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A Manager’s Perspective

A role sought after by few and exemplified by less. Hospitality industry managers are a rare breed that can flourish or flounder in a heartbeat. Whether they be feared, loved or hated all depends on them but having a more rounded perspective of who they are, will bring a healthy balance to both their world and yours. Whether you are a manager, have a manager or want to be one, you will could benefit from a little more insight into their world.

a restaurant manager's perspective

You Are a Manager

The hours are longer, the pay is often worse and the work comes home with you, but that’s not why you do it. As a transplant or a long time hospitality worker, you’ve been waiting for this chance to prove yourself. Your efforts have paid off and your ideas are taken seriously. Now is the time to invest in your career, develop new programs and show off your skills. Not only that, now you have a team of people to inspire and educate. Sure, not all of them respect you and sometimes you run low on patience but that’s ok. You’re here to create an experience for your guests that can’t be found anywhere else. Your drive is to see your team, your restaurant and yourself improve; this is why you are a manager.

Putting out proverbial fires and solving impromptu problems has always been your strength and now it seems, that’s all you have time for. Quickly, you run out of time for those staff programs you always dreamed of. Then you lose a staff member and work doubles every day. As you slowly spiral into exhaustion, you lose your temper with one of your best staff members and they start phoning it in. You’ve lost the time and now it seems, the drive to improve. Are you a bad manager or are you simply buried in too much work for one person?

You Have a Manager

Why does this industry, more than any other, overwork its managers and staff alike. In the U.S. that’s a long discussion about pay structure and tipping but regardless of that debate, the fact is, managers work hard. Not every manager is a prime example of creativity, compassion and problem solving but those that are, work harder than you realize.

In a world with such high turnover, a manager must develop great employees on a regular basis. The first step is to only hire wonderful people like you. Once you’re in the door, a good manager will nurture your strengths and bolster your weaknesses. If you’ve had a manager make efforts like that to help you, they’re a precious resource and deserve your respect. Remember, their job is often just as thankless as yours can feel and usually for longer hours. Support them, learn from them and they’ll learn from you. Respect goes both ways and when the whole team is on the same page, everyone benefits.

You Want to Be a Manager

The opportunity to change roles is one you have to create yourself by showing off your potential. Being professional, efficient and thoughtful are all qualities looked for in a manager that you should display. Showing that you’re self motivated and willing to solve problems on your own is as important as how you interact with your coworkers. Showing compassion, grace under pressure and class won’t hurt your chances either. You’re ready for the challenge, it’s just a matter of proving it with your actions and attitude.

You might adapt your style from a mentor or develop it as the antithesis to a bad manager you’ve had in the past. Either way, along your path to management you’ll need to grow in to the kind of person you think exemplifies a good leader. Someone who is thoughtful, who offers solutions to problems and who likes to get their hands dirty alongside their team. Great leaders are those that prop others up before themselves; they eat last and always offer their support.

hospitality manager perspective


Whatever your role may be, a little insight into the world of those around you can never hurt. With this perspective in mind, the next time you see an overworked manager, give them a boost. If one of your staff is struggling, give them the benefit of the doubt and offer your support. When you’re trying to prove your worth, think about what is valued most in a leader and emulate it. As humans, we have an amazing ability to empathize. Use that superpower to help yourself and those around you succeed in whatever roles they are trying to perfect.

written by Alex Navarro