6 easy ways to master restaurant management

Owning a restaurant is a dream, but it does come with a fair share of responsibilities that require you to be constantly on your feet. It’s either about the sourcing of correct ingredients, continually reviewing menus to stay abreast of customer demands, retaining staff and knowing how to market the business.

Restaurant management isn’t one distinct skill, it’s more of an ever-changing spectrum of skills you need to master. You might start the day as a ringleader but become a firefighter by lunch, a motivational speaker at dinner and a magician by closing time. You wear different hats depending on the crisis at hand. So how do you know you’re doing the best job? After all, the jack of all trades is master of none. What does it take to become a truly effective restaurant manager?

It’s simpler than you might think. All you need to do is to cover the basics. By mastering the fundamentals of restaurant management, you will establish a good foundation to become whatever type of restaurant manager your day demands. Here are the six basics that I think every restaurant manager should aim to master.

1. Be consistent

One of the hallmarks of poor management is inconsistency. Yes, employees are individuals, every customer is different and crises take various forms – but you’re still you. Despite all the variables your restaurant will throw at you, your approach has to remain consistent. It earns you respect and makes you dependable. While you can’t control the weather or your mood, the lines you draw in the sand (rules and expectations) should never move.

2. Stay 10 steps ahead

The restaurant industry moves too fast for any restaurant manager to rest on their laurels. You need to spearhead shifts in the market instead of reacting to them. Whether it’s menu options, marketing tactics or innovative new technology, you need to become skilled at spotting trends from afar and using them to your establishment’s favour.

3. Hire and keep good talent

High employee turnover is a disadvantage in any work environment and restaurants are no exception. All the effort you put into training your staff goes to waste if you’re losing them faster than you can replace them. Once you’ve found skilled and hard-working employees, you must work hard to keep them – and this has a direct effect on how you manage them. Make your staff feel valued and respected at all times and give them incentives to choose your establishment over the one across the road.

4. Create an experience

It’s not uncommon to hear patrons say something like “if you had one steak au poivre once, you’ve had them all”. We live in the era of foodies and culinary hobbyists when people can pull off Michelin star dishes in their own homes after watching a few seasons of MasterChef. Patrons aren’t just eating out for the food anymore, the experience of eating out also plays a part. Your job as a manager is to ensure that the food and service are excellent and the experience of patronising your establishment is consistently stellar and unique.

5. Watch cash flow

The best chefs, service staff and marketing gimmicks could never save your restaurant from going under if you aren’t managing your cash flow diligently. Cash flow is the balance of revenue and expenditure and is the best method to gauge the health of your restaurant. You should aim to check your cash flow daily, weekly and monthly to avoid unpleasant surprises.

6. Choose the right PoS system

Choosing your PoS system wisely can make your job much easier. From integrating front-of-house and back-of-house operations, improving order accuracy and managing staff schedules, it can all be done with modern PoS technology. More specifically, it can be done with Pilot Point of Sale.

Pilot offers you innovative PoS software and reliable hardware that’s easy to use and designed to turn ordinary restaurants into must-see hotspots.

Download our guide to modern day point of sale e-book to find out more.

Author : Rudi Badenhorst