Are You Ready To Become a Restaurant Shift Supervisor?
Front-of-house staff in the food and beverage industry get promoted to a higher position over time. If you are someone that enjoys a leadership role and are looking to advance your skills, resume or pay grade, then being a restaurant shift supervisor will be your next big step. Here are top tips to help you know if you are ready to level up. Also included a roadmap on how to be promoted from an individual role such as server, barista, or crew member to a restaurant shift supervisor or say a FOH manager.
A restaurant shift supervisor oversees the day-to-day restaurant operations including food quality and delivery, stocks, staff training, schedules, waste control, daily reporting, cash flow, and customers.
They come prepared every day and make sure the shift runs as smoothly as possible. They delegate micro restaurant activities to reliable individuals and team members. In the back end, they engage with inventory work, admin work, the day-to-day balancing of the cash drawer, and even onboarding new staff. They keep track of the progress of the team, record complaints and issues, as well as brainstorm various ways to better the restaurant’s current management and service.
If you feel like the tasks are perfect for you, then read on as we will show you what you need in order to stand out from the crowd:
Though certifications are not often required for shift manager roles, having a High School diploma, GED or a Bachelor’s degree in Hospitality are factors that employers would take into consideration.
If you are looking to get certificates on your resume before applying, here are some links that offer courses and certifications:
- Udemy Restuarant Management Courses
- The Institute of Certified Professional Managers (ICPM) – Supervisor Certification
- The National Registry for Food Safety Professionals (NRFSP) – Online Food Safety Manager Certification
Alternatively, a current front-of-house/back-out-house staff with proven experience in administrative and leadership tasks will be a stronger candidate. If you have been with the restaurant for a while, you have a greater understanding of the staff, menu, systems, and rules of the company compared to an outbound hire. Remember, restaurateurs, hire candidates that prove less risk and require less hand-holding.
Know your team
Shift supervisors delegate tasks to their team members before the shift starts. Great leaders know they don’t need to be micromanaging every aspect of the service. Instead, they have a great team working on several aspects of the job synchronously. The best way to do this is by getting to know your team members well. Practice this by understanding your current colleague’s goals, challenges, and pain points firsthand. People skills and communication skills are vital for restaurant shift supervisors. They need to make sure all staff concerns are addressed and all elements of the shift are working smoothly.
Go out of your way to help boost the performance of the entire team rather than just focusing on your own. Whenever possible, finish your tasks quickly and offer your assistance to those around you. Individuals that constantly communicate their desire to help others make them approachable, valued, and are therefore a strong candidate. Be the person your colleagues go to for advice and points of improvement. This simple tip, when implemented regularly, will allow you to be seen as someone competent to take on a leadership role. This is ideal if you are applying for an in-house restaurant shift supervisor role. If you are looking to apply elsewhere, ask your manager to be a reference for your applications, wherein they will vouch for how proactive you are as an employee.
Always think on your feet
Being a shift supervisor requires you to move fast and think fast with a million tasks on your plate. You should be able to formulate solutions quickly and execute them professionally. Expect to solve unforeseeable problems relating to suppliers and food stock management, customer complaints, staffing issues, and the list goes on. Becoming a quick-thinker is a hard skill to learn immediately. This will come naturally over time. To practice: Do as many shifts as you can, be curious about the systems and rules your restaurant management has, and ask to shadow your supervisor on a quiet day.
This might seem like a no-brainer (and probably cliche) but only take the job if it gets you out of bed in the morning. Becoming a restaurant shift supervisor means you will become responsible for your whole team on a day-to-day basis. You will continually carve out systems for these shifts to become more efficient. You are invested in the restaurant’s mission and aligned to provide the best service possible.
One of the best ways to know your suitability is to reflect on this yourself. Are you confident to take this leap? Are you aligned with the restaurant’s mission? You can go a step further and ask your peers and family members to describe your work ethic. Do they see you spending most of your days as a supervisor? Do they see the role to be fulfilling for the future that you are building? Did you answer ‘YES’ to all of those? It is now time to submit that application and prepare for the interview!
Bonus: Common interview questions to assess yourself with:
- Do you find that people listen to you when you request something from them?
- Do you enjoy the challenge of more responsibilities?
- Describe a situation when you dealt with a difficult employee?
- How would you ensure your staff remains motivated during stressful shifts?
- Describe a scenario when you delegated effectively?
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