What makes a good restaurant owner or manager? What are the secret of successful restaurants? Here are 10 signs of a bad restaurant manager. A ship will indeed sink with an unfit captain, exactly the same way a bad restaurant manager or owner will drive any food business into the ground. Restaurant Managers are more or less in charge of leading and managing restaurants.

These individuals are tasked with different duties such as restaurant marketing strategies, recruiting and hiring restaurant staff, training, overseeing food quality, developing menus as well as greeting and serving restaurant guests.

It is not uncommon for restaurant managers or owners to focus only on financial results and pay less attention to their employees. Although this is not always intentional – managers just want to watch out for their own jobs and investment. But when the needs of the budget and the needs of employees are heated against each other, employees can be left feeling unappreciated.

A restaurant manager or owner normally has a huge influence on what the job actually looks like from day – to – day, how employees feel about coming into work, and what their career path will be in the foreseeable future.

But just because you have been tapped to lead and manage a restaurant does not mean you don’t have room to improve. In fact, constantly challenging yourself to improve is more important for you than ever, because now, your team of employees are counting on you – for coaching, guidance, mentorship, and advice.

Agreeably, it is challenging to honestly evaluate how you are doing as a boss, so look through the list below and analyse if you are being a bad manager or restaurant owner.

10 Signs of a Bad Restaurant Manager and Owner

1. You are Inconsistent

Be it things as minute as time-off requests, or if its bigger things like career conversations, promotion criteria, or disciplinary action, workplace rules tend to change from person to person.

You are a bad manager if you fail to hold all of your employees to the same standard, and you don’t hold yourself to the same standards or rules you have set out. You are a bad manager or a bad owner if your suggestions and guidelines vary from meeting to meeting, and your employees express confusion or a lack of focus on certain policies or best practices.

2. Poor Communication

As a restaurant manager, it is imperative to understand that not all employees can see things on your level unless you first see things from their level. It is not a hidden fact that different people communicate in different ways. Some of your employees are intuitive, self – confident, and can feel comfortable hearing instructions once.

While some want to quadruple check before making a decision for maximum clarity. It is your duty as a good manager or owner to know the difference. Have it in mind that handling a restaurant is not as much about managing money as it is about managing people. When you favour one over the other, both suffer due to uninspired performance and high turnover.

3. Lack of Vision

You are a bad restaurant manager if you always fail to update your team on insights you learn from meetings with other leaders and executives in the industry. Note that if your team has no insight into your yearly goals, you are a bad manager and will likely crash the restaurant.

Whether the feedback is good or bad, you don’t tell your employees how customers feel about their performance. When you ask, your employees don’t readily know the answer to “why” they do their jobs every day. If all of the above are true, you might not be communicating a vision to your team and that makes you very bad at being a manager.

4. Not Being Appreciative

Note that the worst restaurant managers are those who think they are always the solution but never the problem. Remember that it takes a team to run an efficient restaurant, and management is just as much about course correction as it is about celebrating wins on the team.

If you see a waitress working the floor like a boss, recognize and appreciate it. Tell her she did a good job! Appreciate her efforts in your next pre – shift meeting. Give the other servers on your staff something to aspire towards.

5. Undermining Employees

Excellent managers are known to empower employees to be who they are. They strive to cultivate a sense of ownership in employees, and support them through the challenges innate to the business. However, bad managers do the exact opposite. They are rarely present; always find faults, are aggressive, or aloof.

In fact, they may be these things only some of the time, but they fail to demonstrate the opposite and always fail to support their employees. Note that managers who undermine employees usually do so because they are insecure or because they thrive on conflict. Showing an appreciation and a genuine interest in your staff’s life can keep the good ones around for a long time.

6. Not Showing Your Face

Note that anyone can blindly take orders from the manager with a clipboard who is seldom seen on the floor. But this management style has been proved to create a separation between managers and their employees. Have it in mind that without this connection, it is very hard for staff and their leaders to see things eye to eye.

Of course you should be tracking inventory, running your numbers, and dealing with business issues as they arise, but remember that these tasks are not your entire job. Instead, your staff are meant to see you in action. If you are as good a restaurateur as you say you are, your employees will have plenty to learn by watching you run the house.

7. Failing to Hire

Managers who fail to hire employees end up only hiring when they need to. In many restaurants, a hiring manager who is not ready to hire is obvious. These are those restaurants with an inexperienced staff or with many new hires at the same time.

They are the restaurants with servers who have never waited tables before, or line cooks who have never worked in a restaurant. As a manager, failing to hire leads to hiring when it is obviously too late and rushing new hires through training. In the end, this habit is apparent to everyone in the building.

8. Having Knee – Jerk Reactions

Note that the restaurant business is a breeding ground for knee – jerk reactions. The long hours, complaining guests, selfish employees, and fickle recipes all lead to emotional responses. But managers set the tone for the building, and knee – jerk reactions are not the right tone.

Bad managers care less about these facts and tend to have knee – jerk reactions. They get too angry when things go poorly and get too excited when things go well. This business is all about the big picture, and it is critical to not get too high or too low. Knee – jerk reactions have many disadvantages, including:

  • Flying off the handle at employees
  • Firing employees without a warning
  • Creating a prickly work environment
  • Switching vendors without reason
  • Alienating the staff

9. Plays Favourites

Any manager that picks out certain team members as their favourites is without doubt a bad example in terms of management. Often there are some members of the team that are more similar in terms of culture, values or even work ethic, so it is easy for managers to relate more easily to these people.

However, anytime this results in them promoting their work over others, giving more weight to their opinions, or giving more assistance, it becomes a huge problem and affects workplace balance. Other team members are quick to notice and can easily become disengaged as a result.

10. Unable to Listen and Respond

Note that this remains one of the most damaging characteristic that a manager can have. They won’t listen to a person speaking and therefore they never truly get to the route of the issue. Instead, the manager hears a few words and begins to interrupt with a solution, which may not even be the right solution because they didn’t truly listen to the problem.

Have it in mind that any manager with poor listening skills has no chance of having a productive and effective team. As the restaurant industry grows, so must every manager or owner grow along with it! Note that too many managers fail to grow, either because they are tired of learning or feel as though they already know how to run the business.

But new challenges constantly appear to experienced managers: new restaurants opening up, new technologies to improve the business, or new opportunities for revenue. There is always room to learn and improve, and any manager who always seeks improvement will sure build and manage a successful team.

Joy Nwokoro