Job interviews are important for restaurant managers aspiring towards higher positions in hospitality management or becoming a director. However, many qualified candidates fail to secure the job because they do not understand what information the interviewer is seeking.
Providing the Right Answer
– Qualified Restaurant Management Candidate #1: “In the past, I have effectively handled that situation by setting up guidelines and procedures for handling XXX. The main problems I encountered were employee motivation and increased paperwork. I resolved these issues by conducting weekly meetings to outline objectives for the upcoming week.”
While the answer above is good, it doesn’t address the question the way the interviewer intended.
– Qualified Restaurant Management Candidate #2: “I developed a management system to address the problem of XXX by reducing time management issues, mitigating employee reluctance, and decreasing paperwork by 30% over three years. When creating this system, I considered labor laws, quality, customer satisfaction, and used PeachWorks software as a framework. I can provide a summary outline of how it can be implemented in your restaurant.”
The second candidate answered the question correctly, but also showcased their:
- a) Proven system, instead of relying on hope,
- b) Ability to handle potential problems,
- c) Flexibility, and
- d) Focus on saving time and money for the company.
Creating Your Management System
If you are a qualified restaurant manager, it is likely that you have worked with restaurant management software. As you gain experience, take the time to establish your own system and keep a written copy for reference. However, be cautious about revealing everything during the job interview to protect your work.
Consider using Jolt, a software that costs $80 per month and allows you to work on the entire system, even if your current employer restricts your access. Having your own software can be valuable, especially for smaller growing restaurants. It demonstrates initiative and proactivity.
Steps to Develop Your Management System:
- Take thorough notes and maintain reports in your current job to include every aspect of day-to-day functions.
- Treat any encountered problems, be it employee-related or unexpected, as part of your system.
- Keep it simple enough so that you can present your data during a job interview.
Create a flow chart to structure your system and address various scenarios. For instance, if employee A frequently misses work, how will you handle it, and how can you avoid similar problems in the future?
The Importance of a System
While you may already have a system in your head, it becomes problematic under stress as you may forget crucial details. Additionally, lacking a hard copy makes it difficult to delegate tasks confidently while ensuring everyone follows the same system.
Most importantly, systems help you prevent problems. Suppose you had to let go of an employee. Your system would outline previous problems, consider labor laws, and analyze the effects on the workforce. Over time, your system can evolve, enabling you to handle similar situations effectively without lowering morale, risking legal issues, or impacting scheduling.
Developing an effective management system is crucial for restaurant managers aiming for higher positions. It not only helps you address questions during job interviews but also serves as a tool to navigate future challenges.