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Why the Restaurant General Manager Is So Important

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August 18, 2023

The food service industry added close to 70,000 jobs at the beginning of 2023, which means hiring levels post-COVID are on an uptick. To thrive in the market, restaurant owners must make strategic plans to prosper. Part of that plan is to find a capable general manager. 

General managers are among the most sought-after team members in the food service industry and for good reason. They are the gears that make restaurants move forward and function on a daily basis.

What is a Restaurant General Manager?

Simply put, a general manager is the heart of your restaurant operation. A person in this role motivates and trains employees, ensures high standards are met during every service, and handles customer interactions gracefully and professionally. 

On top of this, general managers can wear many different hats. They recruit new hires, manage staff, generate financial reports, supervise operations, and make sure financial and service goals are on track.

A general manager ensures high standards are met during every service.

How to Identify a Great GM

A great general manager is worth their weight in gold. Since the role requires high problem-solving skills and a balanced demeanor, you want to hire the best of the best to keep your staff productive and your customers happy.

When hiring a general manager, you can find top restaurant talent with job posting sites, but when it comes time to interview them you want to look for an extensive background in customer service and marketing, someone who is calm under pressure, and has a knack for planning and budgeting. Some other general qualities to look for are:

  • Budgeting and business strategy abilities
  • Advanced communication skills
  • Problem-solving talents
  • Operations process knowledge
  • High-level analytical abilities 
  • Experience working and leading a team

How to Attract Your Ideal General Manager?

Because a great GM is integral to your restaurant, it’s no surprise that businesses nationwide are all looking to hire the best candidate. With that comes talent competition and ensuring you attract someone that fits your unique establishment's demands. Here are a few ways to incentivize your future GM.

Provide Recruitment Technology

You want your general manager to recruit team members that will help your restaurant thrive. The recruitment and onboarding process can be time-consuming for general managers, especially on top of all their other duties. You can take some pressure off your general manager by offering some tech to help streamline onboarding and training.

Offer Financial Incentives

The average general manager's salary ranges from $40,000-$79,000 per year. However, some larger chain restaurants offer six-figure salaries to entice and keep GMs. If your independent restaurant is working with a budget that might not have room for higher wages to start, there are still financial carrots to offer:

  • Earned Equity: Equity programs allow GMs to earn stocks or other profit-based perks based on performance and years served.
  • Sign-on and Retention Bonus: Increasing a new hire's first paycheck with a bonus is a common application incentive. However, offering a more significant retention bonus after they have been with your restaurant ensures they understand you are invested in their expertise.
  • Education Opportunities: 94 percent of workers said they would stick with an employer investing in personal development. By offering tuition reimbursement for hospitality degrees, food, and beverage classes, or business certifications, your general manager can invest in more knowledge and better serve your operations.

US Foods CHEF’STORE Has Comprehensive Business Tools

At CHEF’STORE, we help our culinary partners achieve their business goals. Our company provides a number of business tools to help your brand flourish.

Stop by one of our locations and see how CHEF’STORE is the perfect restaurant food supplier with our commitment to quality and excellent customer service.

The information materials and opinions contained in this blog/website are for general information purposes only, are not intended to constitute legal or other professional advice and should not be relied on or treated as a substitute for specific advice relevant to particular circumstances. We make no warranties, representations, or undertakings about any of the content of this blog/website (including, without limitation, as to the quality, accuracy, completeness or fitness for any particular purpose of such content).

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