All said and done, the restaurant industry is still a labour intensive industry. Without the correct manpower, you can hardly progress leave alone make proper profits. Unfortunately, this is also an industry where good employees are always less and the value that they give is unimaginably large in the business. This is especially true for the person who is going to be in charge of your restaurant, i.e your restaurant manager. The ideal qualities of a restaurant manager in Dubai will inherently be different from those of a restaurant manager in any other geography.
True, some things are supposed to stay common but some defining qualities which make an employee the perfect fit for your restaurant will change according to you. Dubai being a tourist destination sees more tourists than the rest of the Emirates. In fact, Dubai’s hospitality sector remains among the top performers in the Middle East despite the challenging market conditions.
Thus, the right manager for a restaurant in Dubai would be someone who is culturally conscious and understands how to cater to a diverse set of people. Apart from that, with the competitive restaurant space, your manager must be well versed with customers and know how to retain them. The amount of competition that exists in Dubai is far more than the rest of the world. Thus, even though customer retention is important in every geography, it takes a whole new significance in Dubai where restaurants are cropping up almost daily. Honesty and brand loyalty is also a must in your restaurant manager. Again while this is true all over the world, the intensity rises when Dubai is in consideration.
Tips To Choosing The Right Restaurant Manager
As said earlier, What role your perfect manager must play in your restaurant is highly dependent on your restaurant, the type of audience you serve and the level of competition in the market. In Dubai, the restaurant market though booming is also highly volatile marked with intense competition and even greater responsibilities. Thus, you can not just hire anyone off the street. Here are some tips for you to look at so you know that after the final interview, you have picked the right candidate.
1. Understand Your Own Needs
The first thing that you need to do in order to hire the right restaurant manager determines what you want in a manager. This can be in terms of the responsibilities he/she will have, the tasks they will have to accomplish, the attitude they must carry or even the level of thinking and strategizing that they must do. The requirements for a manager change according to the needs of a restaurant. That is what makes the job so unique. If you hire a person who fits the generic description of a perfect employee, it may turn out to a disaster because your specific needs do not match a generic requirement.
For example, in Dubai a restaurant space run by tourists, a manager who only knows how to mechanically run the operations will do, but a manager who can hold the customers, engage them in a conversation and tell them about the country that they are visiting will create a lasting impression of your restaurant making them want to visit again.
2. Know Every Detail Of The Job
To hire right for a job, the best course of action is to know exactly every detail of the job. When you know the challenges a role can entail, you also understand what precise skills are needed to face these challenges. You can then pick a candidate who in your judgement will be analytical and smart enough to do the job even if it requires for them to get down and work. The concept is, how will you look for the right person if you do not know what the right person will be faced with and so must possess.
3. Get Them On The Floor
Hiring right after an interview may seem like a logical and a normal thing to do because that is the norm, but if you want to make sure that your hire is right, add another round to your process. Get your final two or final three candidates on the floor and ask them to actually manage the operations. The perception that you had of a candidate in the interview may prove to be completely wrong when you see them work.
The work of a restaurant manager is a job full of stress and fatigue, two things people crumble under. You need a person who can get the work done in extreme conditions, who will not fail under pressure or fatigue and more than anything else, will not abandon the team when trouble hits. A manager can be trained in everything else but the quality of taking responsibility and working under pressure is one thing that they must naturally possess and that can come out only when you put them in a situation.
4. Check Within Your Restaurant
More often than not, the next manager is already there in the restaurant but fails to be seen. Before going all out looking for an external hire, check if there is someone in the restaurant who can take up the position of the manager. Someone who has been handling the operations of the restaurant will not only understand how the system works, how to handle the team and what the customers want and how to cater it to them but will also understand what to not do as a manager. This is because they will have seen things that work and don’t work with their own eyes and also experienced them. The end result, in this case, is a well-deserved promotion that will pay not just the employee but the restaurant as well.
5. Look For A Long-Term Fit
Before beginning the hiring process, look at your own long-term goals. Are you planning to expand, or would you be introducing a new menu soon? With a change in your restaurant business, the roles and responsibilities of your manager will change as well. Look for a candidate who will fit the long-term goals of your restaurant. You need someone who is up for growth and is ready to adapt, learn, experiment and even fail, but not give up. Project your own long-term plans, say 5 years, for example, and look for a candidate who can fulfil the role through these plans, and not just immediate circumstances.
Qualities That Your Restaurant Manager Must Have
Your restaurant manager is the highest representative of your restaurant brand to your customers. Now we come to some qualities based on the market demands your restaurant manager must possess.
1. Stress Management
As mentioned earlier, the job of a restaurant manager is a stressful one, combined with long hours of fatigue and footjob. Your perfect manager should not only be able to endure this but also be able to smile through it and then think straight. Look for a candidate who has that sort of stamina and mental strength. If your manager crumbles, the entire team will fall.
Whatever said and done, a restaurant is the manager’s responsibility and at the end of the day, you need a person that you can rely on. As the owner, you may not be available at every closing or while every bill is being generated. You need a manager that you know will not lie to you about the daily sales or pocket the money at the end of the day. You may not even realize but small amounts every day can mean a lot to your business at the end of the accounting season. Your manager is also someone who has access to all your operations and workings. Someone who will stay loyal to your restaurant is a bigger asset than a smooth talker.
Now, comes the question, how will you judge the loyalty of your potential restaurant manager even before hiring him? One way to do this is to look at his past records. Is he a job-hopper? Ask him the reason for switching his last job. Does he speak ill of his previous employers? You should also do a background check and take a feedback from restaurants he has worked with.
3. Operational Understanding
A perfect manager must know how things function on both, the front of the house and the back of the house so he/she can tie the two together as a synchronised unit. Someone who lacks the ability and will to understand every position in a restaurant will not make a good manager no matter how confident they are or how much stress they can handle.
4. Ability To Inspire
Your manager is like the captain of a ship, he/she holds the crew together. The manager you hire should have the ability to hold a team together and lead them every day. A manager that fails to inspire his teammates to work is too proud for people or too unapproachable is a recipe for disaster.
5. Ability to Multitask
A restaurant manager is not limited to his own job role. There are days when he may need to tend the bar or run in and out of the house because of rush hour or even handle his own different tasks simultaneously for a lack of time. A manager must be able to multitask and be good at it. When the rush hour hits, ‘I didn’t have the time to check if the dishes are washed’ will not cut it.
Here is a list of the top duties that the manager undertakes.
6. Knowledgeable and Accommodating
Finally, one final quality that your restaurant manager must possess is the knowledge of and the will to accommodate religious and ethnic diversities. Dubai being a tourist run destination sees an influx of people from all around the world. This makes hotels and restaurants in the region culturally rich as people belonging to different countries, religions and cultures come and stay in the same space.
Your restaurant manager should be conscious of this fact. He/she should have some basic knowledge of the most prominent cultures at least and must be willing to accommodate the fact that every guest has different expectations and he has to fulfil all of them. This will make your brand known among the people and that knowledge then will travel with them back to their country. For this, you need to hire a culturally and religiously sensitized manager as that will pay in the long run.
Your restaurant manager is one of the most crucial parts of your HR structure. It is alright to take the time to hire the best one than just hire anyone. We hope that these tips would have given you some more clarity on what all you can do to hire the perfect restaurant manager and what all to look for in him/her.