Many managers have the distinct privilege of being put in charge as manager of a restaurant after a previous manager has done their best to kill the business. They drove away customers, and left the restaurant with a poor reputation and a dwindling customer base. So what can you, as the new manager do to breathe life back into the business?
The first thing is to realize that you will not be able to revive the business overnight. Chances are the previous manager of the restaurant did not kill the business in one day, so don’t expect to bring it back that quickly. You are facing an uphill climb, so be patient.
One of the first things you will need to do is go over the menu to make sure that the food you are serving is top quality. If you are the manager of an independent restaurant and can make menu adjustments, make sure that the menu selections are not beyond the capabilities of the kitchen.
This doesn’t mean that you need to change the restaurants theme, or to simplify everything, it is about making sure that whatever you do, you do well. If you are a burger joint, make sure that your burgers are the best around. make sure your customers feel that their dining experience was worth the money they spent.
Here is where most restaurants that lose customers fail. Don’t ever forget that you are in a service industry. That means that customer service has to be a priority. You need to preach this to your staff on a daily basis.
Here is one area that you need to make sure every member of your staff gets ongoing training. They need to know how to treat customers from the moment they walk into your restaurant until they walk back out at the end of their meal. Every customer needs to feel like they are appreciated, and that their business is valued.
Only after you have the food and the service pieces in place should you worry about marketing your business. If the problems from the previous manager of the restaurant are not fixed then your marketing will be a waste of money
Once the problems are fixed, you will need to market your restaurant hard. You need to let people know that there is new management, and that you want your customers to give your restaurant another chance. Most customers are forgiving and will be willing to give it a try. If they can see and taste that positive changes have been made, they will come back again.
Taking over as the manager of a restaurant that has been mismanaged has a lot of challenges. If you do it well, it also has great rewards.