5 Habits of a Great Restaurant Manager

It takes a highly motivated and skilled person to be a successful restaurant manager and often restaurant owners are left scrambling to find someone who can do the job. When looking for a new manager, keep in mind it may not necessarily be the staff member with the most experience or the longest loyalty to your venue. Good managers must have people, leadership and administrative skills while also standing up to the stressful day-to-day challenges of running a restaurant.

Here we look at the 5 habits of a great restaurant manager, so if you’re hiring a new one, supporting a current one or about to become one read on for tips to ensure your restaurant and its staff are happily moving in the right direction.

Lead by example

If you want your staff to come to work on time, you need to arrive on time. If you want your staff to take pride in customer service, you need to take pride in customer service. It sounds pretty simple but training your staff by example is often the most effective way to train a great team. Showcase good habits by swearing by them yourself.


Good communication (that is, two-way communication) is an integral part of any successful restaurant. Regular staff meetings are a good start – allowing staff members to check in about issues so everyone is on the same page. But on top of that, managers should let their staff know their ‘door is always open’ (even if they don’t have one!) so staff feel comfortable bringing up problems before they become disasters. Savvy managers ensure all employees (no matter what their role) feel valued and listened to.

Organise and plan

Often, as soon as a manager walks in the door of a venue, they are bombarded by questions, worries and issues from team members. Communication and listening to their needs are important of course, spending the first hour of the day reactively can often derail productivity. Try locking out the first half hour of each day to get organised. Use this time to go over work schedules, check orders and payrolls, look over reports, assess the kitchen and make a plan for the day. Let your team know this is what you’re doing so they save any queries until afterwards.

Celebrate small wins

It doesn’t take a genius to realise that when your staff are happy they will be better at their jobs. Happy staff means happy customers. One of the simplest things you can do to keep staff happy is to recognise and celebrate positive things you see them doing. When employees feel appreciated they are more likely to better service guests, work as a team and stick around in their jobs.

Know how to have fun

Foodservice can be a brutal industry and working in a restaurant is tough. Some days will be harder than others so it’s up to you to keep a culture of fun. As a restaurant manager you want to ensure employees are enjoying their job (even despite being on their feet all day) so don’t be afraid to have a joke around and be a bit light-hearted. 

Restaurant managers must juggle a lot of different responsibilities each day but hiring someone with these five habits will set your restaurant up for success. Is there a habit you think we’ve missed? Let us know on our Facebook page