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6 habits of highly effective hospitality managers

Posted by Kacey Bradley on Aug 5, 2020 3:58:27 PM
Kacey Bradley

In hospitality, management can make or break a business. Effective managers can help teams feel motivated to reach goals and provide excellent service, while ineffective managers can wreak havoc on company culture. 

Today, Kacey Bradley talks through six of the most important habits to keep in mind if you want to be an awesome hospitality manager. 



People who haven't worked in the hospitality industry don't realize how much work it takes to keep a venue open. Even though there are small teams of staff members trained to cover every work station and role, managers have to monitor each process while ensuring that every customer is happy. They also have to worry about the bills and payroll, so it's a position with a ton of responsibility.

It is essential to consider how management can make their hospitality venues a better place for staff members and customers ongoing. That may mean re-strategizing daily routines and key management focus points.

Read on to discover six things highly effective managers do. Management can work effectively with their teams and take care of customers while ensuring future success in a world with a new definition of normal.

1. They work with their staff, not above them

Team members respond much more positively and are more productive at work when they feel as though managers hear and value them. Although you're in charge, you should always aim to develop an inclusive workplace - it's much more productive for staff to respect leaders, rather than fear them.


To use an example that will be relevant to most of us for the foreseeable future, kitchen staff, servers and hosts may feel uneasy coming to work when germs can still spread. The best way to motivate them and create a safe environment is to work with them. Send regular updates on what you're doing to prep your property. Stock masks, gloves and any other preventative tools they'll need to stay healthy.

It's also vital for everyone to meet, whether in-person or over video chat, to discuss possible improvements. Staff members may point out things that aren't working so everyone can improve their workflow and create more positive experiences for customers.

2. They enforce consistent rules

It's confusing for staff members when restaurant managers only enforce rules part of the time. Instructions regarding distancing, masks or even how orders get to customers must be consistent for them to work. The best managers enforce the rules every day so everyone understands your expectations.

Part of rule enforcement means recognizing that customers must follow them as well. If customers won't abide by health and safety requirements, strong leadership will escort them out of the building until they comply. Staff members who are adjusting to the rules as well will appreciate that management is willing to stand up for them and their safety. It results in more employees listening and cooperating in future situations and changes.


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3. They emphasize communication

Communication can prevent the restaurant environment from becoming tense or full of stress. Management sets the tone for everyone, so work on improving skills that will make communication effortless. Some actions to consider could be paying attention to your body language, making written announcements or even improving your memory.

Effective communication is also a great way to boost morale. In a time where staff members may feel nervous to come to work and interact with customers, they'll be more confident about fulfilling their job duties if they know they can come to management with any concerns. The flip side is that a great restaurant manager will then take action on those concerns, like increasing hand sanitizer bottles at work stations or trying to be more flexible with shift rotations.

4. They plan for everything

Restaurant managers should know how to handle any situation, which requires planning. Plan for best and worst-case scenarios, like how to handle increased customer attendance or a future shutdown.

If your city or state had to shut down, you could switch to specialized delivery services like selling your inventory as groceries. It helps the community because it reduces their chance of getting sick at the store and keeps your team employed, which is a win for everyone.


5. They promote positive workplace culture

A positive workplace culture creates a better environment for everyone to work in. If people enjoy where they work, they'll be more effective in their roles.

Restaurant managers can build a positive culture by setting an example for everyone to follow. Show up on time, be the last person to leave, know the major functions of every job and keep a positive attitude even during tense situations.


6. They make the rounds

Management must make the rounds during business hours to check on their team members.  That said, hovering too close by can make staff feel micromanaged! It's a fine line: be available, but not overly critical. Everyone will feel personally supported and you can solve any issues as they arise.

This practice is also helpful because it gives management more face time with their employees. You'll hear who's tired, frustrated or needs to swap shifts so that you have more time to find solutions. It saves time and may help retain employees who feel like management is disconnected and impersonal.


Whether managers are talking with customers or helping their specific teams, they can strive to change how everyone experiences their time on the property. Communication, positivity and planning for future changes in your business model can help make you a more effective manager.


Kacey Mya Kacey Bradley is the blogger behind The Drifter Collective, an eclectic lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of style through the influence of culture and the world around us. Along with writing for her blog, she has written for sites like U.S. News, Hotel Online, SevenRooms, Point 2 Home and more! Follow Kacey on Twitter and subscribe to her blog to keep up with her travels and inspiring posts!

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Topics: Hospitality marketing, Hospitality career tips, Hospitality insights, Hospitality managers, Restaurants, Hospitality training, COVID-19