Making it in the hospitality industry is all about making smart decisions. And that includes deliberately recruiting managers who will not only help run your restaurant, café or bar smoothly, but actively contribute to increasing your turnover while driving staff productivity. Hospitality management is a challenging and exciting career choice, and the performance bar is constantly being raised. The skills that used to be ‘enough’ to do the manager’s job are now minimal requirements, and there’s a raft of new faces out there ready to show off new-found business abilities. Now, nothing can replace experience, plain old-fashioned good sense and a great attitude. But next time you are hiring, perhaps it’s time to build on where you were, and look for more?


Personal skills count for a lot. Look for:

  • Calmness under fire
  • Innately good people skills
  • Ability to multi-task
  • Proven organisational skills
  • Capability to use and if needed, fix everything!
  • Relationship building skills to woo and charm your clientele, and keep them coming back for more
  • Resourceful approach to challenges

Business skills. Look for:

  • People management skills (it’s one thing to get along with others, but another to manage them!)
  • Excellent grasp of business operations
  • Strong analytical skills and a focus on return on investment (ROI)
  • Passion for improving productivity
  • Keen eye on and appreciation for cost control
  • Data skills to underpin the drive for improvement
  • Understanding of, and capability to implement of excellent rostering and flexible staffing where needed

Marketing skills. Look for:

  • Ability to improve and maximise menu appeal and profitability
  • Able to coach staff to upsell the menu
  • Great ideas to draw in new clients and drive repeat custom
  • Confidence and acumen to use social media (if you don’t have a designated marketing resource)

Recruitment skills. Look for:

  • Thorough approach to double-checking references
  • Focus on conducting and evaluating candidates’ skills and speed
  • Understanding of the impact of low productivity staff on business performance and morale
  • Identifying which staff would benefit from more training, promotion, or reassignment to different, more suitable tasks in the business
  • The skills and knowledge to manage the redundancy, resignation or release process with fairness and legality


A new broom can be disruptive but also sweep in with positive changes for your staff and business.

And when you raise the bar, you take some of the weight off your own shoulders, so you can focus on ‘what’s next’, instead of just ‘what’s happening today?’