All You Need to Know to Run a Restaurant You Learned in Kindergarten


You worked hard to get to where you’re at now – running a restaurant takes skill, smarts, and a whole lot of patience. It’s important to remember, though, that being a great restaurant manager has its roots in very basic skills. Sales and service, basic restaurant appearance, and basic leadership principles are the foundation of any successful restaurant. And what about skills even more basic than that? Think about the skills Robert Fulghum noted in his best-selling book, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten. They actually apply to your job in restaurant management. Take a look:

Share everything. The best ideas for taking care of your restaurant will come from sharing ideas with your staff. View your team as a group of restaurant consultants. When you all exchange ideas, everyone wins.

Play fair. You’ll have a happier staff – and less staff turnover – when you treat your team members fairly. Give credit where credit is due and celebrate successes with your staff regularly.

Don’t hit people. You probably don’t need to be told not to punch someone, so think of the word “hit” figuratively. Be nice – the way you treat your employees is the way they’ll treat your customers.

Put things back where you found them. For a restaurant to run smoothly, you and your staff need to be organized. You’ll create a positive impression with guests when service is seamless and everyone on your team has what they need when they need it.

Clean up your own mess. Grime doesn’t pay. We don’t have to tell you how important it is to keep every aspect of your restaurant clean. Your guests are counting on you!

Don’t take things that aren’t yours. With margins so tight in the restaurant business, you have to worry against people taking from you. Protect yourself against robbery and other forms of potential restaurant losses.

Say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody. Respect is a core principle of teamwork. It’s up to you as a restaurant manager to create and maintain a productive work environment for your entire team.

Wash your hands before you eat. Make sure your staff is trained on proper handwashing techniques as well. This is a critical defense against foodborne illness.

Flush. When guests see an unclean bathroom, they begin to wonder about the places in your restaurant they can’t see – like your kitchen. Keep it clean!

Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you. Recognition and rewards are good for your restaurant team. Just as indulgences can improve your mood sometimes, rewarding and recognizing employees can help keep team morale high and reduce turnover.

Live a balanced life – learn some and drink some and draw some and paint some and sing and dance and play and work every day some. The restaurant business is show business. Your guests are at your restaurant to have a good time, and you and your staff should do the same.

Take a nap every afternoon. Napping might be out of the question, but it is important to avoid burnout by implementing time management strategies for restaurant managers.

When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands, and stick together. When everyone on your restaurant team is working together toward the same goals, your job is easier, your staff is happier, and your guests will come back again and again.

Be aware of wonder. Remember the little seed in the Styrofoam cup: The roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that. You, and all of your employees, are like that little seed. When you’re rooted in a good place, your potential to grow is endless. Commit to lifelong learning and give your employees access to training programs that help them meet their personal career goals.

Restaurant Employee Training from Service That Sells!

At Service That Sells! powered by Ready Training Online, our extensive online restaurant training library includes our staple service and sales training as well as topics covering safety, compliance, food safety, back of house procedures, and much more. Click here for more information.

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