The quality of your management can make or break your small business, yet too few Canadian businesses take the time to give managers proper leadership and skills training. In the food service industry, managers have responsibilities that are not only tied to employee performance but to the health and safety of customers. How can you, as a food service business owner, ensure that your management is up to snuff?
Good Management and Employee Satisfaction
A manager makes all the difference when it comes to employee engagement — and employee engagement is strongly tied to the success of your company. Think about it: employees working under a manager that understands their concerns and can offer effective solutions to workplace issues are going to feel like their needs are being taken seriously. Those employee are going to be happier and more secure in their jobs, and they’re going to work harder to keep those job and keep your company running.
Likewise, an employee who feels that their manager doesn’t understand the issues, does a poor job of delegating tasks, and can’t offer assistance or support may feel frustrated and undervalued. Some employees may even begin to doubt your credibility for hiring or promoting an incompetent manager. These employees lack engagement, which can lead to high turnover rates and sub-par customer service in your company.
What Are the Duties of a Food Service Manager?
In the food service industry, a manager might be responsible for a range of duties, such as:
- Keeping track of food and other inventory levels
- Overseeing food preparation, portioning, and packaging
- Making sure employees are following health and safety regulations
- Responding to customer complaints
- Scheduling and assigning employee shifts
A good food service manager helps keep the front line of your restaurant running as smoothly as possible. They need to have a detailed understanding of each employee’s duties, the equipment everyone is working with, and your company’s preferred approach when it comes to dealing with customers and smoothing over complaints.
What concessions are you willing to make for dissatisfied customers? What rules do employees need to follow, and how do you discipline employees who aren’t following the rules? A manager needs to be confident making these difficult decisions on the fly.
When the health inspector visits, is your kitchen going to get a passing grade? A good manager should know the cleaning and maintenance procedures for each piece of equipment. They should know how often things need to be cleaned and with what products; whether or not employees are required to wear gloves, aprons, or hair nets; and when to send home an employee who’s feeling under the weather.
How Do You Train a Manager?
So the question is: what you can do to make sure your management knows everything they need to know? How often do you train a manager? This may vary depending on the complexity of your company and a particular manager’s level of experience — but at the very least, you should consider offering a refresher training course once a year.
Managers need to be up-to-date on the latest rules and regulations in your industry, and as a business owner, it’s your responsibility to stay on top of changing regulations. If a relevant regulation does change, organize a day or a few hours to make sure your managers understand the new regulations. Some certifications also need to be renewed regularly. For example, the provincial food service certification Food Safe needs to be renewed every five years. Managers in a food service environment should have level 2 Food Safe.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that management training is something you can skip to save time. Quality training for your management staff leads to happier employees, a more efficient work place, and repeat customers.