1. Failure to Lead by Example
“Full hands in, full hands out” and “smile at anyone you pass within five feet of” are just a few of the rules that effective restaurant owners teach their employees. Unfortunately, they don’t always abide by these rules themselves. Sure, they might greet patrons at their café chairs every so often, but they often view their job as simply making sure everyone else is doing their job.
As many culinary entrepreneurs have learned the hard way, this simply won’t cut it. Restaurant owners and managers need to be willing to “get their hands dirty,” so to speak, if they want their eatery to be successful. In addition to reducing the stress that other employees are experiencing, this will provide the staff with a good example of what they should be doing while ensuring there are no negative feelings (e.g. “That manager is so lazy, so why should we work hard?”)
2. Belief that Communication Is Universal
Tasks such as wiping down restaurant booths and ensuring café chairs aren’t blocking aisles are easy to explain to employees. When it comes to more complicated tasks, however, it’s important for restaurateurs to recognize that not everyone communicates the same or can grasp certain concepts as quickly. While something may seem simple and devoid of nuance to the manager, it’s important to remember that they may have years of additional experience over other employees.
It’s also worth noting that some employees may pick up on something immediately while directions may need to be repeated for others. This isn’t necessarily a sign of ineptitude, but it will require a bit of additional work on the manager’s part. An especially good leader, though, will eventually pick up on these differences in communication style and cater instructions and training to specific employees.
3. A Lack of Positive Feedback
Whether someone works around café chairs and bar tables or catalytic converters and transmissions, the need for appreciation exists within their personality. While it may seem acceptable to just say, “That’s their job, they’re supposed to do it that way,” this will not result in hardworking employees.
When a restaurant manager only provides feedback when something goes wrong, it makes servers, cooks and other staff feel that they’re underappreciated for the hard work they do. Constant negative interactions can also stress relationships between managers and staff. Restaurateurs need to make a point of providing positive feedback whenever possible.
Getting people in the café chairs is about more than just doing everything right. It’s also important to avoid bad habits that may not seem very detrimental at first glance. These small flaws in leadership can create a growing problem that may not be recognized until it’s far too late.