According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a division of the U.S. Department of Labor, the market for restaurant managers is expected to grow 5 percent between 2008 and 2018, which is slower than the average for other occupations. The number of eating and drinking establishments is expected to decline over this period, so understanding the characteristics that restaurants look for in a successful general manager can help you set yourself apart from other general managers.
Get an education. With the market for restaurant managers declining, restaurants will have their choice from an increasing pool of general manager job candidates. Those with a college degree may be more likely to win a restaurant manager position. Look into local business schools that offer a restaurant management of hospitality business program. At the very least, take a management class at a local or online business school or community college.
Gain restaurant experience. To be a successful restaurant general manager, you need to understand the intricacies of the restaurant business, and the only way to do this is to experience it first-hand. Successfully managing a restaurant means understanding how a restaurant kitchen works, the purchasing and inventory process and how to handle employee issues. Some restaurant general managers start by working as a water, waitress, cook or bartender. Regardless of the path you choose, gain experience by working in a restaurant.
Solicit feedback from employees. As a general manager, you are a leader and supervisor of employees. This means you need to be able to coach, reward and discipline employees in a responsible and effective matter. One of the best ways to do this and set yourself up for future success is communicating with your employees. Have "one-on-one" meetings with every employee once per week. Take 5 or 10 minutes to ask each employee how he is doing, what challenges he faces and what you can do to help make his job better.
Be decisive. Often general managers are faced with tough decisions that require you to think on your feet. In these cases, it's important to communicate openly with the restaurant owners and take timely, decisive actions. Restaurant managers who are indecisive often lack the confidence and efficiency needed to manage a restaurant. For example, if you notice during inventory tracking that one of your vendors has raised its prices without telling you, immediately contact the restaurant owner and offer a suggestion for another vendor. Proactive managers who help increase the efficiency of a business are the ones who succeed more often than not.
Tips & Warnings
- When looking for a new job as a restaurant manager or a promotion at your current restaurant, highlight specific instances in which you established relationships with vendors, developed marketing strategies that led to increased business or reduced costs at a restaurant that employed you.
- Managing a restaurant is not a 9 to 5 job. Anticipate working 50 to 60 hours or more each week.
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images
What Does an Assistant Manager Do?
We've all heard the term "assistant manager," but many of us don't know what being an assistant manager really entails. This position...
Job Description of a General Manager
A general manager is a key player in maintaining the smooth and efficient operations of a business. A general manager&rsquo;s responsibilities vary...
What Makes a Good Restaurant Manager?
The job of the restaurant manager is one of the toughest in the business world, thanks to long hours, unpredictable business, difficult...
How to Become a Hotel Manager
Hotel managers are responsible for operations, including reservations, food services, housekeeping and conventions. In a small hotel, one manager usually makes all...
How to Deal With Employee Complaints
Every business has its share of problems. If you have even one employee, you will eventually have an employee complaint. The more...
How to Operate a Successful Restaurant
Most restaurants fail within the first few years, mostly because their owners didn't think the business through before opening their doors. If...
How to Get Customers Into A New Restaurant
When you are opening a restaurant, getting customers in the door is a challenge. To help ensure big opening crowds, start building...
How to Evaluate Employee Performance & Discipline
Clear and measurable performance standards are extremely important when evaluating and documenting employee performance. Performance standards provide the employee with clear guidelines,...
Characteristics of Sales Management
Descriptions of sales management include planning and implementing sales programs within an organization, as well as managing sales teams. A sales manager's...