What Your Restaurant Managers Teach Me

By David Scott Peters


Over the last decade we have worked with countless restaurant managers. So many have been just incredible, perfectly suited for their important roles in your restaurant.

Below are three of them from the past few years that possess a trait I admire and that exemplifies a lesson we all need to learn.

Change is good. – Jay Rushford, Operations Manager, Uncle Bub’s BBQ, Westmont, IL

Jay is the type of guy that is level and has a positive mental outlook on everything. His challenge was to take a restaurant with incredible sales and match those sales with equally impressive profits. Faced with a team resistant to change, this was not an easy task. Jay never once questioned that change was a good thing. Instead he became what my father used to call a “change agent.” He was the restaurant’s biggest advocate for change, a guy who never jammed it down people’s throats, a guy who took the time to train his people on the systems so that they could understand why change was coming and why it was not only good for the restaurant, but good for them, too.

No challenge is too big. – Chris Ford, General Manager, AJ’s Seafood Grille, Ridgeland, MS

Chris was headed for an advanced degree in physical therapy when he found himself in a restaurant where the managers before him just created chaos and frustration for the owners, employees and customers. But Chris saw this as a challenge, an opportunity to grow and a chance for him to see if he really loved the restaurant biz. Somehow, seeing incredible potential in him, I convinced him to give the job a shot and take the general manager position. Since then, he has never looked back. Not only did he see the challenge and kick its ass, he went on to open a new location and has yet to find a challenge too big. With challenge comes growth.

We are ALL on the same team. – Jamie Steinbrecher, Chef, The Okeechobee Steakhouse, West Palm Beach, FL

Jamie is one of those unusual finds in the industry: a chef who creates incredible dishes and understands the business side. He is a truly talented chef and a confident leader, managing his team with honest communication and patience. One of the things that most impresses me about Jamie is his willingness to include the front-of-house management team. He does not look at the kitchen from an “us vs. them” perspective, but rather as one whole team. One of the greatest examples of this is the relationship he has built with the general manager. Together they move the business in a positive direction on a daily basis.

I consider myself extremely lucky to work with so many incredible managers in the business, so many that I cannot mention them all here. I hope that you draw some inspiration from these incredible people and identify the skill sets you need to possess as a manager to be successful and what you should be looking for in your team as an owner.

David Scott Peters TheRestaurantExpert (1)David Scott Peters is a restaurant expert, speaker, coach and trainer for independent restaurant owners. He is the developer of SMART Systems Pro, an online restaurant management software program helping the independent restaurant owner remain competitive and profitable in an industry boxed in by the big chain restaurants. He is best known as the SMART Systems guy who can walk into any restaurant and find $10,000 in undiscovered cash before he hits the back door… Guaranteed! Learn more at www.therestaurantexpert.com/rdspos.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s