While reviewing numerous restaurant chat rooms I run across a wide variety of mistakes in the making. Yesterday, I ran across this posting from someone who is about to make a decision on “helping someone out.” Here is the posting…
I have been working for my boss for 7 months and he is now opening a new restaurant in the neighboring town, he has asked me to get it started. I have no problem with this, have been at it for 19 years, the problem is I am not sure what to ask for when it comes to my salary. I have no formal training in management, however I have experience shooting out my ears. I’m not even sure what the standard is for salary for restaurant manager. Oh, a bit about the restaurant, it is a full service, linens, sit down kind of place, specializing in East Indian cuisine, which I have become quite knowledgeable in. So, can anyone give me a head up on what I should be asking for?
This posting, in a few short sentences defines one of the major problems in the business. Communication.
Let me guess the scenario, before we go on. The owner will assume that the employee is going to “get it started” offering a bit more compensation, paid on the back end after the undefined or outlined task is completed. The employee will begin the project, not knowing where to go or what is really expected of her. The owner will never be happy with the job being done because the place won´t "get started" on time. . And, once the second restaurant is opened, he will automatically become discontented with the person who “got it started” and replace that person with ” a manager”. That manager will more money than the person who “got it started.”
Of course, this scenario is bleakly less than positive. But, speaking from experience, there are a few signs in the verbiage that point to a disaster in the making. If the person who posted the message is right, the word manager, supervisor, boss, or assistant manager, never came into play. The owner doesn’t seem to have a long-term plan, and is asking one of his best employees, I presume, to get it started. What in the world does get it started mean? Nobody knows, especially the owner of the new restaurant.
Owners have a tendency to ask for something and really want something completely different. And, that is what separates success from failure-not necessarily in the opening or closing of a restaurant, but in the building or destroying a staff. We also assume that if an employee is a great worker in the position they are working, that they automatically can climb the ladder and accept more responsibility. This is not always the case and frequently causes good employees to crash and burn, leaving two positions vacant.
Make sure that you communicate your needs, goals, and policies, whenever discussing opportunities with your employees. Put everything down on paper. Have the employee sign the paper and put a copy in their personnel file. Give them a copy for their files. Outline your expectations. Define your goals. Set a time line so that everyone has a comfortable understanding of the work involved and the amount of time it will take for completion.
Make sure that you, as an owner, take ownership for the project. The completion off the task will inevitably be your responsibility whether just as a director or producer.
And, if these steps aren´t taken, it is likely the situation will turn into a disaster in progress. If owners want to alleviate aggravation, turmoil, and catastrophe, clearly communicate your expectations and chose the right person to fill the position. And, once that person is chosen make sure that you don´t look to just get something started, but that you seek the help to keep it growing.