Successfully managing a restaurant is dependent largely on the personality and leadership qualities of the individual in power. The classic proverb, “power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely” is as true in the restaurant industry as it is in government. Many experts in the food service industry have said that the manager sets the attitude for the entire staff. If he is indifferent and acts as if serving customers is a chore, than the rest of the employees will quickly pick up this point of view.
The food service industry can be a very high pressured job. You must consistently serve hot, quality food in a timely manner while also seeing to the other needs of the guests such as tables, drinks, to-go boxes, bills, and keeping the restaurant clean all at once. Of course, a restaurant manager is only human and sometimes will get irritated, stressed, or lose his temper, but a successful manager should have himself under control the majority of the time. No one should be in authority over others if they have no self-control. A manager should also be willing to do any job as needed. Whether this means jumping in and plating food when things get busy or sweeping the floor during the evening, a truly good leader doesn’t ask someone to do a job he isn’t willing to do.
Organization is another key quality of a flourishing restaurant. If the manager has a system in place so he knows how much food is currently stocked, what food needs to be ordered, who is scheduled to work that night, and what tasks he needs to accomplish for the day than the restaurant will run smoothly and profitably. Being organized will also help a manager in dealing with staff since he will know how often and long they have worked. Part of being a successful leader is taking care of your followers and a manager should treat his employees with gratitude for their hard work. One manager’s suggestion for an example of how to treat your staff well was to “set up a policy where every line cook gets to create a dish that can be a special every few days, tell them that if a certain specified amount is sold, then you’ll try it again, and it might even make it onto the menu…not only will that break up the monotony, it will help your kitchen staff feel like they are really a part of your restaurant.”