Updated: Jun 21, 2020
Imagine a very busy day in the restaurant, a bunch of people coming in and out during lunchtime. Some are sitting on their chairs waiting for their food to arrive.
Others are still lining up to place their orders. Servers are busy taking in, and giving out orders. The kitchen crew is hustling to prepare the dishes on time.
Managing a restaurant can be one of the most stressful jobs in the food business industry.
However, we have to face the reality that the restaurant business is stressful as it is. No matter what we do, it is stressful because it is unpredictable.
Equipment breaks down, the staff doesn't go to work, customers complain. It is what it is. It is stressful. And if you are not ready to handle difficult situations and work under pressure, you are going to get exhausted and maybe give up easily.
We may not be able to totally wipe out the stress in our system but there are definitely ways to reduce it.
As a restaurant manager, for you to be able to lessen your stress, you must have:
🙋 A strong team - Managing a weak team can be really very stressful.
At times, we hold managers accountable for different things without realizing that the burden is severely caused by the people that he or she manages.
Hence, you need a strong team that you can rely on and does not give you so much tension.
When you are working with people who are strong in terms of the skills set, then you are saving yourself from huge stress.
Just imagine a restaurant with only minimal supervision, everything goes smoothly because the staff knows exactly what they need to do.
The restaurant is an industry that has a lot of turnovers, so it will be less stressful if you have a dependable and productive team.
🙋 An optimal physical condition - As a leader, your physical condition affects your attitude to different circumstances.
How you deal with the team, how you come up with a game plan, how you communicate, and react to customers whenever a bad review comes your way.
Your physical condition matters, people need to get enough sleep, you need to rest, you need to eat better food that energizes your body, you need to drop drinking soda.
Sometimes, even if the situation is not that stressful, you can be overreacting because you are not in the best physical condition.
So you must take good care of your body and be conscious of your health so that you would not have white knuckles, especially when dealing with stressful situations.
For you to handle stress properly, you need to:
🙋 Be proactive instead of being reactive - When a job turns into a job, or in other words, you just come, do it, then you leave, you just simply become very reactive.
Being reactive in life can be very stressful.
Whether it is at work or anything that you do, when you have not thought it through, you are going to have a lot of confusion and doubt.
You are likely to have these "troubled" moments because you did not think things through, you are not proactive, you did not anticipate problems coming in.
And again, in the restaurant worst things can happen anytime like people don't show up for their shift, you get a last-minute catering order, you run out of ingredients, etc.
These are some of the same issues that we deal with every single day, so if you can be more proactive and keen, like having a mental game plan, you will understand the issues that happen in the restaurant with less stress.
It will be smoother to manage the operations and control your people because you had made a game plan proactively.
🙋 Be reflective - It is crucial for us in the restaurant business to have a reflective attitude.
If you get a horrible review on Yelp, instead of reacting sharply, contemplate what went wrong and what you could have done differently.
You can get the team engaged, reflect, brainstorm ideas, ask what you can do better next time.
If we don't have that reflective attitude and we don't come out winning, then we are going to deal with the same problems over and over again.
Sit down, be calm, and reflect what are things that stress you the most about the restaurant, for instance, you have a staff that keeps giving you the same problem and never learned, I know it's hard, but if you need to fire this person, then do it, let that person go.
You need to find out the source of the problem and eliminate it when necessary.