Restaurant Management: Managing Your Team

We One Fat Frog people work with lots of different businesses, and there’s one fact that we know from doing this: we can all learn from each other. At the end of the day, we all want to run an effective and profitable business, so hopefully we can teach new things we learn along the way. One thing we know is that all restaurants can’t be four-star restaurants, but all can learn from what the big players do and find ways to translate those skills to their own business. If you’re the type of manager that must have his hands in everything, you’re going to burn yourself out. Look at how the big guys do it and that should help you in the process.

Here are the key players and potential ‘translations’ to your own business:
-the Maitre d’ is the man or woman in charge of the whole dining room. They work with reservations, seating guests, greets people as they arrive, and so on. This person would also be your host or hostess but with some more managerial skills beyond just directing folks to their tables.

-The Wine Director and Sommelier are in charge of wine in the big fancy restaurants. They decide what to serve, help diners with choices, and do other various work along with the bar. If you have a good bar manager, they will serve in similar ways but without the necessary knowledge on the most expensive Bordeaux.

-Restaurants of high-level stature often have captains within their wait staff who are in charge of certain sections of the dining room. This is definitely something worth considering. If you’ve got a few standout, veteran servers, give them a bit of the responsibility of overseeing a section, which helps you delegate and helps everyone be more productive and thus profitable.

-Front waiters set up the dining tables, serve food, explain meals to guests, pour drinks, and all of that. In most restaurants, these are things that all servers do, but they all have a similar purpose: they are among the first impression of a restaurant’s wait staff and, thus, the service. You can have a good host or hostess, but if the wait staff is off, it won’t look good at all.

-The Back waiters are the people who talk to the kitchen for their captains and to their captains for the kitchen. They keep track of the progress of meals and making sure their stations are fully stocked. Again, all servers seem to do these jobs in most restaurants, but it all goes hand in hand. It’s all part of good service.

-Finally, there are the bartenders and the bussers, but these are fairly self-explanatory.

The key that’s worth noting is that the roles of each position in the four-star restaurant are all clearly defined with set responsibilities. Four-star restaurants provide great service because the responsibilities are delegated to those working the dining area instead of being micromanaged by a single manager. Stress will be decreased on you, pride will be given to those whom you give responsibility, and your restaurant will profit in the end.

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