Restaurant managers are responsible for making sure the daily operations of dining facilities run smoothly. They interact regularly with restaurant staff, customers, and vendors. According to findings by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, you can expect to be paid a median annual salary of $50,820, which is largely influenced by your geographic area.
Median income isn’t the same as mean or average income; a median salary figure could have a number of significantly higher pay grades above it. That’s why you’ll sometimes hear about restaurant managers who pull down annual salaries above $80,000 and a few who reach six-figure incomes. Here are five tips to better position yourself for those types of opportunities.
#1 Give All Customers the Royal Treatment
It’s common knowledge in the business world that it’s significantly more expensive to attract a new customer than to retain an existing one. Also, dissatisfied customers tend to alert their friends in person and online about their issues with your restaurant when they’ve had a bad experience. Your job is to make sure, if at all possible, that they don’t have bad experiences.
#2 Hire, Train and Incentivize the Best Staff
The first impression that a customer gets about your restaurant usually doesn’t come from you. It comes from your staff. Follow in the footsteps of other successful businesses, and invest in ample training and incentives for exceptional servers, hosts, and dishwashers. If you take good care of sharp staff members, they’ll pass that attention on to customers.
#3 Know Your Ideal Customer and Create a Distinctive Ambiance Around Them
The atmosphere and character of your restaurant help to build a loyal customer base. Your efforts should be centered around the lifestyle and buying preferences of your ideal customer, which requires you to do some marketing research.
#4 Look for Opportunities to Cut Costs and Grow Profits
The sustainable lifestyle is a trend that doesn’t seem to be slowing down. You can use it to your advantage by participating in used cooking oil recycling programs that pay the restaurant. Striving for a zero-waste kitchen that uses all parts of vegetables in main dishes and smoothies allows you to expand your menu options but not your expenses. Consider purchasing produce locally to get the best deals on the freshest items of the season. Diving into extended offerings such as catering services and food box subscriptions can be additional sources of income for the restaurant.
#5 Be a Lifelong Learner
Technology changes fast, so it’s best to keep learning to stay informed about your industry. For now, social media is a dominant communication channel for restaurant advertisement. You can also use the data that is collected by your point-of-sale system to identify trends and risks to your restaurant’s bottom line. These restaurant management skills can be developed through comprehensive degree programs, shorter certification courses or even regularly reading informative industry blogs.
Opportunities to showcase your skills are available at resorts, spas, cruise ships and school cafeterias. Besides understanding and applying the basics of food service management, you’ll ultimately set yourself apart from the competition by honing your leadership skills.