The Top 4 Causes of Stress to Restaurant Managers
Updated: Jun 19
Managing a restaurant can be one of the most stressful jobs in the food business industry. As a restaurant manager, what could be the source of your stress?
There could be 4 reasons why you are so stressed:
1. Your team is weak
Having 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.
For instance, in our restaurant, we have managers, we have leads, and then we have our regular employees.
I observed that some of our team members did not learn some things yet, and I realized that the harder the team you have, the harder it is for the lead to handle the team. It is apparently going to be more stressful.
And one of the things that frustrates me most is that we are dealing with the same problem over and over again.
When you are working with people who are weak in terms of the skills set, then you are not solving big problems.
You are just simply revisiting the same problems, obviously, you have a lot of turnovers in this industry, so it really gets to be frustrating.
So you need to assess if your team is weak, is their weakness stressing you out? And if that is the case, what are you going to do today and tomorrow to strengthen your team?
2. You are not in the optimal physical condition
I come to our restaurant a lot of times, I look at our people and they always complain about so many different things.
We have a lot of teenage staff and clearly, they are not getting enough sleep.
Some of them come in the morning and look like a zombie.
Why? Because they watch Netflix until 3 AM and some of them were playing video games until dawn.
They come to work without enough sleep and it affects their moods and performance at work.
Lack of sleep can affect how you handle different situations. How you foresee a problem that is right in front of your nose, but you don't see it because you can't think properly due to sleeplessness.
So 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.
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.
So you must take good care of your body and be conscious of your health so that you would not feel very stressful.
3. You are reactive instead of being proactive
This is a job, every single day you just come in and do your work versus upon arrival spending ten minutes reflecting on things that matter and having a game plan that you can follow.
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 and 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 negativity.
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.
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 lettuce, etc.
These are some of the same issues that we deal with every single day.
So if you and I are a little bit more proactive, like having a mental game plan, we will perceive the issues that happen in the restaurant with less stress and with more ease.
It will be smoother because you had plotted a game plan proactively.
4. You don't make time to reflect
You must have an attitude where you reflect.
For instance, we would host a luncheon that's food for 150 people and afterward, we would brainstorm within the team.
We would reflect on how things we have done if there are some things that we need to work on to improve our food and service.
We would write all the stuff down and put in Google docs.
And then the next year when we cater to the same event, we revisit these points and try to use the wisdom that we have learned.
We apply it so we don't have to go through the same experience or mistake again.
I believe 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, reflect on what went wrong, what you could have done different. Get the team engaged, 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 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 let that person go. You need to find out the source of the problem and eliminate it.
The restaurant 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.
Think of those 4 things that I mentioned. Stay away from those that are causing you to become out of focused on your job. Keep being motivated, and get rid of stress so you can be more productive.
You are the leader of the team, and whatever disposition you may have at work can be easily absorbed by your members. Be a manager that inspires people to give their best foot forward at all times.
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