If you’re like most restaurant owners, the thought of hiring a general manager probably makes your head spin. It’s a lot of responsibility, and a lot is riding on this hire. But believe it or not, hiring a general manager is one of the most important decisions you’ll make for your restaurant. Here are 5 reasons why:

A Quality Person Usually Makes a Quality Manager

General managers will often be the face of your restaurant. They’ll be the ones dealing with customers, suppliers, and employees daily. They will protect or tarnish your brand with the public and hold many of the cards when it comes to being able to hire and retain other employees. If you look for a quality person when you are hiring and not just the most qualified, you may be surprised by how effective they become. If you make a bad hire of a manager who turns out to be a rotten person, it could damage your restaurant beyond repair.

According to a TDn2K’s 2019 Study over 35% of Restaurant General Managers quit before they reach one year on the job. This type of turnover can be detrimental to not only your restaurant’s image but also to retaining lower-level staff.

Keep Calm Under Pressure

Hiring a General Manager with a deep understanding of the hospitality industry will help them keep calm under fire. They’ll know how to run a tight ship and keep things running smoothly, even during busy times. A restaurant can be a testy place when it is busy. Having a General Manager that can step in and project a calm demeanor during busy times will go a long way in staff retention and customer satisfaction. When everything seems to be falling apart during that rush, a great General Manager will know how to step in and coach his team to success.

The Numbers Matter

General Managers that are good with numbers can push your restaurant over the top. They’ll know how to keep food/staffing costs down and maximize profits. They’ll also have a keen eye for detail when it comes to bookkeeping and budgeting. To be clear you are not looking for a General Manager who spends all their time in the office working numbers. You want one that can use their best judgment and modify operations to make the numbers better without sitting in the office crunching them all day. At the end of the day, the numbers matter and you will want a manager who knows those numbers up and down.

An Expert Motivator

A good general manager will be a people person. They’ll know how to motivate and inspire employees, and they’ll have excellent customer service skills. Some would argue that this is the most important trait you should look for when hiring a new General Manager. If they can motivate team members and promote a positive work environment, you are more likely to retain employees and have happier customers.

Jack of All Trades

You will want a jack of all trades when it comes to your General Manager. They’ll be able to do it all, from cooking and cleaning to marketing and sales. And they’ll always have your restaurant’s best interests at heart. They might not be an expert in every single area of restaurant operations, but they will be able to step and help in each area when needed.

Hiring a good general manager is one of the best investments you can make for your restaurant. As apparent by the above reasons, you can now see your General Manager must be a wide variety of things for your restaurant. Think of them as the captain of the ship, they should be the one that steers your business to success. Even if there are some choppy waters, they will know exactly what to do and how to navigate them. Need assistance in hiring your next Captain? Hospitality headhunter has years of experience at your disposal. Contact us today to get started.


Kelly Kuhlmann

Witten By Kelly Kuhlmann

Kelly Kuhlmann is Founder and Chief Recruiting Partner of Hospitality Headhunter. Kelly has over 30 years in the Restaurant and Hospitality Industry at all levels, and has been one of the Largest Restaurant Franchisees in the United States.