Restaurant Management: How to Balance Your Time
Restaurant managers are pulled in so many different directions – front of the house, back of the house, customer needs, staff needs, inventory, P&Ls, food quality, service quality, etc… The list goes on and on. In any given day’s work, the tasks and responsibilities expected of a restaurant manager can be overwhelming.
All of these pressures and obligations can lead to decreased productivity and eventually burnout, making time management an essential tool. Here are some strategies to help restaurant managers balance their time.
Identify your priorities and stick to them:
It may seem easier said than done when priorities in a restaurant can shift minute by minute. But at the beginning of the workday, restaurant managers must have a plan for how they are going to spend their day and what priorities need their greatest attention. Then once those priorities are identified, create a checklist or calendar and stick to it.
Eliminate unnecessary meetings:
Certain meetings are an important part of maintaining open lines of communication among your team and keeping the restaurant running smoothly. However, too many meetings can also really eat up time that most restaurant managers don’t have. Keep meetings to a minimum and only when necessary.
Deal with problematic employees right away:
Problematic employees who aren’t doing their jobs well need to be dealt with or they can take up a lot of a restaurant manager’s time, not to mention their detriment to your overall restaurant business. Have stringent procedures in place for dealing with employee performance issues and be consistent.
Too often, restaurant managers try to take on more responsibilities than they can handle. It’s important to delegate and identify staff members that can help take over certain responsibilities that are taking away from the restaurant manager’s key duties. Learn to trust your valued team members and lean on them.
Field and minimize unannounced sales calls:
Restaurant managers spend a lot of time taking unannounced sales calls from purveyors, suppliers and other vendors. While evaluating different vendors and suppliers to help run your restaurant are an important part of the job, it’s ok to say no or reschedule the call for a better time. If possible, have another team member field such calls to help identify which of them are priorities.
It may seem like finding time in your schedule for periodic breaks is impossible. But taking periodic breaks throughout the day will only make you more productive in managing your restaurant. It can also be helpful to actually leave the restaurant during scheduled breaks so that they don’t get interrupted or cut short.
If certain things aren’t working, stop repeating them:
As the saying goes, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. Everyone makes mistakes. The important thing is that you learn from them. If you are finding that certain approaches or methodologies are not yielding the desired results for your business then change them.
As a restaurant manager, what time management strategies have you put into place to do your job better? Share them with us using the comment box below.