Managers are critical in creating a well-functioning bar or restaurant. They manage daily operations on the ground and bridge the functions between floor staff and upper management.
Hiring the right manager is very important if you want to make your establishment prosper. But how can you find and choose the right one?
In this article, we’ll look at the most important skills and attitudes that a candidate will need to be an excellent manager.
Skills and Attitudes to Look for in Managers
1. Abides by rules
Managers need to abide by a strict set of codes because they’re the highest authority that the floor staff can look upon as an example.
If managers don’t follow the rules, nobody else will.
Due to this, they need to be able to abide by the most important company rules, whether policies about interacting with customers, safety protocols, or something as simple as when to open and lock up the establishment.
When employees see their leaders follow the same rules that they’re supposed to, it becomes much easier to do so.
2. Attention to detail
From financial responsibilities to inventory to customer service, all aspects of running a bar or restaurant require a fine eye and the focus to keep track of many details all at once.
A manager needs to have the capacity to pay attention to multiple areas such as:
- Design and atmosphere of the restaurant
- Interacting with customers
- Training both new and old employees
- Financial management and budgeting
- Measuring KPIs
Even a small detail, like a customer waiting a minute too long to be seated, can have a negative impact like a bad review so the manager has to monitor for things that seem out of check across multiple areas.
True, this might all seem a bit too much. However, if none of your candidates have displayed enough proficiency for this specific characteristic, don’t worry. There are apps and software services that help you manage the finer points of running a bar or restaurant.
Glimpse, for example, monitors your establishment using AI so that your managers don’t need to keep an eye out at the cashier or bar 24/7 and save time when investigating an incident. In effect, you will need fewer management hours spent on employee oversight as the system provides the data required to track and improve employee behavior.
Above all, managers need to have great people skills. Their daily operations include managing multiple team members while interacting with customers and suppliers.
Therefore, your managers need to be effective communicators.
Sure, being able to talk well is great for a manager, but that’s not everything a good communicator should display.
Good communicators also know how and when to listen. This is incredibly important for managers that need to show empathy and understanding in order to improve a team’s performance.
From financials to table seating, the manager that doesn’t know how to operate essential apps and software for the modern bar or restaurant. While everyone will need some initial training, look for people who show a genuine interest in adopting and using new technologies as they become even more important in the day-to-day.
Apps and software that managers need to be familiar with include the following.
- POS systems
- Video-monitoring systems
- Shift scheduling apps
- Applicant tracking systems
- Social media apps
- Review apps
These are just some of the digital platforms and software that are relevant in the bar and restaurant industry. Thus, the best manager for your needs is one who can easily understand and familiarize themself with all the techie stuff needed to run your establishment, whatever that may be.
For an expanded list of the best tools and systems in the industry, download our eBook below:
Managers need to solve problems quickly and with a level head.
Bars and restaurants are dynamic establishments – people and things are moving all the time. High traffic, a hectic environment, and unpredictable customers will all cause problems one way or another. Rare is the day when even a successful venue doesn’t suffer some sort of crisis, minor or not.
Your manager needs to be someone who will not panic in times of need. The following characteristics are highly preferable.
- They must continue to perform at their best, even when under pressure.
- They can hold their anger and other emotions in check when dealing with something that went wrong.
- They approach problems calmly and methodically but with an urgent intention to solve problems as fast as they occur.
But how can you test for this characteristic?
The simplest way would be to give them hypothetical scenarios and determine what they say they will do under specific high-pressure circumstances. Pay attention to how they answer their questions, their priorities, and how they say they will deal with various aspects of the problem.
You can also give them high-pressure tests and see how they will perform or catch them off guard with a difficult question during the interview. These are all ways to see if an individual can solve problems even when under pressure.
6. Team player
It’s a simple fact that a bar or restaurant establishment is not run by a single person but by an entire team.
Managers may stand above floor staff in terms of authority, but that doesn’t mean that you should hire someone who will boss other people around. Instead, hire team players and people who excel in coordinating with others, as they’re the ones who can bring out the best of your team’s potential.
That’s because, while managers are indeed higher in the hierarchy, they still won’t be able to do anything without a team.
Your floor staff are valuable members of your organization, and your manager needs to know that from the get-go. Avoid managers who think that staff are expendable workers: while it’s true that you can easily replace most positions on the floor, high turnover rates often lead to less revenue, low morale, deteriorating service quality, and low ROI.
As such, you should hire managers who display excellent interpersonal skills and understand how one team member’s work can affect the whole.
It can be difficult to find someone who is good at their job and highly passionate too. After all, in real life, you rarely ever get to have it all.
But if you do manage to find an aspiring manager in your applicant’s list, take a closer look immediately because passionate individuals are a boon for the workplace.
Passionate people are simply great to be around.
The scientific literature around passion in the workplace is surprisingly complex – nevertheless, you’ll know passionate people when you see one. They’ll have tireless energy and will love even the most difficult parts of the work while striving to improve at the same time.
More than that, they will also positively affect the people around them. They can create a bubble of positive morale that spreads optimism and determination.
So, to say it simply, you should definitely add passionate managers to your team. But how exactly do you spot passionate people?
This World Economic Forum article has an interesting take on what constitutes passionate individuals based on their behaviors. According to the article, this is what passionate people do differently:
- Highly focused on their work
- Don’t waste time on other things
- Have an optimistic view of life
- Wake up earlier than most
- Are not afraid to take risks
- Are very motivated and driven
- Talk about what inspires them best
- Get excited a lot
- Can actually walk the talk
8. Customer service
This doesn’t just mean learning how to talk and interact with customers: they also need to know what customers want, how to solve their problems, and how your establishment can best serve them.
You also need to refer again to attitude number one: abiding by rules. While managers may not usually have to meet customers’ needs themselves personally, they have to serve as an example of company values. This will ultimately reflect on how your employees treat your customers in the long run.
While the front-of-house staff are the ones who deal with the customers, managers also have to make appearances in crucial situations. Some of the most common instances include:
- Customer complaints about an aspect of your business
- Incidents involving customers (accidents, spills, etc.)
- Greeting important regulars or VIPs
The manager you decide to hire needs to be able to deal courteously with customers no matter what happens, which means that you need someone with good interpersonal skills and emotional balance.
9. Good at multitasking
Bars and restaurants are incredibly hectic. Many things are happening all at once: customers needing attention, food being prepared, register worked, and security being monitored, among others.
With so many things happening at once, you need a manager who can keep up with everything.
They need to be able to adapt to the situation immediately and take care of many things all at once. And not just that – they should also be knowledgeable enough to know what to prioritize.
10. Honest and trustworthy
Lastly, a person with integrity will not just set your mind at ease – they will also make sure to guide your establishment on the path to growth and improvement.
Being a manager comes with many responsibilities that a chance to cheat can easily present itself. After all, they have access to the most vulnerable parts of your business, such as inventory, supplies, budget, and people.
Thus, you need a manager that has previously shown these desirable character traits.
Not only will an honest manager not be corrupt, but they will also create a positive environment that leads to growth for all parties.
You can screen for these characteristics by going through their references or even going beyond and reaching out to friends and family.
Hiring Managers for Your Bar or Restaurant in 2022 and Beyond
Hiring managers can be a challenging endeavor, but you can easily make a top-notch hire using this guide on the best characteristics to look out for. Remember that managers are vital to the success of your business.
If you’ve read this far, then hopefully you have everything you need to know in order to select the best manager for your establishment.