Restaurant Managers: Don’t Apply Unless You Know The Job!

Many people graduate a course on restaurant management without really understanding the full scope of the job. There is more than theory to managing a restaurant.  You may be able to do every job on the floor. You may have run a kitchen, purchased, and managed your shift on the floor. You may even have leadership and management education. But do you know why no one will offer you the job you feel overqualified to do?

“I couldn’t find a Job”

This is the song of 99% of graduates, whether from a course, college, or university. Having a BS may be a big deal when you are in school, but it means nothing in the real world if you cannot apply what you have learned.

Most people who graduate and cannot find a job have made two mistakes. First, as they were learning new theory they didn’t apply it. They didn’t get a job (or volunteer) in places where they could use their new skills. So, you have a lot of theory and no practical application.

Second, you have the basic, entry level skills, but haven’t rounded them out. There is a saying ‘University teaches you WHAT the job is. College teaches you HOW to do the job.’  This is very true. Just because you have finished two or four years doesn’t mean that you have finished your education.

Third, you stopped learning. Most successful professionals earn 10 – 30 CEUs a year, every year. They are always improving their skills. In the restaurant business ‘good enough is not good enough.’

Crisis Management

If there is one thing that most people overlook when they are ‘moving up the ranks’ is crisis management.  If you can only educate yourself after work then I suggest leaving the restaurant manager course for now and take ‘life coaching’ courses, ‘project management’ courses, and ‘crisis management’ courses. These are the ‘golden eggs’ that will make your resume stand out above all the Masters, and Bachelor of Science, and alumni titles on resumes, and you can expect a better salary in hospitality industry.

This is because restaurant management is all about crisis management. Every day, all day, there is always one crisis after another. And, most restaurants are one crisis away from closing. If you are moving up the ranks you may know the day to day tasks, but what you don’t know is the crisis management, project management, and ‘putting out fires’ that happens in the board room, or over lunch with the restaurant owner.

Organizational Skills

If you don’t think you need to learn how to organize yourself then you are probably not ready to take on the job of a restaurant manager.  The job of a manager requires that you organize yourself, all the projects, the boss, and all the staff. It is more than just making sure that the food is ordered on time. It is making contingencies and organizing what to do if an order doesn’t arrive.

Anyone can organize a restaurant schedule, but how will you manage if 8 people come down with the flu, on the same day.

Like anything on your resume, you cannot tell HR that you have good organization skills, you need to show them what qualifies you to make that statement.

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