possess “people sense” and make the right hiring decisions. According to Elton Statler, the three most important factors to a successful restaurant are “location, location, location”. Using this approach, the three most important factors in successful service are “Selection, Selection, Selection”. In addition to role modeling, managers must identify individuals that possess people skills and hire them. No matter how much modeling or training is provided, a service person that does not enjoy people, and cannot demonstrate enthusiasm for them, will be unable to give hospitable service.

Key # 3 Respect Employees: Managers must be fair in all their actions and, most of all, demonstrate a deep-seated respect for their team. It has been said, “All employees come with a brain at no extra charge, so why not use it.”

Key # 4 Communicate with Staff: Managers must know that employees must understand exactly what is expected of them and have the linguistic ability to affect the right behaviors.

Key # 5 Train Employees: Managers must be able to train employees so they are unconsciously efficient in the necessary functional tasks. Outstanding service personnel have their tasks so “sanitized” that they can focus more on the individual needs of their guests. Managers explain, demonstrate, let employees try (and make mistakes), redirect their behavior, and “habit” employees’ skills so that they may perform their duties in such a way to exceed guests’ expectations. 

Key # 6 Coach from the Dining Room Floor:  Successful managers spend time in the dining area where they can provide moment-to-moment feedback on employee service. They set a standard decorum for the rest of the staff, greet guests, and remember and use their names when they enter the restaurant. The manager’s job is to assist the service crews in creating a bond of loyalty with the guests. Coaching means that managers provide positive reinforcement. They tell people when they have done “it” (good service) right.

Key # 7 Give Constructive Criticism: Managers know that employees cannot remain enthusiastic about a task unless they are challenged by it. In order to assist their crew in becoming better workers, managers must make the staff aware of their mistakes and help them change. Do it in a positive manner!

Key # 8 Get the Most out of Your Service Staff. Managers recognize employees as individuals and credit those who excel at providing memorable service.  

Key # 9 Facilitate Service by Supervising and Adapting Systems and Procedures so the Staff has no Obstacles to Providing Good Service: Competent managers are aware that well-designed systems are vital to achieve the company’s service philosophy. However, no system is perfect and even the best of systems must adapt with change. Managers need to recognize that their systems should be, “Designed for the convenience of the guest rather than the convenience of the organization.” 

Key # 10 Maintain Clarity of Purpose:  Managers must remind employees in words AND actions that guests are the operations first concern and that systems and procedures are not the end-all; they are the methods used to achieve/exceed guest satisfaction. 

Key # 11 Schedule for sufficient coverage: Managers must not focus on keeping labor costs down. Rather they must focus on keeping service standards high, which translates into higher profits.

Key # 12 Pay Attention to Details: A manager must recognize that it’s the smallest details that make a restaurant great. 

Key # 13 Recognize and Develop a Relationship with Your Regulars: A savvy manager knows the value of recognizing and welcoming “The Regulars.” The guests appreciate the fact that they are recognized for their patronage.

Key # 14 Established FLEXIBLE Complaint Procedures: Errors occur. It’s the nature of the business. But how a manager handles a guest complaint can be an effective marketing tool. Guest’s complaints are opportunities to show how much you care about guest satisfaction. A manager must enforce and establish procedures that empower staff members to correct errors immediately.

Key# 15 Observe and Evaluate the Operation: An effective manager knows the importance of continually evaluating the operation. Managers must remain flexible in order to accommodate change when it’s called for.

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