This is one of those great areas where if you have four restaurateurs in a room and ask how to find that one great manager? One would say find them outside the company, one would say promote from within the company, one would say use a recruiter and one would say all the good ones are gone and they are still the best managers they know. Restaurants 101 feels that all of these policies are correct “depending on the situation”. A lot of multi-unit corporations only promote upper management from within the company.
This is done for two reasons, one is for consistency hopefully they know the companies flow of service and mind set. The other is that sometimes the hiring manager doesn’t want to bring in outside talent because they feel they will spend more time trying to get the new manager up to speed that might be seasoned enough to just buck the system. In some cases the hiring manager will shy away from that new hire because they might feel the new hire could be a better manager therefore creating problems for themselves. Problem with this is the hiring manager should want to surround themselves with smarter and better people, but unfortunately in this self-preservation environment it doesn’t happen that way.
Finding managers outside the four walls does several things, they don’t have any bad habits yet, plus a new personality is just what some places need to help build leadership or help with a turnaround. Outside talent also doesn’t get stuck in the same old day to day systems that you may be trying to change to make the restaurant better. Plus a new set of eyes is always a good thing. The down side is unless you really find an experienced manager sometimes during turnarounds new managers can make some knee jerk decisions that might not be the best for a turnaround situation.
Lastly using a good recruiter will usually find the exact candidate you were looking for 80% of the time you just need to be specific with what you are looking for in regards to the new hire's strengths. You will pay several thousand in fees for a good GM, but the wrong one can waste twice that much really quickly depending on the store set up and volume.
At Restaurants 101 we can:
- Sit down with your managers one on one, or as a team, to size up strengths and try to see patterns of a good work ethic
- We can also create a development program for the GM to use to help bring the new managers up through the ranks
- Set up Training class for all FOH managers
- We have some great recruiters that we work directly with
- We can build the managers training program and the owner would execute it if there isn't a qualified manager available
- Show the advantages of hiring a well qualified manager
- Remember you get what you pay for!
The other question that needs to be answered is does this manager match the concept. Example a manager that performs great in a fast casual setting might be terrible in a fine dining setting. Sounds obvious right, but what about when the great fine dining manager does terrible in the fast casual setting. It happens and it isn’t the tie. This applies to corporate concepts or the local place down the street. It very important that you really get down to the basic strengths, Personality, Passion, Work Ethic, Ability to Triple-Task and their Leadership qualities. Experience is really the one that can’t be faked for the first 30 days.
The Nightclub world is another beast entirely. I have worked with some great full service managers that understand execution on that level and are very comfortable in that world. You put them into a club environment and they FREAK OUT! I have found grown men in my office on the floor in the fetal position. A good nightclub manager must have the foundation and ability to control and understand all of the other areas listed in the services page. Plus they must also be able to deal with the different hours that are worked not only from the physical side, but the physiological side also. As for the concept itself the manager needs to understand the following:
- Better cash handling and tighter inventory procedures
- Involvement of large events with “club-style” promoters
- Setting up POS for transaction speed and specific inventory
- Using Security and off-duty Officers
- Understanding of what really drives the business when food almost doesn’t exist.
- Understand the change in dynamics with the employees
This small list just highlight a few of the many areas that need addressed when you are looking for your talent for this style concept.
If you as the owner aren’t sure how your nightclub or bar stands Restaurants 101 can help you get a real picture of where you stand and help you make things better. We also can help develop your management staff to understand the items listed above.