These days, survival in the hospitality industry is all about upskilling your business. Not just by investing in improving your own capabilities and knowledge, but by recruiting smarter managers to complement your strengths and help grow your restaurant, café or bar. I think we all know that there’s a vast difference between those who just ‘fell’ into the job of manager, and those who recognise and pursue it as a career choice. Let’s take Jim and Mandy as an example.

Meet Manager Jim

Jim has been in business for a long time. Experienced, calm and capable, he has good people management and organisational skills. He can use every last bit of equipment in the place if needed, from the espresso machine to the sound system, and his personal yet professional approach keeps your regulars coming back time and time again, and your staff happy.

He does a great job, and things generally run well. He keeps things stable, but truth be told, perhaps he just doesn’t add the value you need to improve your business operations when times are tough. For him, it’s just a job.

Now, Jim’s a really nice guy. And if you live in a world where nothing changes, where every new restaurant, café or bar doesn’t pose a threat to your livelihood and profits, he’d be with you for life and you’d be lucky to have him.

So, Meet Modern Manager Mandy

Mandy has all the same skills as Jim. But she’s got a real edge.

She has an excellent handle on business operations and demonstrates strong analytical skills. Mandy understands how to improve productivity, and knows the value of controlling costs, and how to manage staff and service to drive productivity (and your profits) up.

Mandy’s smart. She can recommend the best way to maximise menu appeal and profitability without risking unpalatable price rises. She can help you to repackage and refresh your menu to maintain interest and appeal. And Mandy loves data. She takes notice of the numbers that tell you it’s time to do thing differently. She steps up to the team and takes them through what has to be done for the good of the business, whether that’s more training, a new approach to flexible staffing, or those magic words – upselling! Making more from added sales instead or just pushing prices up and putting customers off.

Mandy’s completely across the price of everything. And she can accurately price up new menu items. She’s tech-savvy. PC, mobile devices, social media opportunities and spreadsheets hold no fears for her. She can spot a marketing opportunity a mile off and comes up with smart strategies based on her ability to calculate a return on investment.

She’s also a recruitment whiz. She takes her time to check every reference and does skill and speed checks as part of the evaluation process. Mandy knows that poorly performing staff can drag everyone else down, and cause friction and resentment. She can also spot who needs more training, who should be shifted or promoted into a more suitable role, and who simply needs to pull up their socks. And when the going gets tough, she can manage the redundancy process to the letter of the law so both your business an employee/s in question are treated fairly and with all due respect to the legal process.

Let’s face it. She’s smart, resourceful, analytical, and she wants your job. So if you meet your Mandy, just hire her.

Out With The Old?

Now we’re not suggesting you say sayonara Jim. Afterall, Jim could well be waiting for that opportunity to step up, to offer and deliver more value and become a more strategic part of your business. And he knows your business, and you know him.

But if Jim has decided to escape to that beach hut and drink pina coladas and surf all day, then make sure it’s Mandy you’re looking for as his replacement.