In an industry with high employee turnover and a current labor shortage, success may depend on having strong leadership in your restaurants. Effective managers improve bottom-line performance, solve problems, successfully guide their teams through business changes, and innovate new ways to out-compete the market.
Recent research suggests that some people have an inherent facility for leadership, but many people who don’t inherit ‘leadership traits’ can still learn the skills. Your mentorship will help managers develop the right mindset. And tools, such as checklists and mobile audits will give them the information and insight to apply new talents.
What abilities do restaurant managers and assistant managers need for strong leadership?
A recent survey of hospitality workers in International Hospitality Review found five key traits leaders need to have:
- fair management of daily operations
- strong communication skills
- kindness and approachability
- good work ethic
- mentorship and training
These soft skills take time and experience to mature, but your team will accelerate toward stronger management with the right tools and support.
How can you help restaurant managers develop leadership skills?
No matter how hard managers work, they’ll never be effective until they can quickly measure how their team is performing each day. If they have to micromanage every process or spend hours reviewing paper checklists, they won’t have the time to practice executive skills. And they won’t have information that helps them apply leadership techniques effectively.
For a restaurant, tools like checklists, audits, training, and reporting keep managers from each location and across the company up to date on performance.
- Checklists provide employee guidance for daily operations.
- Performance data from checklists and audits informs impactful and constructive employee feedback.
- Automated data collection increases time for managers and employees to solve problems together.
- Performance trends over time help managers focus on the areas that get the best results.
- Automated training checklists and accountability orchestrate mentoring and support for employees.
Good leaders manage daily operations fairly and consistently.
Ideally, leaders make it easier for the people working under them to do their jobs well. In a restaurant, that means managers must ensure employees understand what’s expected of them. They also have to confirm each worker is pitching in, so mistakes and unfinished tasks don’t derail the whole team.
Digital checklists help developing leaders manage operations consistently, efficiently, and fairly. You create checklists for important procedures, and employees check them off on mobile devices.
Managers see instantly what has been completed by whom and whether anything was missed. They can quickly address any problems before trouble starts. Employees have a guide to help them remember essential tasks, making their jobs easier, too.
Good leaders provide useful feedback.
Have you ever received an employee evaluation that was so vague it was entirely useless? Most of us have. Often managers are told to provide regular evaluations, but they don’t have detailed performance data to base it on. So it’s a waste of time and a wasted opportunity for everyone.
Combining data from daily digital checklists and regular mobile audits, managers get a complete picture of any employee’s performance. They can use one-to-one meetings and regular reviews to discuss specific areas where employees need to improve and reward exceptional work. Data-driven feedback also gives employees clear guidance on how to improve, making it easier for them to respond positively.
Good leaders work with employees to solve problems.
Good leaders encourage their team to come to them with concerns or ideas. They want to solve problems, not sweep them under the rug. But managers have to earn employee trust first.
Provide managers with analytics and trend reports from regular digital audits. They’ll have the right data to inform communication and operational decisions. Data-driven management practices are fair and transparent. As a result, employees are more likely to trust management and feel they can collaborate to fix issues.
Also, managers with high-performing teams have the time and mindshare to listen to employees and take their ideas seriously. Being open to worker experiences can reap big benefits. They might spot ways to make meal preparation more efficient or bring attention to lurking problems that managers can correct proactively.
Good leaders have a strong work ethic.
Leaders with a strong work ethic don’t just show up for a lot of hours, they make their time count. They work efficiently and help others do the same, so work time is valued time.
In a restaurant, digital daily checklists tell managers whether crucial tasks are completed, so they spend little time following up with each crew. Instead, they can review the audit reports and plan ways to improve kitchen efficiency, increase table turnover, or cut food waste. They have the tools to work smart and make every minute count.
Good leaders train every day.
The sign of a good leader is a good team. Your managers need to help employees improve skills, tackle new assignments, and embrace change. From initial onboarding to continuous education, effective managers train and mentor regularly.
Checklists help ensure training is done consistently and completely. For example, managers create training checklists for employees to complete onsite and off. Checklists ensure that everyone gets comprehensive training for the first few days and beyond.
When mobile audits reveal that crews need refreshers on certain processes or procedures, managers can design specialized follow-up tasks where an individual or team may need additional practice.
How can MeazureUp boost your team’s leadership strengths?
- Create customized checklists and audit lists or rely on our expert templates to get started.
- Document training procedures, SOPs, and remediation and assign follow-up responsibilities.
- Collect detail-rich data including photos, videos, and comments and forget all that manual writing and data entry from paper forms.
- Keep tabs on each location’s performance at any time.
- Aggregate past data in minutes to uncover trends and measure progress.
MeazureUp’s software compiles the information and insight your leaders need to make good decisions for the team. In addition, you can lower overhead by 30%, freeing managers from administrative jail and letting them refocus on providing real guidance.
Effective leadership isn’t a luxury anymore; it’s essential to survival in today’s markets. Your team has all the potential you need. With the right tools and support, your managers and restaurants will flourish.