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New Restaurant Manager – Five Common Mistakes

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New Restaurant Manager - Five Common Mistakes

If you’ve decided to hire a new restaurant manager, take a moment to consider your existing staff members before reaching out to an agency or posting an ad. There are several benefits to promoting from within:

  • Excitement: Current employees often feel enthusiastic about advancing within the establishment.
  • Familiarity: Since you have already invested time in training them, they possess knowledge about your business.
  • Cultural fit: They have adapted to your company’s culture and have proven to be a good match.
  • Cost-effective: Compared to hiring an experienced professional, promoting an internal candidate tends to be less expensive.

However, when promoting an existing team member to a managerial role, they may encounter common mistakes:

New Restaurant Manager – Five Common Mistakes

Remaining One of The Team

Problem: Typically, the employee promoted to management has excelled in their current position and displayed leadership qualities. The challenge arises when they still desire to be seen as a “buddy” by their peers.

Solution: Sit down with your new manager and establish clear guidelines, including avoiding socializing with staff outside of work. Emphasize that their priority should be earning respect rather than seeking popularity.

Not Asking for Help

Problem: Many restaurants lack comprehensive training programs, leaving new managers to learn through trial and error, often receiving negative feedback. This can create a negative work environment for the new manager, leading to hesitation in seeking assistance for fear of appearing incompetent or facing repercussions from upper management.

Solution: Implement proper training and management tools to enable your new recruit to perform their duties effectively. These tools may include:

  • An operations manual outlining policies, systems, and procedures.
  • Detailed job-specific training that clarifies the manager’s responsibilities, performance expectations, and deadlines.
  • Comprehensive checklists for opening, closing, and management tasks.
  • Foster a positive work environment where staff members feel comfortable asking for help.

Me Against Them Mentality

Problem: When an employee transitions into a management position, they may carry unresolved conflicts from their previous role, potentially leading to animosity between front-of-house and back-of-house staff members.

Solution: Develop detailed checklists for each position, ensuring clarity about individual duties and expectations.

Dating the Help

Problem: The social nature of the restaurant industry often leads to relationships forming among staff members. However, excessive or inappropriate dating can create a hostile work environment, making colleagues uncomfortable. In some cases, it may even involve quid pro quo situations where dating is exploited for personal gain, such as securing better shifts or higher wages. This behavior can escalate into workplace sexual harassment.

Solution: Discuss with your manager the importance of being cautious when engaging in relationships within the workplace. Emphasize that unintended instances of sexual harassment can result in job termination.

Not Looking The Part

Problem: After promoting a staff member, they may not dress appropriately for their new role. This issue may not have been apparent previously, as line employees often wear uniforms rather than their own attire.

Solution: To prevent this problem, clearly communicate the expected dress code for managers during the training process.

By implementing appropriate systems, you can transform an outstanding line employee into an exceptional manager.