I’ve just come through the busiest week of the year outside of Christmas with my team. August Bank holiday - and the festivals are always a fantastic week for us.
In the hospitality industry, amazing managers are both essential and hard to come by. Staff need to be managed by someone who not only can 'manage' well, but also someone they can rely on and trust, to create a happy work environment.
Here are the five biggest challenges I face as a restaurant manager, and how I try to overcome them.
I never thought that 16 years ago, while working as a barman in a little pub in the middle of small West Yorkshire, I would be asked to share my thoughts on the entire hospitality industry.
To keep uniqueness, you need something that makes people see that your restaurant is special and then, make emphasis on that. That is called "USP" (unique selling point), and if you don't have one, you should definitely start working something out.
Managing a group of the waitstaff of a restaurant is always a bit more complicated than working alone or on a computer - although it does make life more interesting and challenging.
Menu pricing, if I'm being honest, is not straightforward. There are "protocols" and step-by-step techniques, but you cannot be sure. One factor that determines the success of the prices is people, and people are not always predictable. But there are some tools to make life easier.
I have done 10 years in gastronomy, and I’ve learned, heard and tried already quite a lot of theories about dealing with customer’s complaints, but just one always works (in my personal case). This holy-gastro-tool is called “empathy” and is quite easy to use.
On one hand, the one who is going to say that a restaurant has “excellent customer service” is mostly the customer. On the other hand, customers are different, and of course with different expectations. That is why if we want to satisfy everyone, this won't be possible. Fortunately, there are some things you can do and some tips as well that I can share with you to be as good as possible and create an excellent experience for most of your customers.
Treat those how you would like to be treated. It may be a statement your parents have told you since you were small, but this is one of the most valuable phrases to remember.