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Career Development: Restaurant General Manager Job Description

A talented General Manager has more opportunity to advance their career than any other time. Professionals can work their way to the top of the Hospitality Industry without needing an academic background. A Restaurant offers almost unlimited opportunities. Many people have moved from the Restaurant floor or Kitchen and moved all the way into a  Restaurant Management or General Manger’s Job.

But to do that you need to understand how to read a Job Advertisement.

Positive Attitude – What does a Recruiter/Hiring Manager think it is?

When a job posting mentions the need for a positive attitude they are not looking  an upbeat, charismatic general manager. They are looking for someone who has learned how to handle stress and maintain their composure when under pressure.

They are looking for stress management training, coping skills, and self-care that indicates you are cognitively able to retain your composure. Self Control and emotional control are not enough to help keep a restaurant running smooth when things go wrong.

You cannot fake a positive attitude in a job interview. You may have the right outfit, a beautiful smile,  and behave perfectly – but your eyes, demeanor, and subtle micro facial expressions will give it away.

A positive attitude is a ‘learned behavior.’ These people understand that success is a habit, you don’t fail until you quit, failure is only a redirection, and the uncontrollable is also called ‘life.’ They forgive and forget quickly.

Words matter. Replace ‘you should’, remove ‘have’ and ‘get’ from your vocabulary, and ‘no’. These are negative ‘stop’ words. Exchange them for positive words. Words have power.

A manager with a positive attitude has worked hard to eliminate all toxic communication. This takes practice, coaching, and accountability but it can be done. This goes hand in hand with staying out of other people’s complaints, drama, and emotional issue. A good manager stops complaining, gossiping, and back stabbing before it lowers the mood of the entire workplace.

Over-The-Top Performance – Is your ‘Good Enough’ really “Good Enough”?

Performance is good, but you need to be able to show how you did it. Did you create a portfolio? When you do your work sanitize the reports, and keep a copy. Your portfolio will become your blueprint for running a restaurant. There are many Qualified Managers who are not hired because they do not keep up with current trends.

High-Energy Leaders – Can You Prove You Won’t Burn Out?

Have you ever taken courses on leadership? Life Coaching? Negotiations? Communication?  A high energy leader invests in their own career. They develop their skills and improve them. A Qualified Restaurant Management Candidate doesn’t need to tell the recruiter that they are a highly qualified, energetic leader. Their skills, continuing education, and projects ‘show’ the recruiter that they are qualified.

Energy comes from having your life in balance. Stress drains our energy. You need to have energy to be able to identify new hires and staff members who have energy. The Manager’s energy influences the entire team.  An energetic leader is an environmental motivator in their restaurant. They radiate positive (or negative) energy.

It is amazing to watch. Over a few weeks their confidence, politeness, calmness, and energy will be mirrored by their team. They don’t need to terrorize or micromanage their team. In fact, good managers create an environment where their team will evolve, resulting in their own self-management system.

This isn’t a secret. People are attracted to people with similar personalities, values, and beliefs.

Another reason why restaurants want high-energy leaders is because they are emotionally and physically healthy leaders. High energy means being able to wake up in the morning clear headed, and ending the day with energy to go ‘shake it off’ instead of crashing in front of a television.

“The higher your energy level, the more efficient your body.  The more efficient your body, the better you feel and the more you will use your talent to produce outstanding results.”  ~  Tony Robbins

Interpersonal Skills

Qualified Managers rarely trust a person who is a ‘people person’ or someone who is a ‘team player.’ No one can maintain good relationships with everyone unless they have studied and practiced strong interpersonal skills.

These may include negotiation, communication, motivation, organizational behavior, systems, stress management, and life coaching.  The good news is that most of these skills can be learned through internet courses.

Ten Must Have Interpersonal Skills of a Good General Manager

  1. Verbal Communication – Good enough is never Good Enough
  2. Non-Verbal Communication. Confidence is something you wear. It reinforces the message behind your words.
  3. Listening. You listen but do you hear what they are saying? Active listening is vital to effective management.
  4. Questioning and Repeating Back. Make sure what you hear is the message they meant to say
  5. Manners, Integrity, and morals make the manager. Adding a bit of Etiquette isn’t amiss in a restaurant manager.
  6. Problem Solving for managers needs to be systematic. You need to have a method, a template, that your team can follow. It’s no use having great problem solving skills if your team cannot follow your lead.
  7. Social Awareness is the ability to be in tune with other’s emotions. It is an essential interpersonal skill if you want to have good customer service skills. You cannot solve a customer’s complaint if you ignore their emotions.
  8. Self-Management is essential. The busier a restaurant the more self-control the manger needs.
  9. Responsibility and accountability. If your bosses cannot trust you then you will not keep your job for a long term.
  10. Assertiveness is the ability to listen and respect others, and motivate them so that they meet your agenda. There is a fine line between assertive and aggressive. On the other side there is a fine line between assertive and apathetic. It is a learned skill.

Characteristics of High Performance General Manager

Successful people share the same traits. They may not have been born a high performer. Most of us develop our skills and shape our behaviors.

  1. Autonomy – Top performers manage everything in their life, time, stress, workload, etc. Their level of control enables them to be incredibly flexible and independent. They do not need to be managed.
  2. Input and Feedback – High performers seek input and feedback. They are not afraid of rejection. They keep track of the influence and knowledge within the organization.
  3. They are self-directed and take initiatives. They do what is needed to invest in their career. They are more likely to do their own research and spend more time in training programs than the average person.
  4. They have networking skills. They have learned how to build strong relationships They collaborate with others for the benefit of both parties.
  5. They have an open mind. They are emotionally stable and consistent in their style. They do not hold to old methods, and they do not resist change. This is a learned behavior and often takes some self coaching and stress management skills.

Once you learn how to translate the job description you’ll be able to work better with your recruiter and identify the job positions you are most qualified to fill.


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