You can always tell when people like their job and when they don’t. It is true in the restaurant business, and it is true outside of the restaurant business. It is palpable the second you walk in to the joint.
I was asked recently by a consulting client to help them replace a departing manager. Someone they were not too happy with. They really wanted to get someone in place who could lead with a positive attitude–something the current manager was not able to do, I guess. I stopped short of telling them that I wished they had contacted me before they hired this current manager, but instead told them I would be happy to assist in any way I could.
They learned the hard way
They unfortunately did learn the hard way. They originally had hired me to come help them figure out how I could fix their business–probably thinking I was going to find ways to up their sales, or help them control their food and labor costs, but I was quick to identify the main problem: They had hired the wrong man for the job. And I didn’t mean me.
You want a leader with a good attitude. Yes, a ‘can do’ attitude. When the chips are down, and even when they are not, the employees are going to look to their leader. They need to know that they can count on him or her. They need to know that he or she has their back.
That is not a person who spends their time complaining about this customer, or that employee, but rather someone who manages to somehow smile through it all.
They will follow your lead
So, as I mentioned at the top of this post, it starts the second the customer walks in. Are the employees liking the job or not? It depends on the boss.
I ran in to a former co-worker of mine the other day, and asked him about his new job. He had recently taken a job at a ‘trendy’ spot in town. A spot that I wanted to not like because of some attitude I had heard about the chef-owner. He was quick to correct me.
He said that the opposite was true and that he looked forward to going to work everyday because the owner was so fun to work for. I was very happy to be corrected.
I love hearing stories about people who like their job because the boss is so great to work for. I have one of those bosses, so I can appreciate that. A boss that is clear of the expectation, leaves you alone to do your job, but is always staying positive and spreading the joy.
The boss does not get to be crabby
So, lead by example. Walk the talk. Do what you would expect of your employees. The customers will keep coming back, and that will be the by-product.