Casual dining restaurants often are perceived as those catering to families. They are less formal and less expensive than fine dining facilities, yet they offer the same full table service as guests receive in pricier establishments. The casual dining market is competitive and provides managers with a number of challenges that include high staff turnover, patron expectations, menu selections and pricing.
Provide Customer Satisfaction
Like most hospitality careers, managing a casual dining restaurant requires exceptional customer service skills. Your primary responsibility is to provide customers with an enjoyable experience so they will return and tell their friends about your establishment. To that end, a manager is responsible for every aspect of the restaurant, from the hostess station to the bus staff and servers. An effective manager understands the tasks and duties of each role and can step in to actually perform each duty if necessary to keep the place running smoothly.
Hire, Train and Fire
While the menu and the food play an important role in the success of a casual dining restaurant, it’s the people who work there that can make or break its success and longevity. Managers frequently must recruit and hire staff for every position. Knowing the duties involved in each job is vital, but being able to gauge the effectiveness of potential employees also is important. Once hired, it’s your job to ensure employees receive sufficient training, either from you or with an experienced team member. At the same time, you are the person who also must fire those staff members who don’t meet the restaurant’s expectations.
The the dining room manager has the responsibility of creating staff schedules. The job requires a delicate balance between sufficiently staffing the dining room when business is brisk and giving servers and support staff enough work to justify their hours. If you work for a large casual dining chain, you may have budgets to maintain that affect your scheduling duties.
You’ll be required to track and monitor sales, including monitoring which items move on the menu and what days of the week are most productive. The accounting duties of a manger vary from place to place but usually include overseeing payroll records and balancing daily cash and charge receipts with the register. You’ll perform regular reviews of your staff and ensure that the cleaning crew keeps the restaurant presentable. You also will interact with health regulators and ensure the facility meets and exceeds local standards and regulations.