5 common mistakes to avoid as a new food service manager

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Manager and employeeWhether it’s your first job or your fifth, you naturally want to make a good impression as quickly as possible. This is especially true in the food service industry where the speed of business doesn’t really allow for anything else.

New managers face this pressure more than any other role, as they are expected to not only be able to do their own job but to be sure that every other employee is performing their role properly as well. So to help new managers make the most of their first days on the job, we’re offering these tips to help you hit the ground running.

1. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither should your business’s processes

If you’re new on the job it’s only natural that you would enter the role with scores of goals you hope to accomplish. Our advice, however, is to give it a little time before you start reinventing every wheel. You need time in your new role not only to get acclimated to the job but to truly understand how the business runs.

In some cases a process that seemed illogical to you on day one will make sense after a couple of weeks and you’ll decide you would rather keep it. And then there will be those instances where an inefficient process is just as bad a month later. These make for excellent opportunities to institute the changes you had planned and to make your mark.

2. You can’t go home again

When you become a food service manager it’s important you realize you’ve drawn a line in the sand; you've now become more than a co-worker, you’ve become a boss. This can be especially difficult if you’ve been promoted in-house but it’s an important distinction. You now have a broader authority and it’s important you don’t forget that.

3. Challenge the norm

As we said above, you should be hesitant to make immediate changes upon starting your new role. At the same time, this is also a great opportunity to look at existing processes that everyone seems to believe work fine and see if they can be improved in some way.

For example, if your business utilizes a cooking oil solution that includes the straining and dumping of the oil through a manual process, it’s time to look for a better solution. Restaurant Technologies’ Total Oil Management System removes the manual component — and the risks associated with that — and automates the solution for a safer, more time-efficient result. Contact us today to learn more about how we can put our proven process to work for your business.

4. Don’t think too far ahead

All companies look for managers that are forward-thinking, but when it comes to your career you should hold off on those big plans for the time being. Maybe you have goals of one day becoming a general manager or a kitchen manager at a massively successful location. That is admirable, but your duty now is to focus on the location and role you have been assigned. Do this job to the best of your abilities and those bigger opportunities will come calling.

5. Delegate, even to your friends

This can be another one that is tough for first-time managers, particularly if you come from a background of shift work in the industry. After all, stepping up and doing the work yourself just comes naturally. Yet as a manager, your job is to focus on the bigger picture and not the minute-to-minute processes. Trust your employees to handle this and make sure those employees you are closest to are doing their share as well. They may not always like you for this but they will respect you.

That’s our list for the day, and if you’re new to the world of food service management, we hope the material provided here is helpful. Use it to grow your skill set and you’ll be a veteran before you know it.