Monday, June 9, 2008

Inspiring Greatness Inspiring A Culture Of Leadership In Restaurant Management

Writen by Albert Barneto

We've all seen the stereotypes in the movies. A clipboard carrying over zealous boss in a fast food restaurant, with little regard for his employees and their well being. For the most part, the managers of these restaurants are hard working individuals with goals, aspirations, and the desire to achieve them.

Often, the fast food manager will be someone's first boss. How they take on that role and nurture a future workforce is their responsibility. How many of us can remember our first boss? I assume the majority of you can, it was that powerful of a memory, or unfortunately, that dramatic of an experience.

Distinguishing Between a Leader and a Manager

Leaders and managers, although similar in roles are very different species. Their basic roles are the same, controlling costs, hiring and firing, and maintaining "controlled chaos" in a fast pace and demanding environment. What differentiates them is how their employees react to their method of leadership/management.

Managers: Their employees follow them because they have to.

Leaders: Their employees follow them because they want to.

The difference in definition is slight but powerful. The ability to lead is the ability to create a culture of service, not only from employees to management, but from leader to employees. A culture of success that motivates and rewards grows morale and creates a wholesome working environment.

Creating a culture of success, through leadership, not only makes your life easier, both professionally and personally, but also your employees and the overall management of your restaurant. Turnover is reduced, costs are better controlled, and theft declines. Why? Your employees want to be there. They want to work for and with you. Happier employees, gives rise to better hospitality, better service equals increased sales. Bottom line you make more profit.

Leadership Traits of a Leader What are some of the traits of a good leader?

Leaders want their employees to succeed.

Leaders don't allow people to fail.

Leaders want their employees to grow professionally and personally.

Leaders will promote from within.

Leaders are good role models in life.

Leaders will plan their days ahead anticipating any problems and addressing them promptly

Leaders listen.

Leaders praise in public and correct in private.

Leaders don't yell or curse.

Leaders catch their employees doing things right.

Leaders will spend 80% of their time with 80% of the employees doing things right.

Leaders will take the bottom 20% underperformers and coach them up or coach them out.

Leaders hire for fit and talent, not out of desperation.

Leaders before going home will ask their employees "Is there anything I can do for you before I leave for the day?"

Leaders care about an employees personal life.

Leaders teach, they share their knowledge and experience freely.

Leaders surround themselves with other leaders, instilling their beliefs and attitudes throughout their organization. No easy task, when your workforce is based on first time job holders and part time employees. Throughout my years in a restaurant, I've learned a few things about human nature, people like to be rewarded and recognized. It's one of the basic things that we, as leaders, can do every day.

Albert Barneto is a managing partner of CustomerTrend Mystery Shopping and Customer Satisfaction Surveys at and has more than 15 years of professional experience as a front line manager evaluating the "pulse" of customers and employees. Customer satisfaction survey services are offered to restaurant and retail chains including Video Mystery Shopping, Telephone Mystery Shopping, and Employee Feedback Solutions. Albert Barneto may be reached toll free at 1-(866)-509-9888

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