What Is The Job Description Of A Restaurant Owner?
There is lots of speculation about what a restaurant owner actually does, there is even more about what a restaurant owner should do. Here we hope to give restaurant owners and would be restaurant owners some ideas about where they should focus their time and efforts so that they can thrive in the restaurant industry.
But first we need to clarify which type of restaurant owner this articles covers. There are multiple ways to be a restaurant owner but for the purpose of this article, we will be focusing on managing owners/operational owners. These are owners that run the business and day to day of the restaurant. They usually have 1 - 4 restaurants under management.
Other types of owners are silent partners (money investors), chef owners, executives (large groups) and managing partners.
The most important part of being a restaurant owner is to learn to delegate. No person is a super hero and as far as we know, no one has been able to extend the 24 hour day to 48 so time is a finite resource and as such, it should be managed properly.
You probably also want to sleep and spend time with loved ones. Life is about balance and making your restaurant the best possible restaurant in the world won't happen if your personal life falls apart, if you're burnt out or if you are doing everything yourself.
Let's put it this way, how much do you think you are worth? This is a question you should ask yourself as a restaurant owner every day, it will help you make the right decisions in effect to your time and efforts. If you think you are worth $10 an hour, then you should be washing the dishes, cleaning the floors and receiving supplies. If you think you are worth $15 an hour, then you should be on the floor, in the kitchen or behind a bar. If you think you are worth $20 an hour, you should be a manager, do schedules, inventory or be in charge of your marketing and social media.
Secondly, you are not a pro at everything, no one is. You may be great with people but horrible with math, you could be great at math but not creative at all or you could be average at most things. In any case, you are not doing your restaurant or business any favors by attempting to do it all yourself.
If you build the proper systems, training and templates/checklists, you are able to delegate every task that would bog you down as a restaurant owner and concentrate on growing your restaurant and brand, expanding to multiple locations, growing your profit margin and enjoying the fruits of your labors.
Be a leader
Delegating does not mean that you cannot be a leader nor should it mean that you don't understand what the job and tasks of each position within your restaurant entails. By understanding the tasks for each restaurant position and knowing how to do them will help greatly in creating the training manuals and checklists. It will also help quite a lot when you spend some time with each team member to help them become better at what they do. Yes, absolutely spend one on one time performing duties alongside each team member. This will foster loyalty and leadership, it will show your team that you know what it is to be in their shoes and it will also show that you understand them. In many cases, you will also find new ways to improve the systems, productivity and effectiveness of your team.
Show your team that you are present, that you are watching and that you know what is happening inside the walls of your restaurant. This will prevent many team members from slacking, running down your inventory, gossiping and insinuating that you don't care.
Be decisive and assertive, show confidence and that you know what you are doing, that will give your team confidence in what they are doing because they will think the systems and processes are thought out.
Respect your team and they will respect you. No matter the position or seniority, respect is key.
Inspire your team
Become a mentor to your team members, help them become a better version of themselves no matter how long they work with you. Get to know your team and approach each individual in a way that works for them. What works for one may not work for another, one may need confidence while one needs structure while another just needs motivation. By knowing your team, you can tailor your approach with each for better results.
Develop a culture of positivism. Make it so that your team members are excited to come work at the restaurant for their shift. This will pay off in spades as you will not have staffing shortages, you will have team members always ready to come in the restaurant at a moments notice and you will have dozens of brand ambassadors that care about the success of your restaurant.
Give your team member something to work towards by building an advancement/leadership training program that allows your team to grow within the company and get compensated accordingly as they gain knowledge and responsibilities. That will inspire them to be better, to work harder and to be loyal.
Impacting the life of someone positively will last a lifetime and the feeling of accomplishment you will get from that will help you stay positive when you need it the most.
Be a business person
Do not be a slave to your restaurant, understand the business and be the master of your restaurant. This means that you need to understand the numbers (we are not saying you should do the numbers, we are saying you should understand them) and how to affect them. The P&L, your Prime Cost, your Balance Sheet, your tax obligations, your supplier costs, etc.... One of your main duty as a restaurant owner is to safeguard the business and its money. Do not squander it.
Once you understand your numbers, you can make educated decisions instead of guessing or having "gut feelings" about what to do. Whether it be to adjust menu pricing, d-list menu items, deal with suppliers on pricing/discounts/rebates, payroll and scheduling, marketing, operational costs, etc..., knowing the reasons behind your decisions or actions will result in better profitability.
Another major role a restaurant owner should do is making the deals, the long term deals with major suppliers as to get the best possible deal, rebate programs, marketing support, product support, training and streamlined service. This will help reduce your expenses and grow your restaurant profit margin.
Having a business person mindset as a restaurant owner will also lead you to grow your business and restaurant to new heights. The steps you will have accomplished to minimize expenses, grow your profit margin and having a great team of dedicated employees will fuel the expansion of your restaurant into new profit centers as well as new locations.
Be the face of your restaurant
It is up to you as a restaurant owner to set the tone, culture and atmosphere of your restaurant for both your team members and your guests. Develop a great guest experience based on amazing service, great value and extraordinary dishes. Be welcoming, genuine and charming, make guests and staff feel appreciated for being at your restaurant.
We highly recommend that each restaurant owner spends time on the floor during the height of service in order to establish a sense of calm over the staff and to engage guests at their table. In addition to high service times, a restaurant owner should always take the time to stop at tables when in the dining area, should always welcome guests when at the entrance/or thank them as they are leaving and should always greet employees when passing them.
Get to know your guests, recognize the regulars, know your menu and offer recommendations (to both staff and guests). Soon, people will come for the experience they know to expect from your restaurant and repeat business is the best business of all!
There will always be a good argument as to why you should not, cannot or need to wait to implement any of the above, especially when it comes to spending money but if you take these steps and implement them seriously, the money spent will return to you in folds.