Final Paper Notes
My interview is with a manager of a restaurant, the restaurant can have as many as 75 customers, and staff of 14. The restaurant served your everyday American food.
The person whom I interviewed started as an assistant manager at the young age of 27. He has been a manager for the restaurant for the past 7 years. I considered him a Functional Manager because of the definition in the book, i.e. He supervises the work of employees whom engages in different specialties, such as waiters/waitress, kitchen help, accounting, and quality control.
But in the same realm he is considered a General Manager because he oversees the operations, helps in solving problems, spotting problems before they occur and insuring the safety of all employees and customers.
He decided to become a manager because he felt that he could motivate people, and help them realize their potential. He decided to become a restaurant manager because he enjoyed being around food and that type of fast pace environment.
When interviewing this person it became very evident that he is an effective manger because he possesses many key managerial skills. He is technically efficient because, he had the ability to prepare a budget, lay out a production schedule i.e. food preparations, menu for the day's events, and was able to use a computer. He definitely had to have Interpersonal Skill in order to work effectively as a team member.
He stated the best approach for managing this type of business was the behavioral approach because you had to understand the psychological makeup of many different types of people, you have to manage all different type of people within your staff and the public.
He feels that cultural diversity in this type of business is a must because you have to respect each and every person that may come into your establishment. Cultural diversity is very important when it comes to hiring people who may have to be off from work on a special day because of religious reasons that is not normally celebrated by all. He gives an example of the time when he literally stumble over two guest of the restaurant who were conducting evening prayer in an isolated corner of the restaurant. They were praying on rugs. As soon as he saw the prayer rugs he realize that they were conducted evening prayer. An additional example is when an employee would be fasting
from dawn to dusk during Ramadan. This is the time when Muslims fast and could become weak or disoriented late in the afternoon. The manager who I interviewed experiences this with his employee.
When he began working, computers where not in use very much, so all the books, i.e. bookkeeping, scheduling and keeping track of inventory was all done by hand. Within a couple of years or so it became apparent that investing in a computer system was the way to go. The major justification for installation of a computer system was the bookkeeping and inventory, that alone save thousands of dollars in purchasing supply and being able to account for every penny that went out. They were able to get better deals when ordering supplies, because they could use the Internet to shop for better prices. As time went on it also became apparent that the use of the computer made customers service faster and efficient.
He feels that business ethics is very important to the business and the staff and customers.
Ethical problems: stealing food from the restaurant and not charging guests for certain items. The computer system in place demands that food be ordered through the computer before the kitchen prepares it.
Management has to deal judiciously and fairly with all situations of this nature. Leadership by example is important here so those employees see that management is the example to follow.
I ask him what was his meaning of quality and dealing with attitudes and people. He stated that the quality of service offered in the restaurant and dealing effectively with troublesome guests of the restaurant. It can be problematic striving to encourage staff to continually give 100% when performing their jobs. When dealing with angry guests it is necessary to think "on your feet" and be a diplomat while solving problems quickly under pressure.
On the lighter side, quality control in the restaurant is a "perk" in many ways because you get to sample good food. The best way is to sample items at random. But, the major concern with quality control of food it the obvious and potential weight gain.
Strategies are vital in this business in many aspects, including making schedules for all the employees to ensure that there is sufficient staff during peak business periods. Food buyers must be supervised to maintain proper quantities of food to prepare for menu items. There must exist a clear vision of what type of foods to offer on a
menu so, the décor of the restaurant, the theme of the restaurant, and how all these elements are brought together. Management rules are of vital importance because they must be strategically designed, put into place, and enforced with diplomacy.
Managing ineffective performers is a delicate encounter. The restaurant was not a Union house- a restaurant where the Union is involved- but diplomacy and skill are involved when redirecting an employee's misdirected efforts so that they become a better employee, while ensuring their employ. Firing a person can have serious side effects at the former employee while executing a firing of an employee is never an enjoyable experience. This managerial experience can "stick with you" for some time. I still vividly recall the circumstances of termination Bill's employment in the restaurant.
He stated that the restaurant business is a very stressful environment. It is fast-paced, intense, demanding, and extremely competitive. The cool head of the manager is a key because it can trigger a chain reaction of the staff that can easily be conveyed to the guests in the restaurant.
Leadership, motivation, communication, and teamwork play key rolls in managing this business. The leadership must be the competent prime example for expertise in all areas of the restaurant, which is just one important element necessary for motivating the staff. This motivation helps create the necessary teamwork that is the lifeline of successful restaurant work. The staff must flow together like a well-orchestrated ballet on the floor and back in the kitchen while perfecting communication skills among the staff and with the guests of the restaurant. The communication model expressed by the management must continually be examined and perfected to ensure that the performance of the restaurant as an entity is fully enhanced. A major barrier to communication in the restaurant business is stress, a factor that lends to its success as well. Stress can be a helpful motivation as well as a formula for destruction of effective communication.
Reflecting on the aspect of organization is the delegation of duties and responsibilities by the manager. This involves decision making, talent, experience, and intuition. The manager interviewed had to rely on his assistants and would always back their decisions in public, while educating them if necessary in private. It was not
his style to "micro manage" each and every issue to display his ego-involvement. This philosophy empowers the assistant management team while instilling a positive image to the support staff. Earning the respect of the assistant managerial staff and the hourly employees was his first priority.
Tension in a stressful, performance-oriented business can be lethal. Conflicts must be confronted effectively, or better yet, dissipated before they materialize into gigantic issues. Situations exist where the staff must congregate and the managers' skills are tested in the area of conflict resolution, which can be extremely tricky. There existed a situation where the line cooks were dissatisfied with a new assistant manager. They wanted to display unity of power for the wrong reasons at the wrong time while forcing the hand of the management for more money. They were delivered an ultimatum to return to work or turn in their apron, a decision where they had ten minutes to finalize a decision. They decided to leave, and this decision resulted in a temporary hardship for the business. All the cooks returned within two weeks and asked for their job again, a situation that resulted in the manager staring into the faces of some very hungry, worried line cooks. They were warmly welcomed back by the management.
Restaurant management is a challenging position today because it incorporates several important management techniques simultaneously in a stressful environment with an overlaying performance element. This career is demanding on a physical and intellectual plane, while the business can be exceedingly transitory. Restaurant personnel changes can be continuous, creating a complete turnover in hourly staff in a short period of time. This element of transition can tax management methodologies on many levels. Staff must be retrained and this may lead to problems with ethics, customer satisfaction, or successful teamwork approaches. Coupled with these unsettling possibilities is the aspect of the business called the "demanding public"? The guests that come through the lobby of any restaurant demand a highly trained staff and a superior product no matter what extenuating circumstances exist "back in the kitchen". Orchestrating each and every element of the restaurant management so that it appears as if it is an effortless, smooth operation is a commanding, daily challenge.
I personally could not be a manger for any fast pace business that required a lot of my attention and/or overseeing every aspect of the operation. I would come unglued. There are too many different personality that you have to deal with. The job itself is demanding on your body and mind. While in the Navy I worked as an x-ray technician in the ER This was very fast pace and demanding for me, I was able to do my job, but when I was being pushed to do something I felt as if I was coming apart at times. My demeanor would change, and the patient and the people that I was working with could feel it. This was effecting the patients and the staff, so after 15 years of being a x-ray technician, I decided that this was something that I could not do for the rest of my life.
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