It might seem obvious what a restaurant manager does to you, but I have some very different opinions on the subject of what a successful manager does to make them successful.
I will never forget when I got my first job as a manager in a 5-star hotel. Part of me was thinking wow, I’ve made it! I get to tell other people what to do and my team will respect me because my name was on a business card. Finally, I will get paid more to do less. Boy, that couldn’t have been farther from the truth and I learned that lesson the hard way.
MANAGERS HELP OTHER SUCCEED
To be an effective manager, you have to support the people around you. You have to lift them up. You have to make their job easier.
I love this quote from PayPal executive Maria Shi, “I measure my own success as a leader by how well the people who work for me succeed.”
So, how do you help those around you succeed? You have to create a smooth and clear path that is free of obstacles.
MANAGERS ARE LIKE BULLDOZERS
I like to think of managers as bulldozers.
Your team is behind you. They literally have your back and are grinding it out daily by doing the work that is needed to run a successful restaurant.
And then in front of you are all of the problems in your restaurant. Taunting you. Nagging you.
Your job: clear the path.
You are the bulldozer that chugs through and pushes all of the problems out of the way so your team can follow behind and get the work done without any obstacles to their success.
That does not mean you do their tasks for them. Instead, it means to supply them with the knowledge and the tools they need so they can do their tasks.
On a recent business trip, I caught a documentary on the hotel TV about the Donner Party. For those of you unfamiliar with the story, the Donner Party was a group of American pioneers who in 1846 migrated by wagon from the midwest to California on the Oregon Trail. This journey usually took four to six months, but the Donner Party chose to follow a new route that was supposed to be shorter. Much to their dismay, they encountered rugged terrain that had not been cleared of brush or had trails that had been established by other wagon travellers. Their wagons could not get through and they struggled. The group lost most of their cattle and many of their wagons, eventually resorting to travel by foot. Because of the path’s difficulty to travel, many of the Donner Party perished in a bitterly cold winter.
I love this analogy because your job as a manager is to be the person that cuts down the brush and smooths the trail so your team has a clear path to success. If your team is successful, YOU will be successful!
CHAIN OF SUPPORT
As an example, the dishwasher makes sure the cooks have what they need. The cooks make sure that the Chef has what he/she needs. The Chef makes sure that the managers/owners have what they need.
If we give the person above us what they need to do their job, they will be able to give the person above them what they need, etc. You are creating a chain of support.
As a manager, you get pressure from people on all sides — not just from the people above or below you. You can often feel squeezed and out of control; left wishing you had a chain of support. This is probably the greatest challenge of being a manager.
This solution? CLEAR THE PATH. When you remove the obstacles, such as missing ingredients, poorly prepped stations, or faulty equipment, your team will be able to do their jobs as successfully as possible. If your servers and cooks are successful, your restaurant will be successful. If your restaurant is successful, YOU will be successful!
Ryan Gromfin is an author, speaker, chef, restauranteur, and founder of therestaurantboss.com, clickbacon.com, and scalemyrestaurant.com. He is the most followed restaurant coach in the world helping Restaurant Owners and Operators increase profits, improve operations, and scale and grow their businesses.