Where is the Manager?

How often have you walked into a restaurant where clearly no one is at home?

A manager may be there physically, but nothing is happening that would indicate that management is taking place.

You not greeted, you not asked for a drink order at the outset, the wait staff is slow in taking your food order, your meal arrives silently, you eat it (it’s acceptable but not memorable), you are never asked how things are going with the meal, and then suddenly the bill arrives. You pay and walk out with no one noticing you.

What I described above is not an isolated incident. Sadly, many people would say that’s their typical restaurant experience.

This is what managers are paid for — to teach their staff how to serve and to ensure customers have pleasant and memorable experiences.

Yet restaurants fail at this again and again.

Restaurants are hard work. The hours are long, the work is tiring, and it can be repetitive.

But if you as the owner don’t care enough about the restaurant to show up, why should your staff?

Owners often disappear when the sales start to fall, and the job starts to seem less fun. But of course, that is exactly the time when the owner is needed most.

No one is going to step up their game until their boss tells them to. The only person who can inspire and lead is the leader.

Absentee owners are a recipe for failure precisely because it is presence and leadership that can turn around a failing restaurant. Not an owner in hiding.

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