Working For A Family Owned Restaurant

This restaurant is unique in the hospitality industry. There are challenges you will not face anywhere else. Every restaurant manager has shared experiences working with the Family Owned Restaurants.

There can be benefits, but it takes a unique set of skills to manage the entrepreneurial spirit in the restaurant owner as well as the management challenges of being responsible, but not in charge. Not every manager can thrive in the environment. Others are able to take control of the environment and use the situation to advance their management career.

Restaurant Manager Job Description

The questions ‘What does a restaurant manager do’ is easiest answered, ‘whatever needs to be done.’ Each small business has its own challenges and problems.

It is very important to ask all the right questions and request a job description in writing.  But make sure that everyone understands the responsibilities of each member of the restaurant team. It is very dangerous to enter a family owned restaurant without a solid, in writing, contract outlining your job.

The Job Hiring Process

The family owned restaurants place a job advertisement in a hospitality website or hire a hospitality recruiter to manage their Human Resources. But they do not approach the hiring task in the same way franchises would tackle the task.

Family owned restaurants often offer lots of opportunities. Family owned Restaurants paint a family atmosphere where everyone is valued. But unfortunately, this is rarely the case. Families squabble, and they have their petty differences. In any case, they rarely allow others to take control, even if their decisions are detrimental to the restaurant’s success.

Career Advancement

In a small kitchen, the manager may end up doing everything and not letting other do as much. This can be a good learning experience, but may not prepare you for working in a larger restaurant.

It is important to understand that the experience gained in a family owned restaurant will not prepare you to work in a bigger restaurant. It may backfire and stall your career.

Skill Set

Career advancement isn’t a priority in smaller restaurants. There is very little coaching or mentoring and the skill set and mindset needed to run a small restaurant is different. There is no focus on improving skills or continuing education.

The family restaurant is often viewed as a job which rewards the employees with nothing more than a paycheck. This can leave an ambitious restaurant manager frustrated.

Hiring Process

There are a few things you can do to make sure you do not regret being hired into a restaurant where the owners who want to be in charge, but do not take responsibility for the restaurant’s success.

  1. Watch everyone’s emotions. Do not meet just one of the key players. Meet them all. Be cautious if they want to keep some people ‘out of view’ until after the hiring process is over.
  2. Be careful if the restaurant is presented as ‘too good to be true.’
  3. The second point also applies to the owners. Are they too friendly, too amicable, or too forward?
  4. Do the owners talk about the latest trends? What career advancement do they prepare you for and more important, how will they train you? Experience will only take you so far. If there are no courses, mentoring, or advancement explained ‘in detail’ then assume they are not skilled enough to offer these.
  5. Get it in writing. Do not accept anything on a hand shake.
  6. Ask why the last manager left or why they were unhappy.

These are only a few of the ways to protect your career if you consider working in a family owned restaurant.

They will help you pick the best one, with the best-working atmosphere.

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