Emeril Lagasse, one of America’s most successful restaurateurs, once said, “If you think big, then it’s going to be big.” Focusing your career goals on managing or owning a restaurant is a big step in the right direction — but it helps if you also hone a unique set of skills. Look for training that teaches and strengthens the qualities of restaurateurs, who like Emeril, are at the top of their game. Do you have what it takes? Here’s how to excel:
" 'If you think big, then it’s going to be big.' — Emeril Lagasse "
Wanting to run a restaurant isn’t enough to guarantee success. You need to be passionate about the industry, as well as the business itself. A love of food and a solid knowledge of meal preparation is essential if you want to establish a business with staying power.
Everything happens at lightning speed in a busy restaurant. The energy to keep up a quick, even pace is a must for a good restaurateur. Your energy will rub off on the staff and make the environment easier and more fun to work in.
Your energy also radiates to customers and can dictate the kind of experience they have when they come in for a meal. Be friendly and pleasant to diners as they arrive. Treat everyone as if their order was top priority regardless of how busy the restaurant gets, and you’ll foster an atmosphere that keeps people coming back.
Between seating customers, taking orders, cooking and serving, there’s always a lot happening in a restaurant. The staff looks to the manager for guidance, especially when the restaurant is at its busiest and most bustling. The ability to keep a level head and maintain order is essential.
As a restaurant manager, you’re in charge of planning, budgeting, marketing, maintaining inventory, menu planning and staff training. It’s a lot to keep track of and requires the ability to juggle many balls at once. The more organized you are, the easier it becomes.
Designing your restaurant’s layout, coming up with a menu, and designing fresh marketing materials puts your creative side to work. Be ready to fire up your imagination on a daily basis to build an establishment that appeals to the public.
Diverse Skill Set
The only way to understand how everything in a restaurant works is to know how to do each job. Learn every aspect of the business from cooking the food to running the cash register. Know how to fill, clean and troubleshoot all the equipment so that you can step in and help the staff whenever necessary. You’ll also earn the respect of your team this way.
Running a restaurant doesn’t leave much time for a personal life outside of the business. Long hours, stressful days, and unexpected mishaps are part of the job. If you want to see your hard work start to pay off, prepare yourself to be in it for the long haul.
Good Business Sense
Business budgets can be tricky, so it’s important for managers to have or develop the ability to manage finances. You must be able to recognize trends and make appropriate changes in both spending and marketing tactics to support growth over time.
Willingness to Learn
Running any business is an ongoing learning experience. You not only need to be open to changes within the restaurant itself but also stay on top of changes in the foodservice industry. This knowledge will help you to maintain a profitable business that continually attracts new customers.
Honing your skills through a college-level business administration program can increase your chances of establishing and running a successful restaurant business. Look for a program that features knowledgeable industry leaders and focuses on administration, communication, and business planning to give you a strong foundation for all of your professional endeavors.