10 Goals for Restaurant Managers (With Tips)

Updated December 2, 2022

Restaurant managers often focus on building productive workforces and customer loyalty. By helping to generate traffic, they can contribute to the success of their restaurant and their career in the highly competitive food service industry. Making goals to market a quality restaurant and lead a motivated kitchen staff could help you enhance your establishment's image and promote greater sales. In this article, we identify 10 restaurant manager goals that could help you prosper and your business grow.

What is a restaurant manager?

A restaurant manager is a leader who oversees food service establishments and their daily operations. They coordinate activities of the kitchen and provide directions and guidance to help promote a high-quality dining experience for customers. They also manage the business and commercial affairs of a restaurant to ensure it's profitable.

Restaurant managers handle customer service issues and inspect the facility to help ensure that the establishment complies with public health guidelines and food safety regulations. They could work at restaurants, hotels, resorts or any other establishment that serves food and drinks.

Related: 22 Lessons You Learn While Working in a Restaurant

Why is it important for restaurant managers to set career goals?

Customers have high expectations when patronizing a restaurant, and the food service industry is highly competitive. An establishment's success often depends upon good management and quality service, so it's important for restaurant managers to work toward career goals.

Consider the potential benefits of career goals:

  • Career goals set the parameters for success and establish objectives or milestones.

  • They may help restaurant managers market and grow their businesses.

  • They can help restaurant managers establish standards for employee performance and customer service.

  • They often provide focus, clarity and purpose.

  • They can guide restaurant managers in crafting a budget and leading a team of employees.

Related: 5 Ways To Achieve Goals in the Workplace

10 restaurant manager goals

Here is a list of aims for you to consider as a restaurant manager:

1. Lead by example

When a restaurant manager models good customer service and business practices, they can efficiently teach their staff and set company expectations. These tips may inspire restaurant staff to follow your lead:

  • Show your employees how to greet customers with a smile.

  • Let your employees see you in the kitchen and dining spaces being social.

  • Take part in the routine cleaning and disinfection protocols your establishment practices.

  • Answer customer phone calls and perform busser or server duties occasionally to show your staff that their work is valuable and help bolster their productivity.

2. Build customer loyalty

Building customer loyalty can help drive sales and gain more repeat customers. You may consistently provide your customers with quality food service by embracing or maintaining best practices in food safety. Consider implementing or enhancing loyalty programs that reward customers for their ongoing patronage. As you build your restaurant's reputation, customers may leave positive reviews online or refer others and grow your customer base.

3. Maximize revenue

As a restaurant manager, you might manage budgets and help ensure that the business is being maintained. If you oversee the finances and payroll, you can establish clear goals for annual sales growth and develop a long-term business plan that guides the restaurant's focus and direction. You can add new items to the menu that may attract new customers. You could also consider new services or expanding upon existing services, such as happy hour drink specials, which you might leverage into opportunities for maximum revenue.

4. Minimize costs

Operating and maintaining a food service establishment requires you to buy necessary ingredients and supplies. As a restaurant manager, you could regularly look for ways to save money and reduce waste. You may also review your business expenses and explore potential cutbacks on operating costs, including potential reductions on utility expenses and other overhead costs.

5. Learn new skills

Your personal career growth can contribute to your workplace, so you might learn more about food preparation, food safety or marketing. Learning new skills can promote innovation and workplace efficiency, which benefit an establishment in the long run. A restaurant manager who pursues professional development may become more productive in business management.

6. Generate restaurant traffic

You may explore new ways to increase and bolster customer patronage. For example, sports-themed restaurants could install big-screen televisions to show more games. Restaurant managers may also consider alternative ways to generate sales traffic, including drive-thru, curbside pickup and delivery services.

7. Recognize staff

As a manager, you usually hire, train and oversee a staff of employees that may include cooks, bussers and dishwashers. As a restaurant manager, you can recognize these employees and their work by giving or expanding employee recognition awards, including accolades for employee of the month or outstanding service. You can also recognize staff by interacting with them regularly and asking how they are. This may increase employee engagement and morale.

8. Market the restaurant brand

To help raise public awareness, you can personally contribute to the restaurant's reputation with activities like these:

  • Explore new ways of promoting your restaurant brand.

  • Develop or enhance your establishment's website and social media presence.

  • Advertise on billboards, television and print media.

  • Invest in a marketing strategy that may bolster your competitive standing.

9. Explore new technology

You can research new or emerging technologies annually and assess whether the restaurant can benefit from implementing new tools or resources. You could also look toward the future and invest in tools, software or equipment that may modernize the restaurant's operations.

Read more: SMART Goals: Definition and Examples

10. Seek feedback

You may request feedback from customers and employees to better understand the establishment's strengths and potential areas of improvement. Giving customers an easy and convenient way to answer feedback surveys can be helpful, and you can encourage staff to give their input. Internal and external feedback may contain useful advice or recommendations for generating restaurant traffic.

Related: 10 Tips for Reaching Goals

Tips for creating restaurant manager goals

Effective goals are often specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound, also known as SMART goals. Here are some examples of SMART goals in restaurant management:

  • Specific: This is the clear target you are aiming for. For example, "I want to increase annual restaurant sales by 5% this year."

  • Measurable: This is a metric where you can measure your progress and determine whether you've met or exceeded the goal. For example, "**Our annual restaurant sales have increased by 13%, exceeding our 5% sales growth goal."

  • Achievable: This is an attainable outcome, one that is workable. For example, "**We believe we can reach our 5% sales growth target this year by increasing our delivery reach."

  • Relevant: This is focusing on a target that makes sense. For example, "**We want to increase our restaurant's dining capacity to accommodate growing demand and help us reach our long-term sales growth targets."

  • Time-bound: This means having a target and aiming to achieve it by a certain deadline. For example, "**We want to develop and offer a vegan menu this summer to help meet the 5% annual sales growth target."

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