Restaurant operators, you’re rock stars

I recently read a poll that listed the least prestigious jobs in America and several of them were restaurant gigs. It really pissed me off. Having been a member of the restaurant industry since I was 15 years old, I take it personally when someone disses our world. The average “business professional” couldn’t handle a lunch shift on a Tuesday without melting into a puddle of tears. 

Being successful as a restaurant manager requires a myriad of skill like no other industry. You are a generalist in the truest sense of the word. Name the other business where a line manager must be skilled in every discipline known to business. 

Take your typical day…

You arrive at work and there is a vendor waiting, so you start your day by managing the delivery. Receive, verify, code. Then you check last night’s sales, inventory depletions and labor costs. 

All of these business control activities make you a financial manager in your business.

The phone rings and it’s your opening server… He isn’t feeling well (third time this month), so you have to scramble to cover his shift. You make a note in the manager’s log to have a discussion with him before his next shift so you can issue him a warning. If that’s not enough, two of your kitchen team are having a heated argument. You gingerly enter the dispute, calm them and resolve the issue. You’re likely to also have a couple of new applicant interviews today, just to put icing on the cake. This type of real personnel management is a staple of your everyday activities.

At 10:30, you and the kitchen manager do a tasting of all the key items on the menu and try out a couple of new recipes for specials or future menu inclusion. Lunch begins and you expedite a fairly busy lunch with terrific ticket times and satisfied guests. You’re like the offensive coordinator calling plays, prepping your team for what they’ll see on the field and leading them to victory. The variety of operational tasks you have on your plate is truly staggering and you do it well.

Managing the kitchen staff and servers is just one of the many responsibilities of a restaurant operator and manager

Right in the middle of lunch a server informs you that she didn’t enter an order and the guest is getting upset. You quickly visit the table, assure them that you will get them fed and apologize for the confusion. You even go above and beyond and offer them a free appetizer to hold them over. This interaction is the difference between a bad review and a happy guest. It’s so good in fact that they tag the restaurant on Facebook and thank you for taking good care of them. Is there a better way to building or marketing your business than treating guests well?

As lunch ends, you see a spilled beverage and get a busser to clean it up. You also realize that today is the day filters are changed and condensers are cleaned. You assign the task to the KM and note in the log what has been completed. Just some of the risk management and maintenance tasks you need to deal with on a daily basis.

All this before 1:30 in the afternoon. You truly do more by 2pm than most people do all day.

You are a rock star

It’s not overstating it to say, that what you do takes more skill, diversity of action and pure talent than most industries require in an entire career of their line employees. 

We at The Rail, get how impressive your work is and want to support your efforts at being great. If there are other topics you want to get more info or support on, email us and we will be happy to be your shortcut to success. 

We are proud of what you do!