17 Things a Restaurant Manager Should Never Do
Restaurant managers have a lot of responsibility…and of course, this can be a good thing or a bad thing! If you’d like to avoid making some of the biggest management mistakes, read on to find out what you should never do.
1. Mistreat employees.
If you’re unfair or unkind, it will come back to haunt you in the form of employees who don’t feel any loyalty towards their job. A restaurant can’t be successful without dedicated employees.
2. Don’t give customers any opportunity for feedback.
Whether it involves checking in with them at their tables or leaving comment cards, give your customers the opportunity to let you know about any problems. If you don’t, you have no way of knowing what mistakes you’re making.
3. Ignore customer complaints.
If a customer takes the time to complain, it’s important to take them seriously and do everything you can to make it better, whether that involves apologizing, comping the meal, or giving out coupons for future meals.
4. Tell customers they’re wrong.
Even if you know a customer’s complaint is ridiculous, there’s still no excuse for telling them they’re wrong. It’s important to take every customer complaint seriously, even the ones that don’t make sense.
5. Ignore social media.
Check Facebook, Twitter, and review sites (like Yelp) often to see what customers are saying about your restaurant. It’s important to know what impression customers are getting of your business.
6. Argue with customers online.
Social media gives you a great opportunity to respond to customers in public, but this opportunity can turn into a pitfall if you just argue and insult customers. Remember that everyone can see your online comments!
7. Don’t give employees clear instructions.
Your employees aren’t mind readers! If you want dishes prepared a certain way or tables arranged just so, you have to tell them. Clear instructions will save time and hassle.
8. Keep employees who are dead weight.
Is an employee lazy, constantly late, or just a bad worker? It’s your job as a manager to keep the restaurant running smoothly, and you can’t do that if you keep employees who don’t do their jobs.
9. Be a stickler about the rules.
Yes, it’s good to have rules, but realize that you can’t be strict all the time. Occasionally, it’s in your best interest to bend the rules for a customer if it will make them happy (and if it isn’t too much of an inconvenience).
10. Ignore problems.
A leaky faucet? An underselling menu item? Employees who just don’t get along? Broken equipment? These problems shouldn’t just be swept under the rug. If you ignore them, they’ll just hurt you more in the long run.
11. Discipline employees in front of customers.
If an employee screws up, of course you have to talk to them about it (and possibly take disciplinary action). But never do it in front of customers! It’s awkward for everyone in your dining room to watch, and it won’t make customers want to come back.
12. Fail to communicate with employees.
If there’s an important change to the schedule or menu, your employees need to know. If you fail to keep them in the loop, your entire restaurant will look bad.
13. Act above the rules.
The restaurant rules are there for everyone to follow…and this includes managers! When you act like you’re above the rules, this sets a bad example for employees.
14. Let a customer leave unhappy.
You should do whatever it takes (within reason) to make sure everyone leaves your restaurant happy. It may seem like an expense to offer a free meal or coupon to a disgruntled customer, but it will pay off in the long run.
15. Not know what’s going on in every part of the restaurant.
Could you describe everything your kitchen staff does in a day? What about your bussers or your servers? As a manager, it’s your job to be aware of these things at all times.
16. Avoid giving positive feedback.
It’s important to let your employees know what they’re doing wrong, but it’s just as important to let them know what they’re doing right! This leads to happier, more satisfied employees, which in turn leads to a more successful restaurant.
17. Forget about customers.
Remember, customers are the reason why the restaurant exists in the first place! Always put their needs first.
Managing a restaurant may be a lot of responsibility, but by avoiding these 17 pitfalls you can be a better manager and help your restaurant succeed.