So how can you get one, especially if you’ve worked as a lowly peon in the great cog known as your employer? That, my friend, is what we wish to discuss today.
Managing a restaurant, say, or a front desk of a hotel or anything else in the hospitality industry requires you to assume a much greater level of responsibility. Not only do you have to worry about what your job is (e.g., if you’re a waiter, don’t spill the soup!), but you have to worry about everyone else’s as well.
Know Everyone’s Job
Here’s the first tip: know everyone else’s job. Returning to our restaurant example, if you are a waiter, learn how to seat people, how to serve in the kitchen, how to bus tables, etc. Each of those positions has its own concerns, challenges, and rewards. The same applies in the hotel industry: learn how to be a concierge, housekeeper, bellhop, and so forth.
Why will this help? Well, as a manager, you have to understand the problems each position or department faces. The powers that be are much more likely to promote or hire someone who already has a firm grasp of the positions that are being managed than someone else.
How do you learn everyone else’s job? Through careful observation and by asking questions. Most people are more than happy to talk about (and complain about) their jobs. Ask how you can make their lives easier, and they will be more than happy to tell you.
Learn People Skills
But being a manager is about more than just knowing how to go out and cook the corn chowder. It means knowing a lot of skills managers have to have that are exclusive. The first and foremost of these is actually managing people. As a manager, you will be the recipient of all the complaints, resentments, and tough issues from not only staff but also customers. The manager who is hated by his or her underlings tends to have his or her life made miserable by those underlings.
Especially in the hospitality industry, keeping employees and customers happy is a crucial skill. It’s more vital than, say, in a manufacturing plant. And the biggest way to make people happy is to let them know you care about them and their concerns. That means listening to them.
People will respond to someone who genuinely listens to them, even if the decision is against what they want. Be prepared to compromise too. A manager has to fight for the people he or she manages with upper management. You want to be on the side of your employees.
At the same time, though, you have to be able to make the tough decisions. Firing people is never pleasant, but it will inevitably happen. You can’t as a manager let the employees run the asylum. So it’s a delicate balance best learned by careful observation. See what works and what doesn’t.
Learn Budgeting Skills
Running a budget is also important to a manager. You only have so much money you can spend on your operation — and that impacts your hiring practices. For many hospitality management positions, you will be judged on the profits you make — income versus expenses.
Careful controlling of expenses is crucial to this aspect of management. Here, the advice is to hit the books. Couple this with your no doubt by now keen eye for observation, and you will be well suited to getting your next position in the hospitality field: manager.