Imagination is more important than knowledge.

21st September 2020

What to Look for When Hiring a New Restaurant General Manager

The essential resource in any enterprise is its human resource. Specifically, in the restaurant industry, an establishment’s success is highly dependent upon its staff. Among these employees, the general manager is partially responsible for the success or failure of a restaurant.

The GM is responsible for the restaurant’s day-to-day running, making sure everything is operating smoothly- from the store to the kitchen to the dining area. Here are some tips to help you get the right GM on board.

Know What You’re Looking For

Finding the right GM starts with a well-written job description. The job description should begin with an overall summary and a bulleted list of detailed tasks. Next, you will need to develop a list of job requirements. Armed with your list of requirements and a detailed job description, you can set out to find your ideal GM.

Depending on what stage your restaurant is in, you will either need an executor or creator GM. An executor is better suited to a more established eatery where you want stricter adherence to laid-down procedures. If you’re just starting out, a creator can help you build foundational operational policies and regulations from scratch.

Interview, Interview, Interview

Put out the completed job ad through as many channels as you can. And when the applications start flowing in, interview as many potential candidates as you can. Don’t be tempted to stop the process when you encounter a candidate who looks like the right fit.

As you leaf through the resumes of potential GMs, you will come across some with periods of unemployment and others who have changed jobs many times in a short period. It’s wise to allow the candidate to explain these anomalies during the interview as there may be genuine reasons behind them. You may miss out on your ideal manager by failing to shortlist such candidates.

During the interview, try to extract as much information about the candidate beyond their resume. It’s all well and good focusing on the details of their resume, but always keep in mind that someone could easily contact the likes of ARC Resumes or similar when wanting their resume professionally written and formatted. Where you might think you’re not wanting to hire someone that can’t write their own resume, there can be genuine reasons for using such a service, such as having no word processing software, or just simply wanting to look as professional as possible – which should only be a good thing for your business. Ask questions that reveal how they deal with work-related scenarios. For instance, you could ask about a time when they had to deal with a succession of crises at work. Or about how they helped previous mold employees.

Look for a “People Person”

Strong people skills are a must for a GM in the restaurant industry since they will deal with your employees and customers. Being a “people person” can be revealed in personality tests. Connecting with staff and customers is imperative for a GM.

Additionally, sometimes you may need your GM to coordinate training for your team or resolve scheduling disputes. Effectively winning over your staff and gaining their respect and trust will significantly help in these areas. Your general manager will consistently interact with customers to collect feedback on their dining experience, so once again, strong socialization skills are needed.

Don’t Overlook Hard Skills

Besides those all-important soft skills, your ideal GM will have substantial knowledge about the restaurant management’s ins and outs. This they will have gained from years of experience in the restaurant business. Academic qualifications are also essential, especially if yours is a specialty restaurant.

Your chosen GM’s expertise should include proven experience in leading a group of people. They should also possess expertise in dealing with the financial side of restaurant management.

They should have a clear idea of how every facet of the business affects its bottom line. A fully integrated POS will help them with this aspect of management. One with a complete restaurant management software suite and hardware will give them a full view of how front-of-house and back-of-house operations affect the customers’ experience.  

Getting the right GM; an art and a Science There are proven steps to assist in identifying the ideal candidate to take your restaurant to the next level. You can put together a comprehensive list of job requirements

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