HR Issues

August 22, 2011

Written by: Maggie Moulatsiotis

Let's face it. It's tough out there. With a high-level of unemployment running rampant from coast to coast, advertising an open position can often lead to a flood of applicants. So how do you find the right fit among the assortment of resumes and candidates? 

Let's take a look at some of the key factors to consider when hiring your next general manger. 

Manager Qualifications

The general manager will be the multi-tasking face of your restaurant. This person needs to have a handle making rational decisions fast. The service industry is a fast-paced, high-energy operation and the right candidate will need to be able to move easily within the environment.

    - Experience is the most important qualification. Your future GM will have years of experience working in restaurants, including non-manager positions. A well-rounded applicant will know what it is like to walk in a server's shoes, how to handle sudden crowds during a rush and how to remain calm under tense circumstances.

    - Supervising skills are another important qualification. The GM will not only be a leader, but also a supervisor. He or she must feel comfortable in a position of authority that includes coaching, rewarding and disciplining employees in a responsible and effective manner.

    - Work ethic is a virtue that cannot be overlooked. Running a restaurant in not a nine-to-five job. The GM will need to anticipate working 50-60 hours or more each week, with a commitment to punctuality and accessibility. The GM also needs to demonstrate a strong sense of integrity, doing the job right every time and setting a good example for employees.

    - Hiring and training skills are a big part of a manager's success. The GM should have a good eye for hiring strong employees and a commitment to training them to a high performance standard.

Manager Responsibilities

A restaurant manager must be able to handle fast-paced business while caring for the needs of the employees and customers. When hiring a GM, consider how well the candidates can perform the following basic responsibilities:

    - Opening and closing procedures are part of the everyday responsibilities that need to be executed correctly day to day without fail. The manager must know all the tasks associated with opening and closing shop each day. This will involve knowing security codes, safe combinations and any other security measures of the business.

    - Tracking Inventory to ensure a constant control of cost of goods sold. This could involve counting inventory levels of the food and beverage inventory as well as accurately reporting these numbers on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.

    - Maintaining accountability is essential for cash handling procedures and cash handling trainings. The GM will need to learn the proper controls of daily cash flow.

    - Managing labor and wages so that labor costs are kept at a reasonable level. The GM will be responsible for monitoring and tracking the busy and slow times of service to put together a cost-effective schedule.


If your restaurant is brand new, plan on hiring the general manger early on in the process. This helps involve the new manager with hiring and training other employees, as well as setting up the restaurant and other pre-opening tasks. Most importantly, be sure the person is someone you can trust to do the right job. Your restaurant will depend on it.

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