Tips for General Managers

This article is written to help whether you are working on career development, or are preparing yourself for to transition jobs. If you are ready for a restaurant manager’s job then this information is not new.

The objective of this article is to help clarify the job descriptions in an effort to help identify strengths and weaknesses. Hopefully, this article will also reveal why you are unhappy at your current job.

General Manager Job Description:

The best general managers have strong operational skills. For a hospitality job, this must be balanced with strong personality traits and the ability to coach and manage. On the surface, the General Manger’s position looks like a desk job. In reality, the General Manager is a supervisor.

The restaurant will not want a general manager whose has experience in a different type of restaurant.

There are important skills needed as a non-manger that are learned by experience only. The general manager position isn’t the place to ‘learn on the job.’ It isn’t the place for someone who wants to sit behind a desk. A good general manager will have experience as a dishwasher, and help unload the truck, as a cashier, and trainer.

A smart hiring manager will also look for a general manager who is comfortable coaching, rewarding, and can tactfully discipline employees without drawing legal or labor board retaliation.

This isn’t a 9-5 job. An average work week can be 60+ hours. There needs to be a strong sense of integrity.

When hiring a general manager the recruiter should feel like ‘the interviewer is interviewing another interviewer. The general manager candidate should get the questions, know what to answer without needing to think, and even anticipate the purpose and directive.

A smart interview will offer the name and experience of the software used, companies they’ve purchased from, and organizations they’ve worked with.

It may also be advantageous to highlight any event planning or projects that came off successfully. This service may not be offered by the restaurant, but the skills needed can benefit most restaurants.

If your Candidate cannot market themselves successfully then they cannot market the restaurant. A general manager who has no interest in marketing and advertising – or thinks they can do it themselves – can only do half the job. Today the general manager needs to focus on print, facebook, twitter, and even community involvement.

Before you leave the interview make sure you’ve focused on the owners.

A general manager is the only person who has the owner’s back. The owner has invested their life, their wealth, and their future into a restaurant business. It is the general manager’s responsibility to protect that investment.