There is a large influx of people eager professionals who believe they are a restaurant management candidate, but few are qualified restaurant management candidates. The problem is, there is no set structure for becoming a restaurant manager. Some people move up the ranks. Some people finish 5 years of university and appear to ‘walk right into the job.’ Combine this with the fact that there are more opportunities opening up now, than 20 years ago, and it creates a problem.
This article discusses what Hospitality Recruiters and Recruitment firms are looking for.
First there are the common things. Do you spend all your time talking and planning, or do you actually do things? No one needs a restaurant manager who spends 3 months planning a project that only takes 2 weeks to execute.
Are your communication skills up to par? Have you educated yourself on report writing, organizing, and running office software. If I am your job interviewer I will ask you, quickbooks or peachtree, what is your favorite employee scheduling app, Corel or Adobe.
I will want to know which restaurant management software you have used, have trained on, and I don’t want to hear that you had the ‘in house’ course. I want to hear that you liked a software package and took the company’s training course. I will be very impressed if you tell me that you audited an MIT course (free), or know what openculture is. Even if you mention Udemy.com I will be impressed, but what I am looking for is that you’ve spent enough time learning online to have run into the websites Lynda.com, Treehouse.com or skillshare.com. Why? Because it means that you have taken the time to upgrade your skills, and you know where to go to learn basic operating skills, fast.
Second, I am looking for a portfolio. Did you take part in a project, redesign, or other event in your last job posting? Did you take notes? Did you write a report? How can you remember your victories, and learn from mistakes if you cannot articulate your experiences, and keep a record?
At the very least I want to see an employee handbook. I don’t care if it is one you wrote for yourself, but never used. However, I will be more important if you wrote one and convinced a local business, volunteer organization, or club to use it.
I can learn more from reading your Employee manual than I can from talking to you for three hours. What is important to you? Did you fluff over the section on toxic communication? Is there anything in there about solving disputes before bringing it to management? Do you empower employees to solve their own problems? Is your resolution process fair, or cookie cutter?
Your employee manual will reveal your communication abilities. It will reveal your graphic arts capabilities. It will reveal your organizational skills.
Reports will do the same, but they will reveal more about you. What parts of a project did you skim over, and which ones did you highlight? Are you more interested in people or product, events or results, other people’s emotions or fiscal responsibility?
I don’t want you to tell me you are a people person. I want you to show me.’
Third, what is your brand. Do I buy it? Do I believe it? Do you even have a brand? If you cannot brand, and sell yourself to me, then how are you going to brand and sell a restaurant to strangers?