Restaurant Leadership…. Do You Have It?

Restaurant leadership is like being the head coach of a professional football team. Depending on your business, you team may be large or it could be a small handful of players. Either way, it takes a leader to get all the parts functioning independently and producing a product as a team.

Think of the football team. You have the head coach, assorted specialty coaches, key players such as a quarterback and the management staff. Each of the members of this team function under the vision and talent of the general manager and owner. If a part or several parts of the team do not perform well you have a breakdown in performance. When functioning well, you make it to the Super Bowl.  

As a restaurant manager or owner, you have the same dynamics. You lead a team that makes your business thrive or perish based on consumers. Yes, consumers are part of your team as well. All the players of your team are putting on a performance every day for your customers.  The results show up in daily sales, profitability, consumer reviews and referrals they give. Failure to perform shows up in the various data points that are tracked.

Back to leadership. What is the culture within your business? Is it one of teamwork, or one a blame game? Do you have the right players on the team in their proper positions? Do they know what is expected of them and is their performance measured? Is positive reinforcement given on a job well done and are reprimands given as well when deserved? With many restaurants, I find several of these leadership aspects missing. Often it boils down to effective management skills and communications with your team. Another key management tool is listening. Listening to your employees, your advisors, your vendors and your customers.  If any of these traits are missing, it shows up in the results.

As you go through this stressful holiday season, take notice of your team and their performance. Are you pleased, did they meet your expectations? Take mental notes, jot them down and consider your role as a leader as you develop or implement your plans for 2017.

With over 30 years of experience in the food industry, CORE Restaurant Marketing’s mission is helping restaurants improve their revenues.  To learn more about how CORE Restaurant Marketing can bring value to the restaurant industry visit our website or give contact us at

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