Five Common Mistakes NEW Restaurant Managers Make

Five Common Mistakes NEW Restaurant Managers Make

Are you grappling with the challenge of finding and nurturing effective management within the confines of your restaurant's four walls? The allure of recruiting seasoned professionals from outside may seem tempting, promising to transform your operations into a lean, mean, and profitable machine. However, in my experience, this strategy rarely pays off. The real solution lies in developing and hiring your next managers from within. The trick is to help them avoid the five common mistakes new restaurant managers make.

As a seasoned restaurant expert, coach, and creator of The Restaurant Prosperity Formula, I've learned the value of looking to your existing team for managerial talent. Not only are they already familiar with your business and culture, but they also come at a potentially lower cost than hiring a seasoned pro.

I vividly recall my own journey from bartending at Coyote Springs Brewing Company to being approached by the owner to step into a managerial role. Despite initial reservations about a pay cut, I embraced the opportunity, ultimately experiencing significant financial growth as I climbed the ranks.

However, not every promising employee is cut out to be a manager. Over the course of my time working in restaurants and then coaching restaurant owners, I identified five common mistakes that new managers make, leading to their downfall. Let's explore these pitfalls and discover how to sidestep them effectively.

  1. Remaining one of the team: New managers often struggle to shift from being a buddy to being a leader. While they may have excelled in their previous roles, it's crucial for them to understand that gaining respect is more important than being liked. Emphasize the importance of transitioning from a peer to a leader to foster a healthy working dynamic.
  2. Avoiding asking for help: The vast amount of knowledge required in a managerial role can be overwhelming for new leaders. Instead of leaving them to learn from mistakes, invest in proper training, management tools, and a detailed operations manual. Provide checklists for daily tasks, ensuring consistency in operations even when you're not physically present.
  3. Me against them mentality: Carryovers from their time as line employees, new managers might harbor grievances against other departments or shifts. Transform your company culture into an open mindset, emphasizing teamwork and cooperation. Implement a system where each shift leaves the workspace ready for the next, promoting trust among team members.
  4. Navigating office romances: Dating within the team can be a tricky area, potentially creating a hostile work environment. Establish clear policies on workplace relationships and ensure that management is aware of the associated risks. A transparent approach will help maintain professionalism and avoid unnecessary complications.
  5. Understanding the importance of appearance: New managers may not grasp the significance of maintaining a professional appearance. Set clear policies regarding attire that align with your restaurant's atmosphere. Whether it's clean jeans and a logo polo or slacks and a button-down shirt, conveying expectations from the start will help new managers integrate seamlessly.

Consider cultivating your next managers from your existing team. They are a known entity, trained in your business, and already aligned with your company culture. Ensure you have robust systems and training in place to guide them away from these five common mistakes new restaurant managers make. By doing so, you can transform great line employees into outstanding managers who thrive in their new roles.

Be sure to visit my YouTube channel for more helpful restaurant management video tips.

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