Managing a restaurant is more than just focusing on the numbers. More often than not, a manager is the leader of an entire team. One with a singular mission of delivering a welcoming customer experience. Understanding this fact is the first step to becoming a great leader. Leaders are not born overnight. They are made, cultivated and constantly striving to become a greater version of who they are today. Becoming a great leader takes lots of work and sacrifice. Here are four simple ways you can begin your journey to becoming the leader your team needs.
- Promote creativity
You don’t have to give someone a promotion simply because they are creative. But, you should create a work environment that rewards creative problem solving. One way to do this is to challenge your team in a way that fits their skillset. This helps get your team to think about way to improve their work habits, without discouraging barriers to success. One example is to challenge your bartenders to see who can sell the most of a specific drink.
- Learn from your team
Learning from your team is more than engaging in trivial pop quizzes. You should actively engage with your team members to learn what they expect from their position and from you as their leader. As Brent Gleeson, a former Navy SEAL and current Forbes contributor writes, “you should never assume you know everything.” Assuming you have all the answers can make you look arrogant and thereby causes you to lose the respect of your team. One way to increase your knowledge is to have “sharing sessions” with your team. Once a week, take them aside and allow them the chance to share insights from their perspective which you would otherwise be oblivious to. You might be surprised at what you learn.
- Be a role model
There’s an old saying: “Be the change you want to see in the world.” To be an exemplary restaurant leader, you need to live that saying. If you want your team to focus on work more than their social media feeds, you need to do it first. If you need your team to be more up-beat and friendly, you need to make sure your attitude is in check first.
- Be passionate
Passion is infectious. Would you look to someone who doesn’t care about the group or their job for leadership? Of course not. Great leadership is about more than getting your employees to accomplish tasks. It’s about getting them to care about what they do. Be sure to express your zeal in different ways, share your appreciation for an employee’s effort, and most of all let your employees know you care about their progress. You’ll be surprised at what your team can accomplish.