My plan is to eventually become a general manager of a restaurant. So, therefore, I look up to the managers at my restaurant a lot. I try and learn from the ways they handle different situation, but the hard part is that every situation is different. Each guest at our restaurant has a different opinion on how things should be handled by management, and I’ve learned that it’s all about feeling out how the guest is.
Many problems that have occurred with management have come around because the “right thing” wasn’t done. Sometimes, it’s a manager getting a little irritated with a guest. Manager shifts are extremely long – 11 to 14 hours, typically, and when a tough guest comes in, they’re exhaustion can be reflected in their response to the situation.
Is it better to try and force a table of 5 to sit at a typical table for 5 even though they say it’s too small, or is it better to seat them at a table meant for 6?
You’d think that it’s best to just do what the guest wants, but in reality, switching them to a table of 6 will screw the front desk for space for other reservations. So what’s the right thing to do? Piss off the table of 5 or piss off the reservations coming in soon?
This is what I’m looking forward to learning, but I know that’s it’s also not something that can be 100% learned. You’ll never know exactly what the best thing to do is, but you have to make a decision on the spot. I really look up to my managers for being able to make these quick decisions without ever knowing whether it was the right one or not. I hope to one day be a manager that my employees respect and look up to, no matter what decision I end up making.