A restaurant marketing plan can easily fail due to inaction or resistance of the restaurant manager. No alarm bells will ring and no flashing lights will tell you the restaurant manager may be a problem. Visiting a restaurant during peak times will many times reflect success... or failure.
- Fire the restaurant manager if, upon your arrival during peak time, they are sitting at a table eating a meal vs. engaging with their guests.
- Fire the restaurant manager if, during peak time, they are glued to the grill, make table or the oven vs. spending time with the team and connecting with guests.
- Fire the manager if the most important thing to do during peak time is sit in the office and make schedules, record or file documents or shuffle papers vs. training team members and listening to guests.
- Fire the manager if they believe 'things' are the most important aspect of the business vs. people.
- Fire the manager who says: "That is the way we have always done it" and refuses to adapt to change.
Marginal managers are easy to identify. If such a manager is micro-managed, it is more difficult to see the signs. They will maintain status quo - but never excel.
A individual's performance is based on either
I don't know how."
"I don't feel like it."
Each of the five scenarios above is about "Will" and the manager is making a choice to prioritize their own comfort and convenience vs serving others. They may not be "bad managers".
They are making choices which conflict with yours, which is:
"Be obsessed with customer service."
You could fix "Skill" with training, personal development and coaching. "Will" is more difficult and offering a clear choice provides a door to opportunities within your business... or with another business.
Peak time in a restaurant is a gold mine for marketing opportunities. If the restaurant manager does not care, they will find ways to ignore, avoid or hide. If the restaurant manager is unable to handle the volume, hiding helps them cope.
A worst scenario is when peak time has very few sitting in the dining room. This is when each guest is more valuable than ever and connecting should be a top priority.
What might be most important is the responsibility of people development. A restaurant manager "out of the game" during peak time would be similar to a head football coach watching the game on TV and coaching by calling in plays. The coach is on the field, engaged, encouraging, guiding and celebrating.
Where is the management team during peak time? The answer impacts sales, costs, morale and health of the business.
Firing people is not the goal. It is senseless to make the effort to hire a key leader without making an investment to ensure a win-win relationship before terminating. However, if a manager is all talk, there is a good chance they will not be in the right place during peak time.
It makes no sense to make an attempt to train a crow to be an eagle. Get rid of the crows, hire the eagles and let them fly.