Why General Managers Should Work During Slower Shifts, Part Two: The People

Mar 23 2014

Guest Satisfaction Staff Training Restaurant Management

In the first post of our two-part series, we discussed the financial advantages of having your general manager work off-peak shifts. These include keeping an eye out for money-saving practices and keeping employees busy – or even sending them home if it’s very slow. Supervising a busy restaurant shift simply doesn’t give managers the chance to notice problems or try out new, cost-effective strategies. However, they have that opportunity when things slow down for a space.


But making a restaurant successful isn’t solely about financial resources. There are two kinds of human resources involved: your employees and your customers. Neglect either of these two, and even a restaurant that appears financially viable will start to suffer.

How can having general managers present during slow shifts keep customers happy and employees effective?

  • Working off-peak shifts helps the managers connect with customers. When the dining room is full, there is very little chance to interact with customers on a personal level. Getting to know each regular customer builds a relationship that can turn them into a steady source of business on slow nights – the time when repeat guests are most important.
  • Working slower shifts allows them to analyze, manage, and improve staff performance. They can analyze workflow patterns, spend time training new employees, and give established employees feedback on their performance and sales techniques. This also gives them the opportunity to fill in for other staff members and become familiar with their roles.
In the end, these strategies pay off financially as well. It’s far more expensive to hire and train a new recruit than it is to hone the skills of your current staff. And cultivating a customer base will build loyalty beyond simply offering good food or reasonable prices. It will encourage your customers to form a habit of going to your restaurant, where they are treated like friends, not just patrons. Once you start to consider the positive ramifications, this move is simply sound business sense.
Rob D'Ambrosia

Rob D'Ambrosia

After recognizing that restaurant operators needed to leverage technology to serve their Business Intelligence requirements, Rob founded Ctuit Software in January 2000. From casual to fine dining concepts, Rob has experienced the full spectrum of front and back of house positions. He has installed POS systems and consulted for small and medium restaurant chains. Rob’s technology background is equally extensive having worked hands-on with computer systems and authoring both hospitality and IP telephony business applications.